Autodesk, the world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets, has announced that it has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with King Saud University (KSU), one of the largest and most prestigious universities in Saudi Arabia, at a signing ceremony held recently at the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel, Dubai. The agreement, which aims to promote engineering and design careers to address the booming job market demand in the Kingdom, will involve efforts to drive student community registrations, downloads and adoption of Autodesk software and curriculum in the classrooms. The MOU was inked by Dr. Zeyad O. Al-Hekail, Vice President for Educational and Academic Affairs, KSU; and Stephen M. Cottingham, EMEA Education Program Manager, Autodesk, in the presence of other top officials from both organisations.
Under the terms of the MOU, KSU will actively use the latest versions of Autodesk Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, Revit MEP, Civil 3D, NavisWorks, Ecotect, Inventor and AliasStudio in engineering and design programs as well as in their training centre. In addition, a core group of instructors who were trained by Autodesk will train other instructors in the university, who can also teach instructors from other schools and training centres in the Kingdom. Through its partnership with the University, which has earned the reputation as an educational innovator by using best-in-class teaching methods, software and technology, Autodesk is aiming to propagate its ideas of creativity and innovation in engineering and design.
“King Saud University is a leader in innovative teaching methods as well as in providing training for industry-leading software, which give students valuable experience and more importantly, a competitive edge as future engineering and design professionals,” said Dr. Zeyad O. Al- Hekail, Vice President for Educational and Academic Affairs, KSU. “As a leading educational institution in the Kingdom, we are looking forward to working with Autodesk by implementing new, innovative approaches to teaching design and engineering, which will involve exposing our students to their leading-edge solutions. We believe many more universities will follow suit, and will model their programs and curricula after seeing the sure success of this pioneering initiative.”
As a part of this engagement with KSU, Autodesk will assist the University in developing design courseware and potentially new elective inter-disciplinary courses in the areas of product design. Students at King Saud University are also entitled to a non-limited quantity of free-of-charge student licenses for their self-study and the university instructors as well, which can be installed on their private computers for non-commercial use. Furthermore, students and faculty will also gain access to the global ‘Autodesk Student Engineering and Design Community’ portal where they can download free software and be given assistance in establishing contacts with other Autodesk strategic education partnership universities across the EMEA region and worldwide.
“Statistics have revealed the growing need for more skilled Saudis in the engineering industry, given the booming growth of the Kingdom’s construction industry. In line with this, we have identified the importance of ensuring that students in the Kingdom are properly trained to use advanced technologies and are accustomed to trends in the area of design and engineering that are being used in the industry. Through our partnership with King Saud University, we are expecting to achieve these goals, and in the process drive the adoption of Autodesk design software, increase Autodesk brand awareness, and secure a competitive advantage in engineering and design in the country,” concluded Fares Al Fares, Channel Manager, Saudi Arabia, Autodesk.
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