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Autodesk Helps Bridge Gap Between Education and Industry

3D Leader Partners With Nucor and Avatech Solutions to Introduce High-School Students to the World of Model Based Design

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK), in partnership with Nucor Detailing Center and Avatech Solutions, today announced NuBeginning, a program to address the diminishing supply of engineers by getting young students excited about the field as a career. NuBeginning is an initiative to bring learning opportunities in 3D model based design as well as 2D design and drafting to high-school students. Two high schools in Nebraska are the recipients of free Autodesk software and instruction provided by industry experts and educational consultants from Avatech Solutions.

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"Nucor Detailing Center recognized the lack of technical programs being offered in our area schools and the need to introduce our students to career opportunities in 3D and 2D design," says Cindy Morrow, Nucor Detailing Center supervisor. "With the help of Autodesk we were able to step forward and change this with the NuBeginning Program -- a way to enrich high-school students with the fundamentals of model based design and engineering."

Students will gain access to a computer-aided design (CAD) lab running the latest software from Autodesk. The software, Autodesk Design Academy, is a comprehensive pre-engineering, pre-architecture, and cross-discipline package developed specifically for secondary schools by experienced educators and technical experts. It meets national standards and provides classroom materials that ensure students master the fundamentals of the design process while learning to use the same Autodesk software that professionals use around the world. The Autodesk Design Academy package includes the latest and most progressive 3D model based software in the industry such as Autodesk Revit Building, Autodesk Building Systems, Autodesk Inventor Professional, Autodesk Civil 3D in addition to the industry leading design and drafting software AutoCAD and Autodesk Architectural Desktop. The Autodesk Design Academy also includes visualization software Autodesk VIZ and review and markup software Autodesk Design Review software and solutions.

The pilot session of NuBeginning, held at Battle Creek High School, has just concluded and the feedback from the administration, instructors and students has been overwhelmingly positive. "The students really enjoyed the class," adds Morrow. "Working with Autodesk Design Academy allowed them to have fun and see some quick accomplishments."

Beginning with project-based design processes and ending with the final team presentation, educators and students engage in real-world projects. The teachers ensure that students develop teamwork skills, while establishing a solid understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics principles that will serve them well in their future professions.

Nucor is one of the fastest growing steel companies in the world and will have many positions open in the next few years for drafters, engineers, metallurgists and others. Taking the NuBeginning program to local schools and exposing students to the software used by professionals is one way they're ensuring a highly skilled future workforce.

About Nucor

Nucor employs more than 900 people at its three Nebraska divisions, with Nucor Detailing Center providing drafting and other support services to Nucor divisions in Nebraska and across the United States. The three existing Nebraska divisions generated approximately $750 million in sales and recycled more than one million tons of steel last year. Nucor Steel-Nebraska was the first steel mill to be built in the state of Nebraska. The mill produces angles and rounds for Vulcraft and a variety of other customers.

About Avatech Solutions

Avatech Solutions, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: AVSO.OB) is the recognized leader in design and engineering technology with unparalleled expertise in design automation, data management and process optimization for the manufacturing, engineering, building design and facilities management markets. Headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland, the company specializes in consulting, software systems integration and implementation, standards development and deployment, education and technical support. Avatech is one of the largest integrators of Autodesk software worldwide and a leading provider of PLM solutions. The company's clients include industry leaders from Fortune 500 and Engineering News Record's Top 100 companies.

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc. is a Fortune 1000 company, wholly focused on ensuring that great ideas are turned into reality. With seven million users, Autodesk is the world's leading software and services company for the manufacturing, infrastructure, building, media and entertainment, and wireless data services fields. Autodesk's solutions help customers create, manage and share their data and digital assets more effectively. As a result, customers turn ideas into competitive advantage, become more productive, streamline project efficiency and maximize profits.

Founded in 1982, Autodesk is headquartered in San Rafael, California. For additional information about Autodesk, please visit

NOTE: Autodesk, AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Civil 3D, Inventor, and Revit are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

    Contact:   Carly Herrig  312.233.1356    Andrew Favreau  312.297.7587

SOURCE Autodesk, Inc. 11/01/2006

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3280 11/01/2006 08:30 EST