Writer: Billy Huntsman
Less than a year after receiving silver certification, New Mexico State University has been made a Gold Certified Program by The Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE), the first university in the U.S. to receive such recognition.
NMSU’s College of Engineering became a PACE partner in 2006. The PACE program at NMSU is led by Associate Dean Patricia Sullivan as PACE campus integrator, and faculty leaders are associate professors Julieta Delia Valles-Rosales from industrial engineering and Gabe Garcia from mechanical and aerospace engineering. NMSU PACE participation includes involvement in the global student design competition and delivery of the Siemens industry-accepted NX software certification exam.
“PACE congratulates NMSU on the award of PACE Gold Certification,” said Nancy Neikirk, communications officer for PACE.
The award was presented at the annual PACE Global Forum Awards Banquet this past summer in Cincinnati. Also honored with gold certification were RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, RWTH Aachen University and Technische Universität – Darmstadt, all in Germany. Together with NMSU, these universities were the first to receive PACE Gold Certification.
“The College of Engineering is focused on strengthening ties with industry, particularly in areas that support and enhance student employability after graduation,” said Patricia A. Sullivan, associate dean for outreach and public service in the college. “The PACE Gold Certification recognition is one example of ways the college works to integrate industry-accepted software and skills into the engineering curriculum.”
The program has partnerships with and has provided jobs for graduates in the disciplines of engineering in such companies as General Motors Corp., Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, among others.
“The College of Engineering continues to lead in developing student opportunities to gain technical skills, knowledge, team building and communication skills that have international application by teaming with global industry leaders,” said Sullivan. “Our partnership with PACE is a perfect example of how students are gaining international experiences by working on global projects with their peers at institutions across the globe.”
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 it met the criteria.