Tuesday, January 23, 2024
By: Kyle Niblett
Less than three weeks after University of Florida President Ben Sasse announced $2.5 million in strategic funding to advance the field of Industrialized Construction Engineering (ICE), Autodesk announced Tuesday a $1.5 million gift to the UF College of Design, Construction and Planning and UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering to establish the world’s first-ever industrialized construction program.
Leaders from both colleges gasped just before lunchtime when Autodesk COO Steve Blum shocked the room with the surprise announcement. As an industry leader in changing how the world is designed and made, Autodesk pledged to provide all UF students and educators free access to their industry-leading software and technology. The goal is to strategically build a pipeline of skilled ICE laborers in the state of Florida.
Currently, Florida lacks the volume of skilled workers to implement industrialized construction. Thanks to Autodesk, students will have expert training and a deeper understanding of ICE. A game changer in tackling the housing crisis, both colleges will use this critical donation to learn how to reduce development costs by up to 50 percent while doubling the speed of traditional construction methods. This will allow future developers to build housing in closed and covered “factories.”
The transformative gift comes less than a year after Autodesk signed a $300,000 gift agreement to drive student success and innovate integration.