No annual report


Proposal ID 2015-010
Submitted January 13, 2015
Department Mechanical Engineering
Category Remote Computing
Funding Status Fully Funded
Metric Score 4.04


  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Nicholas Paradis
  • Senior Computer Specialist
  • 206-616-1867
  • 352600
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Sue Chen
  • Administrator
  • 206-543-6835
  • 352600
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Michael Bragg
  • Dean of the College of Engineering
  • 206-543-1829
  • 352180



The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers computing resources that are widely used by undergraduate and graduate students in the Department, by College of Engineering students and by all students enrolled in the Department's general education offerings. In 2011, as part of an effort to offer specialized engineering software to students remotely in order that students would not need to visit our computer labs, STF funded the purchase of two Remote Desktop Servers. These servers have proven to be a big success and are very popular with students. After three years, the concept has proven itself and we would like to request the replacement of these servers which are now out of warranty and inadequate for the amount of users and type of software we support. With the more powerful array of servers requested, we will not only be able to provide a more reliable and quality service, but we also for the first time will be able to offer CAD software remotely because of recent advancements in operating system technologies and hardware that now allow use of graphics intensive software over remote connections. Remote access to CAD software such as Solidworks is an often requested service and with these new servers, we will finally be able to offer this to our students completely eliminating the need to visit our computer labs as long the student has a quality internet connection and personal computer.

Category Justification

REMOTE COMPUTING - This proposal is for a system that can accept simultaneous connections providing students with flexible location-independent access to computing services thus meeting the requirements for the Remote Computing category


An education and career in Engineering increasingly requires the use of several software packages that are expensive and often a challenge to install and operate. Also, these advanced software packages are often only available on the Microsoft Windows Operating System making access a further challenge for Mac and Linux users. To address this issue, Mechanical Engineering computer labs with department-purchased software have been a critical resource for our students. Using a computer lab, even those open 24/7, is often an inconvenience though, especially for those students who live off-campus. Remote Desktop servers provide access to all the software available in a computer lab from a student’s personal computer running any operating system wherever they happen to be, as long as they have a reliable and quality internet connection. Furthermore, with advances in software and hardware technologies, graphics intensive software such as Solidworks, that previously was inoperable over a remote connection, will finally be possible with this new hardware requested in this proposal.

Benefits to Students and the University

Over the course of any academic quarter, we have upwards of 300 engineering students access our Remote desktop servers and we expect that with the inclusion of Solidworks on the new Remote Desktop servers, that number could as much as double. Solidworks is an expensive and resource hungry program that is probably the most difficult of all software we offer for students to obtain and install on their own. This is why we expect that the inclusion of Solidworks on these servers will increase our user count substantially.

These servers will also help to alleviate the burden put on engineering students to own and operate a high performance computer that can easily power advanced engineering software needed for their education. With these new servers available, the device used for access need not be a high performance device. Because students will likely end up using the servers instead of their personal computers for these software packages, we expect the active user count to increase even further.

We expect that these servers will serve Engineering students for the next 3 to 5 years and be able to accommodate any new advances in technology during that time. Going forward, these servers will also serve as the “backend” to our computer labs eliminating the need to ever upgrade lab machines (often funded by STF) again beyond thin client devices which just serve as access points to the server.

Detailed access instructions for these servers will be found on the Mechanical Engineering website and in various ME Course syllabi. Mechanical Engineering IT will also be readily available in MEB 264 and by email/phone to assist students with access in order to make sure that those who desire to use these resources will be able to do so easily.

