Autodesk Continues to Inspire Next Generation of Global Innovators

Specialized Education Solutions Enable Future Engineers, Architects and Designers to Experience Their Ideas Before They Are Real

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) today announced at the company's first annual World Press Day event continued plans to invest heavily in education, enabling the next global generation of engineers, architects and designers to be inspired and prepared for visionary careers. Autodesk offers a compelling suite of education solutions for educators, as well as the real-world tools students need to visualize, design and create the projects of their dreams.

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Due to the gradual and subtle effects of globalization, the United States has seen a steady decline in engineering and manufacturing jobs. This means that now is a crucial time for leaders in the business community to invest in education.

"Autodesk feels passionately about inspiring and preparing the next generation of engineers, architects and designers," said Paul Mailhot, Autodesk senior director, worldwide education programs. "We want them to have the necessary tools to experience their ideas before they're real."

Autodesk will continue to support education initiatives by investing in important programs that encourage students of all ages to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

A few of Autodesk's educational priorities in the coming year will include:

    -- A continued investment in Project Lead the Way, a non-profit
       organization dedicated to the advancement of pre-engineering
       instruction for middle- and high-school students
    -- Support of the FIRST Robotics Competition, in which students throughout
       the world use Autodesk visualization tools to create the robots of
       their wildest imaginations
    -- Steady contributions to primary, secondary and higher education
       institutions, helping educators inspire students to pursue visionary
       careers through Autodesk technology and academic solutions such as
       Autodesk Design Institute, Autodesk Design Academy, Autodesk DesignKids
       and Autodesk Animation Academy software offerings
    -- Continued support for design and engineering students through
       Autodesk's popular Student Engineering and Design Community, which
       provides students and educators the much needed access to real-world
       tools and resources for free*
    -- The advancement of technology education and adoption in developing
       economies such as India, China, Russia, Eastern Europe and Latin

    Inspiring Creativity at a Young Age

Autodesk is committed to inspiring the next generation of innovators at the earliest age possible. This is why the company is a major supporter of Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of pre-engineering instruction for middle- and high-school students. Participating schools place an emphasis on STEM education with dynamic pre-engineering courses that employ rigorous project-based curricula. The program currently boasts over 1,800 participating schools in the United States and District of Columbia, reaching an estimated 175,000 students, in grades six through twelve. Autodesk has donated its 3D products, such as Inventor software, to the program.

Autodesk also supports the FIRST Robotics Competition, which inspires young people to appreciate science and technology through the design and construction of imaginative robots. Autodesk has been a sponsor of the FIRST Robotics event since 1992, donating the tools students need to imagine and create their robots. This year, Autodesk donated $17 million worth of software and training resources to the program.

Through Autodesk specialized academic solutions DesignKids and Design Academy, middle- and high-school educators are able to teach students how to apply their math and science skills to design projects such as bird houses, skate board parks, bridges, vacation homes, a desktop toy or even their dream room.

Preparing the Next Generation of Innovators

Autodesk allows college students throughout the world to pursue visionary careers by arming them with the tools and skills they need to compete in the real world. To date, approximately 80 percent of universities and colleges in the United States use Autodesk technology and education solutions to provide millions of students the professional experience necessary to compete for today's jobs.

One of those schools is Oregon State University (OSU), whose College of Engineering is among the nation's largest engineering programs in terms of undergraduate enrollment. Thanks to Autodesk, students at OSU are given applicable real-world experiences and work on real engineering projects, giving them a competitive advantage in the job market and reducing our country's civil engineering labor shortage.

According to Tracy Arras, OSU Civil Engineering Instructor and Lower Division Coordinator, "Autodesk-trained graduates will be better prepared to handle real-world challenges and can hit the ground running after graduation."

Tools for Success: The Student Engineering and Design Community

Autodesk launched its Student Engineering and Design Community in September 2006 to allow students in the fields of architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial design, and gaming and animation free access to the professional tools they need to bring their ideas to life. To date, more than 50,000 students and educators from more than 2,500 institutions in 73 countries have made more than 50,000 downloads of Autodesk's 3D software.

Any student or educator with a valid education email address is invited to participate in the community. Although the free* software downloads are becoming increasingly popular, the site also allows students to learn, collaborate and communicate with their peers on campuses around the world through forums, chat discussions and other social networking capabilities. The popular job postings section provides students with opportunities for internships as well as full-time and part-time jobs. The Student Engineering and Design Community can be accessed at

Beginning in January, students have had the chance to share their designs created using Autodesk Inventor to compete for prizes from HP, ATI and 3Dconnexion. The contest will close May 1 and winners will be announced May 15. For more information about the Autodesk Inventor Student Design Contest, visit

A Global Initiative

Although Autodesk is committed to ensuring the United States remains competitive in the global economy, the company feels responsible for fostering global economic development by aiding the advancement of technology education and adoption in developing economies such as India, China, Russia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Autodesk has donated more than $1.3 million to establishing academic "Centers of Excellence," which aim to educate both students and faculty in a wide range of disciplines, including architecture, urban planning, construction management, industrial design, manufacturing, civil engineering, animation, and special effects. Autodesk's Centers of Excellence provide leading academic institutions with state-of-the-art software and support to investigate issues key to developing economies -- such as sustainable design and innovative product development.

About Autodesk Education

Autodesk supports academic achievement and lifelong learning by providing educators and students the software they need to prepare for careers in design. Autodesk is committed to helping the next generation of engineers, designers and architects have the power to dream tomorrow's big ideas today by placing technology used by professionals in classrooms throughout the world. Autodesk helps institutions invest in the future by offering substantial discounts, innovative subscription offerings, grant programs, training, curricula and community resources. For more information about Autodesk's education programs and solutions, visit

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc. is the world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art digital prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are real. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk, visit .

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