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NMSU receives PACE Silver Certification

New Mexico State University has recently been certified as a Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) Silver Certified Program, which asserts that NMSU has met specific criteria for academic programs that align with automotive industry needs.


Man (left) and woman (right) look at a vehicle.
Brendan Sullivan, New Mexico State University industrial engineering Ph.D. candidate, and Delia Julietta Rosales-Valles, associate professor of industrial engineering, examine the Portable Assisted Mobile Device that was developed by NMSU students for the 2014 PACE competition in Turin, Italy. (NMSU Photo by Darren Phillips)

NMSU?s College of Engineering became a PACE partner in 2006. PACE is an organization that links GM, Autodesk, Hewlett-Packard, Siemens PLM Software, Sun Microsystems and their global operations, to support strategically selected academic institutions worldwide to develop the automotive product lifecycle management team of the future.

The PACE Certification Program includes silver, gold and platinum levels with specific criteria that must be met in order for an institution to achieve that certification level, such as the PACE tool deployment, curriculum integration, PACE projects/course competitions and PACE Annual Forum participation. A regional evaluation team, comprising representatives from the PACE core team, GM functional leadership, PACE faculty and PACE global administrators, completed an assessment of the NMSU program to determine whether they met the criteria.

?We welcome you to being a PACE Certified Institution and look forward to a fruitful relationship as we collectively move the needle on PLM (product lifecycle management) approaches in design, engineering and manufacturing,? said Nancy Neikirk, project manager at General Motors Knowledge Center. ?PACE will be what we make of it, and we look forward to mutually forming PACE and PLM to meet our industry and academic visions. We believe New Mexico State University serves a vital role in the PACE mission.?

?The College of Engineering is proud to be recognized as a PACE Silver Certified Program,? said Interim Dean Steve Stochaj. ?We value opportunities to strengthen student learning opportunities through public-private partnerships like PACE. These programs contribute to our ability to graduate students who are technically sound and ready to enter the evolving global marketplace.?

NMSU PACE participation includes involvement in the global student design competition and delivery of the Siemens industry-accepted NX software certification exam. The PACE program at NMSU is led by Patricia A. Sullivan, associate dean for outreach and public service; PACE program integrator, Delia Valles-Rosales, associate professor of industrial engineering; and Gabe Garcia, interim department head for mechanical and aerospace engineering.

In 2014, the NMSU PACE student team traveled to Turin, Italy, after having earned a spot in the second phase of a two-year global collaboration project involving institutions in 11 countries. The team designed and fabricated a mobile device for individual transportation within urban settings and competed against their peers in the Portable Assisted Mobile Device vehicle competition.

In the summer of 2015, the team traveled to Sao Paolo, Brazil, for the PACE Global Annual Forum, Rethinking Mobility, where they presented their new research project, a reconfigurable shared-use mobility system. The project involved a system of building-block components that could efficiently accommodate one to five passengers having reconfigurable cargo needs.

The NMSU PACE student team is joined with Howard University, RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, University of Sao Paulo, University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. Howard University is the design lead, while RheinMain University of Applied Sciences is the project lead.