Zayed University among five UAE Institutions to receive Siemens 100m software grant. The grant seeks to advance digital skills in the country to support its economic growth

22 Apr 2018

Following an open call for submissions of compelling ideas that illustrated how universities would use the Siemens Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software, the Ministry of Education selected Zayed University as one of five institutions to receive the prestigious grant. Prof. Thorsten Lomker, Assistant Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises (CACE), and Principal Investigator of the Research Cluster “21st Century Fabrication and Robotics,” developed the winning proposal that aims at advancing digital skills not only of students at CACE, but at all ZU Colleges.

Supporting Professor Lomker’s initiative to further extend the CACE FabLab, which was developed for creative cross-disciplinary operations, the award lays the groundwork for cooperation across colleges, and for new programs to be developed, that could potentially bring added value to the University, the College, and first and foremost its students. The motive force behind the proposal was the University’s implementation of technology into the curricula to address deficiencies that students in the UAE are facing, based on their preliminary school education. The FabLab initiative addresses those problems that are unique to this region, and then uses technology to overcome them. Local students are much more comfortable with technology usage, than they are with traditional methods and approaches. This can be used as an advantage to generate an outcome that would otherwise not be possible, thus enabling local students to be not only on a par with, but at the forefront of technological advancement in professional practice.

Fig. 1 The 8-axis Robotic Machining Center with a KUKA Agilus Robot, Prof. Thorsten Lomker, CACE

Siemens PLM is a leading innovative software suite that has been a key component of globally-significant projects such as the Mars Rover Curiosity, the Maserati Ghibli car, and the Solar Impulse aircraft which flew around the world using only solar power. Its value lies in its ability to integrate data, processes, business systems and, ultimately, people in an extended enterprise. The software allows companies to manage this information throughout the entire lifecycle of a product efficiently and cost-effectively, from ideation, design and manufacture, through service and disposal.

Fig. 2 Preparatory evaluation of subtractive methods (milling) with the KUKA robot, Prof. Thorsten Lomker, CACE

Fig. 3 Machined prototype of a guitar case in EPE foam, Prof. Thorsten Lomker, CACE

SIEMENS´ Chief Technology Officer for Middle East Operations, visited Zayed University on November 20 to tour the FabLab and begin the process of providing the software license.  When the software is fully implemented in QII/2018, students and faculty across colleges at Zayed University can use the software for academic and institutional purposes to develop the required skills to drive the country’s digital transformation. In the meantime, anyone with questions or an interest in discussing the project is invited to contact Dr. Thorsten Lomker (