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TMCNet:  National Instruments CEO donating $10 million to UT

[January 04, 2013]

National Instruments CEO donating $10 million to UT

Jan 04, 2013 (Austin American-Statesman - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- James Truchard, the president and CEO of Austin-based National Instruments Corp., has pledged to donate $10 million to the University of Texas over the next several years to help pay for its planned Engineering Education and Research Center.
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Truchard's gift is earmarked for a student project area that will be a centerpiece of the 430,000-square-foot building for the Cockrell School of Engineering. The National Instruments Student Project Center will include 23,000 square feet in which students can design and build robots, biomedical sensors, satellites and other devices.

"I have been to universities all over the world, and it became very apparent to me that UT lacked a central location where engineering students can innovate and collaborate -- a place where they can learn by doing," Truchard said in a statement.

Truchard earned bachelor's and master's degrees in physics, as well as a doctorate in electrical engineering, from UT. In 1976, he cofounded National Instruments while employed as managing director of acoustical measurements at UT's Applied Research Laboratories. National Instruments develops software and hardware that scientists and engineers use for designing measurement and control systems.

Engineering Dean Gregory L. Fenves said he is thrilled that Truchard shares the school's vision for expanding student opportunities for hand-on projects and for interdisciplinary research among faculty members.

The total cost of the new engineering building is $310 million. UT hopes to pay roughly a third of that from donations and the balance from state and university bonds.

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