Departmental Endorsements

Providing easy access for students to our technology resources here in Mechanical Engineering is a top priority. Complex engineering software is expensive and a challenge to install and operate. And yet it remains an essential part to many aspects of an Engineering education. This new set of servers will help us achieve a greater degree of accessibility and convenience for our students in accessing the Engineering software that they need to complete their education. I am happy to endorse this proposal.
--Per Reinhall, Chair, Mechanical Engineering Department

In my classes (ME 331 Heat Transfer, ME425 HVAC, ME535 Numerical Methods) my students make extensive use of computer programs, particularly Matlab, SolidWorks, Comsol, and ANSYS. They work as individuals and in teams. During the last year they have reported to me that the current ME servers are often very slow and in particular it was necessary to move Comsol from the servers to individual computers in the ME Computer Lab. This was a major inconvenience for them, leading to delays in completing their assignments on time. It also made it difficult for me to help them since during office hours I could not log onto the server but had to accompany them to the computer lab. Even Matlab experienced some problems because the computations were lengthy and slow. Providing new and higher performing servers is necessary for me to expose the students to state-of-the-art commercial computer programs.
--Ashley Emery, Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Remote Desktop Servers that are up-to-date and powerful enough are an important resource for our students. Both our undergrad and grad students benefit tremendously from remote access to the software on our servers, which is too expensive for most students to buy individually, and is burdensome to use only in computer labs. Having the capacity to include Solidworks on our remote servers is something our students have been asking for, and will without a doubt be a heavily used resource. Proficiency with CAD programs such as Solidworks is an extremely in-demand skill, and I hope the STF committee will agree that encouraging its use will serve our students well after they complete their degrees.
-Michelle Hickner, Lab Engineer, Mechanical Engineering

Installation Timeline

The servers will be operational by the beginning of Winter quarter 2016. We will shoot for Fall 2015 but this may not be possible depending on how long it takes the vendor to assemble the new machines.

Resources Provided by Department

The Mechanical Engineering Department provides for the operation, maintenance, and security of the remote desktop servers out of its departmental budget. Notably, the Mechanical Engineering Department will pay the cost of co-locating these servers in UW-IT data centers which provide the enterprise class hosting environment needed.

Estimated Annual Mechanical Engineering Department Contribution:

$5,400 = Server Co-location in UW-IT Data Centers
$7,200 = Design and Engineering Software Licenses
$3,120 = Professional IT Support and Management (approximately 2 hours per week)

$16,220 = Total Annual ME Commitment

Access Restrictions (if any)

Priority access will be provided to all students registered in Mechanical Engineering courses. Access will also be generally available to all active students as capacity allows.

Student Endorsements

Throughout my time at the University of Washington, remote access to the mechanical engineering department's computing resources has truly been invaluable. Being able to use software at home that would have otherwise cost me thousands of dollars has really improved the quality of my learning. Proficiency in common suites such as SolidWorks, Matlab, and ANSYS - all programs that are industry standards - is a necessity for any new engineer looking for employment in today's engineering workforce. In particular, getting access to CAD software like SolidWorks on capable machines would be a game changer in the quantity and quality of my work.
--Nathan DeBoldt, Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering (Masters, 2015)

For the average mechanical engineering student, being able to remote to a department computer is a necessity. A lot of the times, students either don't have the software they need downloaded locally, or their machine is not powerful enough to run highly computational software such as FEA, CFD and other engineering computational software. With so many students utilizing remote computing, the mechanical engineering department could use new supplies such as the Dell Poweredge R730 server.
--Zach Stoddard, Senior, Mechanical Engineering

I am a fourth year PhD student and I use computer programs such as SolidWorks and ANSYS in my field of research on a daily basis. The mentioned software licence are expensive, and we are persuaded to use the department's computer lab in order to access these programs. Having access through remote desktop connection will enable me to get more done, especially on the days that I am not able to be physically present on campus (weekends). Therefore, funding from STF can help me and many other graduate students to benefit from having an easy access to many important softwares in a more convenient fashion.
--Mahdi Ashrafi, Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering (PhD, 4th Year)

