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$25.9 million software donation to USF is largest of its kind

TAMPA —The University of South Florida got its largest ever in-kind donation on Tuesday — $25.9 million in software for electrical engineering students.

The gift pushes the university's capital campaign, dubbed the Unstoppable Campaign, over the half-billion-dollar mark. Joel Momberg, CEO of USF's Foundation, called the donation a "game changer." The capital campaign's goal is $600 million, according to its website.

The software, from California-based Agilent Technologies Inc., is the same software professionals use. Spokeswoman Janet Smith said the company works with a lot of universities, but USF had a program in place that "we really wanted to support."

The software will be primarily helpful for electrical engineers working with wireless technology — about 200 juniors and seniors and 200 graduate students — but the school will make it available to all its engineering students to give them an edge in the job market.

"This training and experience gives our students a skill set and familiarity with an industry-leading software," said John Wiencek, dean of USF's College of Engineering. "From an employer's standpoint, it will eliminate a six-month training period."

With this software, engineers scan in designs, and the program tells them whether the schematics would work or not, said USF engineering college spokeswoman Janet Gillis. "You can see if it's working before you actually build a prototype."

Not only will it help current students, but Gillis said the new resource will help USF in recruiting efforts.

"Of course it's an advantage for us," she said. "We're really excited about it."

Reach Kim Wilmath at kwilmath@sptimes.com or 813-226-3337.

$25.9 million software donation to USF is largest of its kind 09/20/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 9:19pm]
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