Why Purdue Partners with PTC University: Interview
With the success of the PLM Center, Purdue University has expanded its footprint within PLM professional education. Purdue has joined forces with PTC and earned the distinction as a PTC University Authorized Training Partner (ATP). As an ATP, Purdue University’s PLM-centric professional development program leverages the PTC University eLearning platform to build their own courses on model-based definition, product data, and configuration management—all based on PTC solutions. The courses offered to students as part of Purdue University’s ATP affiliation also include PTC University’s solution-based curriculum for engineering professionals. We caught up with Dr. Nathan Hartman (pictured to the right), Professor of Computer Graphics Technology and Director of the PLM Center at Purdue University for a quick Q & A:
[PTC] Why did Purdue University decide to become an ATP?
[Hartman] The PLM Center at Purdue decided to become an ATP after lengthy discussions with Alister Fraser (Senior Education Program Manager for North America at PTC) regarding the future goals of PTC Academic Program. Our goals of promoting PLM-oriented education in the academic arena and conducting industry-relevant research in the PLM space, as well as our high level of industry engagement through professional education, seemed to line up well with the goals PTC has for professional education. The PLM Center has delivered online PLM education for its industry partners for nearly six years, so becoming an ATP seemed to be a natural extension of our activities.
[PTC] How is Purdue University different than other training providers?
[Hartman] Professional PLM education at Purdue is different than other providers in a few ways. First, since we are an academic institution, the manner in which we teach will be different. Much of our most sought-after content focuses on best practices and good PLM methodology, in addition to feature/function training in a particular tool. Second, we are able to offer certificates and continuing education units (CEUs) for many of our training programs. Third, we have a world-class online training component that allows students to leverage virtual machine infrastructure in order to interact with CAD and PDM technology via a web platform so they can still experience using the PLM tools without having to install or purchase those tools themselves.
[PTC] Can you tell us more about your program and your instructors?
[Hartman] Our program will focus on three main areas at the moment: Introduction to Model-based Definition (using PTC Creo); Introduction to Product Data and Configuration Management (using PTC Windchill); and an Introduction to Product Lifecycle Management (using multiple PTC toolsets). These are all classes that Purdue has developed. In addition, we will offer a few different standard PTC course topics as well. See www.tech.purdue.edu/plm for a few more details.
Amy Mueller and Rosemary Astheimer are our instructors, whom are both highly trained academics and professionals who possess extensive knowledge of PTC products gained from hands-on experience in the classroom or on the job.
[PTC] What will this do for the surrounding community/students?
[Hartman] At the moment, the courses offered through the PLM Center at Purdue are geared for the incumbent workforce by allowing them to sharpen their knowledge and skills using current PLM technology. They are different than those offered in the normal academic curriculum. However, the ability to become an ATP is definitely part of the strategic vision of the PLM Center at Purdue, as well as the College of Technology. By providing this level of professional education at Purdue, it is yet another way in which we engage our industrial constituents in Indiana and throughout the Midwest.
[PTC] What will this do for the surrounding companies?
[Hartman] Several companies in our region have expressed an interest in our ability to offer courses using PTC products. Indiana and the surrounding states have a substantial install base of PTC products, which we intend to target. By providing this service, we hope to offer companies in our area another option for high quality professional education, for both classroom and online platforms, that they may not be able to get otherwise. Our expertise at Purdue in multiple PLM-related areas will translate into many other opportunities for our constituents. One such opportunity is IN-MaC (www.purdue.edu/in-mac), which is Purdue's partnership with the State of Indiana around next-generation manufacturing research, technology adoption, and workforce education. The programs offered by the PLM Center via the PTC ATP will be instrumental in this effort.
[PTC] Thank you for your time Professor Hartman, do you have any final thoughts?
[Hartman] We are looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with PTC. While the first step of that relationship is through the establishment of our ATP status, this is simply another example of the focus on industry-relevant education here at Purdue, and within the College of Technology. Today's world demands translation of knowledge for new industries. The PTC University ATP opportunity is one example of a new model for university/industry collaboration. We have many other initiatives underway which use digital technologies to control cost and deliver excellent quality at the same time. Purdue is aggressively moving to embrace and define the land grant mission or the 21st century, and I am excited to be part of this effort.