I use the ME remote desktop all the time. Just last week I was out of town, visiting family for Thanksgiving, I needed to finish calculations for a lab report that required MATLAB... but didn't have my computer! Luckily, for me, all I needed was to use my relatives computer to log onto the remote desktop and I had all my files, saved to my U: drive, and used the MATLAB on the remote desktop to finish my assignment on time! If the remote desktop had Solidworks I could have even worked on my designing my research project, but I couldn't. The UW ME department is excellent and requires the most advanced and up to date technologies and programs available. However, these programs are expensive and access is sometimes difficult if students cannot afford them or are not on campus. Adding more capabilities to the UW ME Remote Desktop will give us, students, better access to the tools we need to succeed in the mechanical engineering program.
--Mark Enslow, Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering

As a senior in the mechanical engineering department, I have used the Remote Desktop to gain access to vital engineering software to complete homework and projects when not on campus. While convenient, having to do this extends the amount of time it takes to do certain tasks because of how slow it is. Improving the performance of the servers will ensure tasks are completed quickly so that I am able to accomplish and learn more. Also, adding access to Solidworks would greatly improve the usability of the servers. Right now, I have to email myself files of 3D CAD models to use in the Finite Elements Analysis software, Ansys. This is a very slow process and does not allow me to update the 3D CAD model to re-analyze use Ansys. If the servers allowed direct access to Solidworks, the servers could be more efficiently used by ME 478 (Finite Elements Analysis) and clubs such as the Formula SAE team.
--Ryan Wolfe, Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Remote computing has been an invaluable tool while making my way through the Mechanical Engineering curriculum. The ability to remotely access a server with powerful engineering tools, such as Matlab, has allowed me to continue my education and school work even when at home and away with family. The addition of Solidworks to the ME remote servers would open up the possibility to practice CAD and utilize the current license of ANSYS finite element analysis tool to all the students in the ME program and prepare students for industry standard work. The bottom line: UW would educate even better engineers that companies in the industry would find attractive and ready to perform.
--Zachary Piercy, Senior, Mechanical Engineering

I believe the Remote Desktop Server is one of the most valuable resources provided to students. The ability to use comsol and other CFD programs on a separate server allows my home computer/ laptop to run optimally. I really like that Matlab is also on the server, and I can access all my U drive files. The ability to have Solidworks on the remote desktop would be AMAZING! Downloading Solidworks onto a personal computer takes up a lot of space. If this solidworks was added I know that many students would utilize this. Thanks you for trying to improve what I believe is one of our most valuable resources,
--Garrett Allawatt, Graduate Researcher, Mechanical Engineering

Remote access to programs like Solidworks would improve the quality of life for UW's COE students: It's not practical to expect students to purchase a student license for software they may only use for 1 class, therefore providing the software is essential. Considering the [many] number of people who use the software, and the [limited] number of desktops available to access the software, it's obvious that there is a need for greater access. And let's face it, trucking up to the ME building in the middle of the night, when you *finally* have time to work on the assignment, is annoying and sometimes even impractical - the computer lab isn't as comfortable as a home/couch, food is not close by, and you don't want to be walking around campus so late alone! And think about the number of students who don't even live close enough to take advantage of the computer lab when they are doing their homework? Making this software (and other important software) available through the remote desktop servers will also level the playing field - in that students who can't afford their own license will still have home access to the software - and what school doesn't want to level the playing field for all of their students Obviously this enhancement will definitely increases a student's quality of life!
--Becki Neel, Senior, Mechanical Engineering

I use the remote desktop servers to access programs like ANSYS that aren't installed on the computers in the ME lab, but are available through the remote desktop servers. While student packages for programs like ANSYS and MatLab are cheaper than non-student packages, accessing those programs through the remote desktop servers is a much more attractive option than buying packages that will likely be out of date within a year and setting them up on my own computer. As a TA for ME123, I've worked through installing SolidWorks on my computer a couple of times, which is an especial pain because it means I'm running Windows on my Mac. I actually don't have the current version of SolidWorks on my own computer this year because it's so time-consuming to install. I've also seen students come in with various issues installing SolidWorks on their own computers (of all types, not just Macs), and I've been asked several times whether SolidWorks is available through the remote desktop servers. The remote desktop servers are a valued resource in our department, and students would especially welcome the expansion of this resource to offer SolidWorks.
--Rachel Murphy, Senior, Mechanical Engineering

