COFES Education Award

The winner of the first COFES Education Award is Adrian Salvador. He and runners-up Maryam Khorshidi and Danny Oliden participated in COFES 2012 as interns.

A 200+ page catalog of the micrometers shown at COFES, with text by Peter Marks, is available here:

Significant scholarship to partially fund college tuition for a top student in the field of architecture, engineering, or manufacturing

Qualified college and graduate students are invited to apply for the COFES Education Award. The value of the scholarship is expected to be in excess of $20,000.

The scholarship is made possible by Peter Marks through his donation of his collection of micrometers. It is the intent of the scholarship to involve the recipient in converting that gift into cash for tuition.

Peter Marks, an influential adviser to the engineering software community, has been a major part of the history of COFES (the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software) held each April in Scottsdale. Peter has donated his collection of more than 700 micrometers to fund this unique scholarship. The estimated value of these micrometers is over $20,000. Peter has written a catalog, An incomplete compendium of micrometers and their makers, in which each micrometer is described. The micrometers themselves have each been individually packaged along with a signed tag describing the micrometer.

The catalog was distributed prior to COFES 2012 and at COFES, most were offered for sale. A few were offered at COFES in a silent auction. Funds from the sale and auction were given to the scholarship recipient to be used expressly for college tuition and room and board.


In order to maximize the value of scholarship, the scholarship recipient must participate as follows1: 

1. Photograph the micrometers for the catalog. The micrometers are located in Scottsdale. After the award of the scholarship, the recipient must begin photographing the micrometers for the catalog. In order to maximize the potential, the photography must be completed prior to the end of December. A light table will be provided for this purpose. This is approximately a 30-60 hour commitment.

2. Put the images in the catalog. The scholarship recipient will receive the catalog in a form ready to accept the photographs. The recipient must select the best set of photos representing each micrometer and position the images near the description. This is approximately a 6 to 15 hour commitment. COFES will distribute the catalog to all 250+ COFES attendees in January. These are leaders in the future of engineering software and include many executives and founders of the modern CAD/PLM/BIM industry. In addition, COFES will publicize the catalog to the broader interested communities.

3. Participate in the display and sale of the micrometers at COFES 2012. The scholarship recipient will take responsibility for the micrometers during COFES 2012. COFES 2012 takes place April 12-15 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort. The scholarship recipient will assist COFES with the “sales” to attendees during the event. The micrometers will be displayed on tables in a room specifically set up for this purpose. (Each micrometer has been labeled with a suggested value.) The entire proceeds from these sales will be sent to the scholarship recipient’s school to cover a portion of the scholarship recipient’s tuition.

During COFES, and by managing this effort, the scholarship recipient will meet the leaders in the engineering software field and be able to attend sessions (when the display room is closed). Attendees normally pay more than $2,500 to attend COFES. The value of the scholarship’s recipient’s participation in COFES is significant. The scholarship recipient will be attending the event and will be provided with shared housing2 at the resort during the event. Time commitment is four long days, April 11 to 14.
4. Sell remaining micrometers. Any micrometers remaining after COFES will be taken by the scholarship recipient, to be sold as the scholarship recipient sees fit, most likely on eBay or Craig’s list. Again, the total proceeds realized go to the scholarship, 100%3.

This scholarship is open to college and graduate students in the fields of manufacturing, engineering, or architecture, who have not yet entered their final year of study. To be chosen for this unique scholarship, you must be recommended by your professor and commit to the four steps outlined above. Given the timing of this year’s award and the need to physically access the micrometers for photography, only candidates with easy access to the Scottsdale area will be considered. Candidates will be evaluated based on recommendation of professor, interest in engineering software, skill in photography and page layout and enthusiasm for this project.

To apply for this scholarship: send us an email about your interest and contact information for your recommending professor to: Professor David Ullman,

The selection committee consists of:

David Ullman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, retired, Oregon State University
Brad Holtz, President & CEO, Cyon Research Corporation
Dick Morley, Inventor

Applications closed on November 15 2011

1 In other words, the beneficiary of this gift needs to put in a little effort to realize the cash and the better the effort, the more cash realized.

2 Shared with other COFES Interns.

3 There may be tax consequences to the recipient if the proceeds are used for anything other than tuition. This will be the responsibility of the recipient.