WMU News

Illinois engineering firm is newest BTR Park resident

Oct. 3, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- An advanced engineering firm that specializes in consulting, training and sales for the products of an internationally known virtual manufacturing software company will be the newest resident partner at Western Michigan University's Business Technology and Research Park.

NASCO Technologies Corp., which is based in Gurnee, Ill., will open a West Michigan office at the WMU park, where the firm also will operate a certified PTC Training Center. PTC (Parametric Technology Corporation NASDAQ: PMTC) is the world's largest producer of computer-aided design software used for product development. NASCO does engineering consulting and training in the fields of rapid prototyping, design optimization and virtual manufacturing, and the firm markets and provides service for products from PTC.

NASCO's new Kalamazoo office will employ a minimum of five employees and will be located in the Pro Line Tech Building, which was completed earlier this year. The multi-tenant facility already is home to the engineering firm Fishbeck Thompson, Carr & Huber Inc. NASCO's commitment to the BTR Park brings to 11 the number of firms that will reside in the new park. All are involved in one of the park's three focus areas--advanced engineering, life sciences or information technology.

NASCO President Victor Nassar, a former PTC employee, launched the firm in 1999 with a focus on training, consulting and providing service to PTC customers. In November 2001, he added PTC sales to his company's mission. NASCO employs 17 people and expects its 2003 income to top $6 million. Nassar says he anticipates a December 2002 move into the company's new Kalamazoo office.

"At NASCO Technologies we strive to deliver strategic technologies that transform businesses," Nassar says. "We are very excited to be a member of the BTR Park. Our relationship with Western Michigan University's faculty in addition to PTC will allow us to bring academic research and development in the field of advanced engineering, product development, product performance optimization, product lifecycle management and virtual manufacturing closer to our customers and their industries."

Nassar says he also believes the new relationship will accelerate his company's growth and maximize the quality of its solutions and services.

Dr. Michael Atkins, dean of WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, says NASCO's consulting and training initiatives dovetail perfectly with work being done in the college's engineering graphics program as well as with the design optimization focus of several engineering disciplines.

"Improving a design and making it easier to manufacture is what engineering is all about, and NASCO's work is a natural fit across the board, but it has particularly strong ties to our industrial and mechanical engineering programs," Atkins says.

Atkins notes that PTC software already is in use in WMU's engineering program and the college's work in developing software tutorial and instructional materials for students' use of that software will likely lead to collaboration with NASCO to refine and validate those materials and make them available to NASCO's client companies.

"This college has a history of working with technology-based organizations in this capacity, and this new partnership is a continuation of that commitment," Atkins says.

NASCO's new Kalamazoo office will be managed by Eric Boersma, a senior sales executive who has been with the firm since 2001. He is a 1997 alumnus of WMU.

The University's Business Technology and Research Park is located on its new 265-acre Parkview Campus, located just south of WMU's main campus in Kalamazoo. The park, which has been designated a Michigan SmartZone by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., is home to a growing number of high-tech firms as well as the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, a technology business accelerator. The Parkview Campus also will be home to an engineering complex that will house WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Paper Coating Pilot Plant for research. The college's new home is scheduled to open in 2003, while its paper coating research facility will open this fall.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400