I would like to show my support for the proposed upgrade of the Remote Desktop Servers in the Mechanical Engineering Department. Although I have only been a student (Masters program) here for just over a year I have used the Remote Desktop frequently. Having the ability to remotely access programs such as MATLAB has saved me a ton of time and headache when working on homework, which requires the use of this program, as well as made it easy for me to take advantage of these programs for research related work when I'm not in my lab. Such a great resource! Access to Solidworks through this system would also be a huge plus. I have been fortunate enough to be doing side work for a company which let's me access their license through a VPN. As a result I do have access to Solidworks from home. However, if I didn't have this ability (and most students don't) I would certainly be looking to forward to seeing this option become a reality on the ME Department Remote Desktop system.
--Jonathan Schreven, Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering

As a student who does not live on campus, access via remote desktop to software that is only available in campus labs is invaluable. The ability to spend long hours needed for research via remote desktop is far superior to sitting in a campus lab, not to mention that sitting in a campus lab for research purposes should be completely obsolete with the technology available today. Labs are conducive for instruction, not productive work.
--Jeffrey A. Daniels, Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering

As a distance-learning graduate in the ME program, the Remote Desktop capability is indispensable. I have been able to participate in finite element analysis education as a result of ANSYS being available to me off-campus via Remote Desktop. As an undergraduate in the ME program, the Remote Desktop capability was still an essential resource for completing assignments and labs involving ANSYS. While I could also access this program from the computer labs in the ME building, there are not enough computers for all students at all times. The Remote Desktop option eliminated the stress from that learning. Overcrowding in the computer labs was always a problem for projects involving SolidWorks. I really wished that SolidWorks was available via Remote Desktop when it came close to a due date for a CAD project and no computers were available for my team to use in the lab.
-- Samantha Williams, Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering

The Remote Desktop servers are important to me because the majority of my thesis work is done in OpenSim, and the Remote Desktop is the only efficient way for me to use the program. Simulations take about twice as long if I have to run them from my personal computer, and none of the lab computers have OpenSim. It's great to be able to access it from anywhere. My research also includes designing a prosthetic and Solidworks will play an important role in that phase of my work. If it were added to the Remote Desktop where I could use it alongside OpenSim that would be great!
--Andrea Willson, , Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering

My name is Adrian Junus, a senior undergrad in Mechanical Engineering. The Remote Desktop servers have been invaluable to my learning. It makes expensive and large programs easy to access, which saves me time and money, which is an amazing privilege to have as a student. Improvement would make this tool even more valuable. In regard to SolidWorks, this program I use more than any other. It is slow to run on my dual booted Mac. If this were to be available via RD, this would save many a trip to the computer lab, coming from my off-campus living spot. I strongly support making improvements to the Remote Desktop servers.
--Adrian Junus, Senior, Mechanical Engineering

The remote desktop server has been essential to being able to complete homework and be able to to check answers with mathematica and matlab. This was my first quarter at UW, and I wouldn't have been able to perform as well had the remote desktop servers been available. Especially it keeps me from having to make sure to have a specific computer with me all the time with the correct license files that cost extra money on an already tight budget and allows me flexibility to work from school or home when I have responsibilities to be with my family and can't be at school to use a computer lab. The more powerful these resources can be, the more efficient I can be as a student. With the availability of CAD software a new level of flexibility to studies and research that weren't possible before.
--Kurt Sansom, Graduate, Mechanical Engineering

Having done work with ANSYS on the Mechanical Engineering remote desktop server myself, I can realize the importance of having a powerful functional server accessible for students. With the Dell Poweredge R730 server, our students will have access to much more computing power and speed, increasing both our learning ability as well as our real-world experience with software only available on the server. It is clear that the mechanical engineering department will greatly benefit from this increased computational ability.
--Mark Subbotin, Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

