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Mems University Alliance


UA - Frequently Asked Questions

Program information

Licensing and cost

Technical requirements

Design Rule Checker

Program information

Where are the two Sandia Short Courses held?
The Sandia Short Courses are conducted in Albuquerque, NM, at Sandia National Labs on Kirtland Air Force Base.

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How often are the Sandia Short Courses held per year?
The Sandia Short Courses are offered once a year, typically in the summer. Visit the SAMPLES™ web site for additional course information.

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May we have more than one attendee at the Sandia Short Courses?
Teaching institutions are welcome to enroll more than one person in the Sandia Short Courses (space being available). The UA program, however, only supports the cost of training one Superuser. There will be an additional charge for more than one attendee.

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Must the teaching institution be a University?
No. Any accredited, degree-granting academic institution located in the 50 United States teaching term-long courses could qualify.

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Can the course taught by the teaching institution include other software and other teaching materials beyond Sandia's SUMMiT™ tools and material?
Absolutely. The UA Program is designed to supplement a MEMS teaching curriculum. The MEMS design and visualization tools must, however, be a primary tool used in the course.

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What is the best way for my "SuperUser" to communicate with Sandia to have questions answered?
Questions should be addressed to the Design Realization Team by the University SuperUser. Contact information for the Design Realization Team will be provided during the Short Courses or can be obtained from your initial Sandia POC. Contact information for the Design Realization Team is also available in your design rule software.

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What kind of work load or impact on my time can I expect as a University Super User?
The first semester the workload of the Super User is higher than the following semesters as the Super User is learning the system. Depending on the teaching institutions Computer Services, the Super User's or computer technician's time for loading the software on the computers can range from 10-20 hours. The Super User is responsible for answering any questions the faculty or students have. Some of this may be offloaded depending on the availability and training of Graduate Research Assistants. If the Super User is the teaching professor, some of these questions can be answered during class time. A Super User can expect to spend between 25-40 hours per semester (depending on resources) acting as the role of Super User. (This information is based off current Super User interviews)

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Is the software made available through the University Alliance a layout tool with visualization capabilities only or does it include some form of FEM/BEM modeling capabilities?
The software tools provided as part of the university alliance include the AutoCAD based layout tool for SUMMiT, the associated 2D and 3D visualizers and the 3D modeler.

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Do participating schools get a discount on SUMMiT runs if they join this program?
There is currently no discount on SUMMiT runs for university alliance members, but if they are in the top finishers in the design contest, they get their design fabricated for free. In addition, all participating schools will receive MEMS parts.

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Licensing and cost

How many students can access the software each term?
Access can be remote or on-site for a total of 50 student seats per license. A minimum of one student must participate for credit each two-year cycle.

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After the completion of a Sandia Short Course, how do the students continue to have access to the design and visualization tools?
Following a formal course for credit, the license allows the software to remain on the teaching institution's computers for two years. An informal course — such as an independent study — might be an option for students to maintain access and receive credit for their work.

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When does the University Alliance License expire?
The license requires the teaching institution to teach at least one course every two years. The license expires after four years, but it will be terminated if the institution does not meet the requirements of the license.

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If we've already purchased a research license or attended one of the training, Sandia Short Courses, can we get a discount on the UA program?
The UA is currently a heavily discounted program and a tremendous value. It is unlikely that Sandia would apply a payment from a previous license or course toward the $5000 UAL fee. The requirements for a research license are significantly different from the UA requirements.

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Do I automatically get software updates?
Minor updates will be available at no cost. Sandia anticipates major upgrades every 18 to 24 months. The purchase of major upgrades would be optional and depend on the product offered.

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Who pays for the "Super-User" training at Sandia?
The cost of tuition is included in the licensing fee. Travel and expenses are at the school's expense.

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Can we mix versions of the design and visualization tools?
In general, Sandia does not recommend mixing versions of the tools due to the potential support issues. Version 2.2 was designed to be a replacement for version 2.1.

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How does a University get access to agile prototyping of designs?
Agile prototyping of SUMMiTV designs is available for $11.2K per module and SAMPLES lots are run several times per year. Occasionally there may be "promotional" opportunities that provide discounted or free access to fabrication or parts for University Alliance partners.

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Technical requirements

What kind of hardware and software do I need to run the design and visualization tools?
Minimum hardware requirements are the same as those required to run AutoCAD.

Recommendations

  • Greater CPU horsepower improves the performance of the visualization tools
  • A Nvidia graphics card

Requirements

  • AutoCAD2004 - 2007 (tested through version 2007)
  • A license for rights to Spatial software (available free to teaching institutions). You do not need to download the software; only registration is necessary. To register, visit the Spatial web site.

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Can the tools be installed on a server?
Yes, the tools can be installed on a Windows server and shared amongst all student users. This allows the tools to be managed from a single location. Each workstation must have a link to the shared directory and each user must have an AutoCAD profile configured to point to that directory.

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What kind of expertise will my school need to run these design and visualization tools?

  • AutoCAD operation and installation expertise
  • Windows Networking expertise (instruction for installing software will accompany the software tools)
  • Administrative access to computers

As part of the University Alliance Program, the institution will appoint one person as the school's "Superuser". This person will attend two multi-day Sandia training courses. The Superuser will also have access to Sandia's UA point of contact to answer questions when they arise.

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Can this software interface with standard MEMS modeling software such as Coventorware, ANSYS, etc?

You should be able to use the 3D modeler to generate an SAT file which can then be imported into another program such as Ansys.

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Design Rule Checker

How does the institution gain access to Sandia's Design Rule Checker (DRC)?
The software to access the DRC is provided on the MEMS Advanced Design CD. After receiving the software, the school's program administrator will request a secure ID from Sandia. The DRC is accessed remotely via a secure Internet connection. The preferred process is for students to use a shared account to submit designs.

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How do we keep the results of the Design Rule Checker pure, separating one student's results from another?
Students should submit uniquely named files to prevent design results from colliding.

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When does the DRC password expire?
Currently, passwords expire on an annual basis. For security reasons, passwords must be renewed each year.

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Contact MEMS at Sandia: memsinfo@sandia.gov



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