Oct 11, 2011

PTC Announces 2012 Real World Design Challenge Theme "Green Aviation"

Students tasked to optimize the performance of a light sport aircraft.

PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC), The Product Development Company®, today joined more than 45 partners on Capitol Hill to kick-off the 2011-2012 Real World Design Challenge. The theme of this year’s challenge, ”Green Aviation,” was announced today at an event hosted by Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and the students from last year’s national champion team, the Xavier High School Engineering Club from Middletown, CT representing the state of Connecticut.

Students that participate in the 2011-2012 Real World Design Challenge will work to optimize the performance of a light sport aircraft with the overall design objective to design a plane that will be fuel efficient. As part of the competition, the teams will need to design one of three fuselages of different lengths and then build three different propulsion systems within it - gas, diesel and electric.

The Real World Design Challenge is a national aviation design competition with more than 7,800 high school students run by a public-private partnership with the goal of inspiring interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and careers. PTC and its partners, including Cessna Aircraft Company and the Federal Aviation Administration are focused on transforming and enhancing STEM education in the American educational system by providing science, engineering and learning resources that allow students and teachers to address an actual challenge confronting one of the nation's most important industries.

According to Druyun, Defense Reform 2001, A Blueprint for Action: Final Report, DFI International 2001, fifty-four percent of the aerospace science and technology workforce is older than 45 with 33 percent eligible to retire today. “There are not enough students in the STEM career pipeline to replace these people,” said Ralph K. Coppola, director, Real World Design Challenge and director, government & strategic education programs, PTC. “These are alarming statistics. PTC is proud to be working with our partners to get students across the country interested in careers in engineering.”

The winning teams from the participating states will be notified in February 2012 and will receive all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete at the National Challenge Event in April 2012.

“The Real World Design Challenge provides an important opportunity for high school students to learn and understand the challenges that aerospace engineers face every day,” said Michael Humphreys, mathematics and science teacher, Xavier High School. “Programs like this give us the chance to show these teams the exciting technological advancements in aerospace design and give them the opportunity to unleash their creative potential in a real world design scenario.”

PTC provides commercial-grade product development software, including Creo Elements/Pro® (3D product design software), Windchill® (PLM software) and Mathcad® (engineering calculation software), to teams participating in the Real World Design Challenge. PTC also provides connections and access to mentors from its partner organizations across America who are participants in the competition or program management for the competition. In addition to PTC, other partner organizations have contributed resources to make the competition free to all students. Mentor Graphics has provided FloEFDTM (3D fluid flow, heat transfer analysis package).

For additional information contact Dr. Ralph K. Coppola, Real World Design Challenge Director at rcoppola@ptc.com. To register a team or to sign up as a mentor go to the Real World Design Challenge website www.realworlddesignchallenge.org. The deadline for teams to register for the Real World Design Challenge is November 18, 2011. The solution submissions are due February 6, 2012.