As a member of Washington's FSAE manufacturing team, I frequently need to use engineering programs to perform my duties and collaborate with other team members. Unfortunately, by current situation does not afford me the luxury of being able to run many of these programs on my own computer. Expansion of the remote desktop program would be a huge benefit to somebody like myself, as I would be able to work from my dorm or a library without having to go into a lab every time something needs to be done.
--Sage Van Tilburg, Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

The ability to remote to a department computer drastically increases the effectiveness and learning ability of a Mechanical Engineering Student. Factors such as software restrictions and powerful hardware specifications for CAD and computational software restricts a student's learning ability on their personal computer. Therefore, an upgrade to the current remote desktop servers would be extremely beneficial for the department and the student's ability to utilize these resources.
--Kevin Luo, Undegraduate, Mechanical Engineering

The addition of the Dell Poweredge R730 server would allow more students to have access to highly applicable engineering software. Many students do have the access to or the neccessary computing power on their personal computers to run FEA and CFD simulations. Access to these programs would give students a more enriching and comprehensive engineering experience.
--Ryan Scuderi, Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

Being able to remote in as a mechanical engineering student has shown to be vital in my own education. There have been several times where I have needed to run software that I do not have access to on my own local machine and being able to remote in has been a tremendous help. With how useful remoting is, several students have utilized it increasing the need for new supplies such as the Dell Poweredge R730 server to further enable this tool to be utilized.
--Alex Reid, Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

Many students in the mechanical engineering department do not own computers that are capable of running robust 3D modeling and simulation programs such as SolidWorks and ANSYS. These programs are crucial to allow students to complete assignments, work on research projects, and participate in engineering clubs like Formula SAE and EcoCar. The ME department currently provides remote desktop servers with access to these programs, but they are now several years old and unable to adequately service the increasing computing demands of the department user base. Upgrading the remote desktop servers to a new product such as the Dell Poweredge R730 would greatly improve the productivity of all ME students that use the servers frequently.
--Jason Granger, Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

For a many engineering students within the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the remote access tool allows students to run design work and simulations through the department's server. I have used the remote desktop many times before, and these upgrades would be a great addition to the department. In addition, the upgraded servers will affect everybody in the department. Not may endorsements have the scope and size that this one offers, and I highly recommend the STF committee to move forward with this one.
--Andrei Arevalo, Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

Access to the Remote Desktop servers provided by the Mechanical Engineering Department is an invaluable resource for students using advanced engineering software to further their studies. As the Aerodynamics Lead of the UW Formula Motorsports team I use software such as SolidWorks and ANSYS every day and I know first hand the importance of making it available to all students. This proposal would make that possible.
--Julian Powell, Sophmore, Mechanical Engineering

Personal computers with capabilities to run FEA programs and solidworks are very expensive and most students do not own one. Servers allow us to remote into the high performance computers available to us through the ME department. It is a great tool for students who need to use high performance computers who do not have access to them at home. The Dell Poweredge R730 server is a tool that will allow students to utilize this high performance computing.
--Jackson Parma, Senior, Mechanical Engineering

As more software is developed for engineering use, students face the demands of having to access and learn how to use numerous types of software to successfully meet the demands of the industry post-career. This software is often expensive and may only be needed for one class, forcing many students to weigh the pros and cons of obtaining it. The Remote Desktop Servers help students access this software without many of the hassles that may deter them. In addition, as a commuter, Remote Desktop Servers help increase my access to the ME department's software by removing the need to account for public transportation schedules and safety when using the department labs.
--Jenna Pang, Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

Students in the Mechanical Engineering department take on some of the most applied and complicated research topics available at the University of Washington. In order to complete such research projects, the students of the M.E. department need powerful tools to decrease design and solution time. As such, the M.E. remote desktop service is one of the most useful and widely available resources as it works independently of a persons personal computer. Rather than having a client computer running the process of an resource intensive program, the M.E. remote desktops run tasks separately from a clients computer. Consequently, tools that would not normally run on a students personal computer can run fast and efficiently on the M.E. remote desktop server. In addition, some software, even under academic licenses can be expensive and unaffordable for some students, thus, software not previously available can be used by students. This makes the remote desktop server an invaluable resource for all students in the department.
--Andrew Isola, Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

The need for the ability to remote into computer's for school work is useful, but when software and computing power requirements are reaching the levels they are in our university education personal computers just don't cut it. I've used remote desktop connections for various classes and seminars and would really appreciate still having that opportunity even as the demand for these connections rise. this can only be accomplished by increasing power to keep up with current standards.
--Robert Linton, Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

For the average mechanical engineering student, being able to remote to a department computer is a necessity. A lot of the times, students either don't have the software they need downloaded locally, or their machine is not powerful enough to run highly computational software such as FEA, CFD and other engineering computational software. I know for myself, I use the remote desktop to access ANSYS and HSMWorks to learn FEA and to learn how to use the CNC"s in the machine shop. With so many students utilizing remote computing, the mechanical engineering department could use new supplies such as the Dell Poweredge R730 server.
--Steven Bell, Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

From personal experience with the mechanical engineering department’s current remote desktop servers I can say that they are in need of an upgrade. The servers are an important resource for students to access more powerful computational power than their personal computers can provide. I personally have run FEA on the server and it did not save me a significant amount of time. Upgrading the computers would help ME students boost their efficiency and provide them with the resources they need to succeed in their classes and research. Being able to access Solidworks on the remote server would be very beneficial because software like Ansys utilizes Solidwork models to run analysis. Although it is possible to run Ansys on the servers without Solidworks on the computer it introduces another step into the process that ultimately hinders productivity.
--Bryan Lin, Junior, Mechanical Engineering

The ability to remote to a department computer has become an essential tool for many mechanical engineering students. Remoting allows a student to run software from anywhere that they may not be able to run on their personal computers. Much of the engineering software that a student needs to use requires a very powerful machine to run which can be difficult for students to obtain. Even if a student were to buy an expensive computer, they would still have to figure out how to install the several different kinds of software and licenses that are used in engineering. If the mechanical engineering department received new supplies such as the Dell Poweredge R730 server, students would be able to remote and use a powerful machine that can run Solidworks, FEA, CFD, or other engineering computational software smoothly. This eliminates the need for students to purchase expensive computers and go through the hassle of installing engineering software as well as allowing them to work from home if they are unable to make it to a computer lab.
--Amrit Puri, Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

As a student on FSAE, I often have to remote into the CAD lab computers for ANSYS, SolidWorks or HSMWorks. And speaking from experience, I'm only one of many. Nearly every person I've talked to, whether it's Jeff Weng, Steven Bell or Andrei, have all needed to remote into a computer for ANSYS or HSMWorks. That being said, since more and more individuals are utilizing remote computing, larger servers are required to keep up with the server demand in order to maintain reliable server connection and service
--Alex Liu, Sophomore, Mechanical Engineering

Remote desktop access is an essential tool for students working with software that has complex licensing requirements, which they may not be able to install or use on their own computers. I have made extensive use of the remote desktop services to use the ANSYS engineering simulation software suite, which I cannot run on my own computer. Expanding the computing power and software selection available to students will significantly improve the ability of students to access software that would otherwise be unavailable due to licensing restrictions or operating system incompatibility.
--Sam Crow, Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

Having the ability to remote into a department computer has been very useful to me. I currently own an old laptop with limited hard drive space and RAM which often struggles to run programs such as Solidworks and other CAD software. If the department is able to upgrade their servers, then I could sidestep struggling with my laptop, work directly on the servers, and be far more productive in my day-to-day work. There have also been a few times where I was unable to work with my laptop, or where my laptop crashed while I was running up against a deadline. Being to remote in and access CAD software would be highly useful, since I would no longer need to reinstall programs like Solidworks or Ansys on a new laptop and could resume work much more quickly.
--Michael Lee, Undergraduate, Mechanical Engineering

Undoubtedly, the remote desktop for ME student is definitely a must-have for achieving higher educational goals. Even though I am not an ME student, but as an EE major, I personally benefit a lot from the Microsoft Remote Desktop provided by EE department. I believe, the remote desktop that has most of the software useful to an engineering student is necessary, not only because it will largely improve the learning quality of a student, but also allows more working flexibility, which will for sure improve the working efficiency of a student.
--Jingyi Yang, Undergraduate, Electrical Engineering

With most of the busy engineering students at the UW, Dell Poweredge R730 Servers would allow the mechanical engineering students to remotely access the they need where ever they are. This option is extremely valuable to students how have experienced or experience difficulties obtaining CAD and other computing software on there personal devices. These new servers will be faster and more reliable than our current ones and allow students more flexibility and reliability when working with computational programs. I really would like to have newer, better, and faster remote servers for our ME department.
--Daniel Castronovo, Sophomore, Mechanical Engineering

My name is Hannah Ross, and I am a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering. I just joined the UW community and have been very pleased so far with the resources available to students here. I come from a much smaller school, and I was especially impressed by the ease of access to a wide range of software and computing resources both campus-wide and in the ME department specifically. Unfortunately, access to some of this software, specifically CAD software such as SolidWorks, is limited to on-campus computers, as the ME department's remote desktop servers are not able to handle graphics intensive software. My graduate research involves resolving the energy budget around cross-flow tidal turbines, and I am planning to work on a new turbine design over winter break. However, I do not have access to SolidWorks on my personal computer. Having remote access to the ME department SolidWorks licenses would easily resolve this issue and enable me to make progress on important design work. I am fully supportive of the ME Department's purchase of new remote desktop servers and thank you for your consideration of this proposal.
--Hannah Ross, Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering

"As an owner of a Mac computer, I rely on my access to the ME Remote Desktop servers for certain Windows-only software. And having the ability to remotely access all of the software I need for my classes is extremely convenient. But I'm most excited about the potential access to Solidworks. Learning how to use CAD software is critically important to an ME student, but the programs are expensive and require powerful computers to run efficiently. Providing this software to students remotely is a great way to avoid both of these issues. I expect to be a heavy user of these new Remote Desktop servers and I can't wait for them to come online."
--Colin Bateson, Graduate Mechanical Engineering


Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal

Dell Poweredge R730 Server w/ Nvidia Grid K1 GPU

$16,250.00 6 $97,500.00


Regarding choice of Dell over CDW as the vendor, there is no significant price difference in buying this type of server from Dell rather than buying from CDW-G. Additionally with Dell, more specific customization is possible enabling a higher value for the money spent. Also, the product and customer support is arguably of higher quality with Dell.

Sales Tax

$9,262.50 1 $9,262.50


Total requested: $106,762.50

Total funded: $106,762.50

Group Funded Item Change in Unit price Change in Quantity Change in Subtotal

Storage Server

$6,289.15 1 $6,289.15


Sales Tax for Storage Server

$603.76 1 $603.76


Supplemental request: $6,892.91

Deicision: Funded

Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal

Dell Poweredge R730 Server w/ Nvidia Grid K1 GPU

$16,250.00 6 $97,500.00


Regarding choice of Dell over CDW as the vendor, there is no significant price difference in buying this type of server from Dell rather than buying from CDW-G. Additionally with Dell, more specific customization is possible enabling a higher value for the money spent. Also, the product and customer support is arguably of higher quality with Dell.

Sales Tax

$9,262.50 1 $9,262.50


Storage Server

$6,289.15 1 $6,289.15


Sales Tax for Storage Server

$603.76 1 $603.76


Overall total funded: $113,655.41


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