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How To Obtain Software Support For Academicians – OpEd


Let’s say you enrolled in a Master’s (M.Sc.) or PhD (PhD.) Program at a university, and the required courses are over. Now it is time to the stage of writing the thesis. Your supervisor has given you the subject of a thermal power plant design for the proper use of domestic coal. This topic does not necessarily have to be thermal. Solar, wind, hydro renewable energy issues can also be considered. You will make a new design. You don’t have to do this with a simple calculator. Even modeling in Windows Excel requires a very long time. Many years ago, your author was able to design an industrial steam boiler in four months with simple calculator. Now with the appropriate software, it is completed in seconds.

Do you need foreign software for a PhD (Ph.D.) thesis? “Theses must be original”, you might think. You can even say “Students need the software to do the dissertation themselves”. If there is an advanced software program for a thesis, it shouldn’t be a simple method of application and let alone a thesis. You may ask, “Isn’t research and development going that way?”

All this was left in the past. Most commercial softwares began as a doctoral thesis study, and later developed commercially. It is no longer necessary to start the work of 20-30 years ago from scratch. There is no point in producing everything from the beginning. Doing the same software can not be the subject of the thesis. You cannot produce a software program that has been developed for 20-30 years in a short time. It’s not easy to collect business/market information. There is no point in reproducing the ready-made program, we need to buy it and go further. We need to reach more recent results.

You’ve entered Google. You typed “Thermal Power Plants Design Software” and asked for a suitable software. There are many option available. Commercial software is expensive. Prices vary between 1-YEAR or long-term, ranging between 10K-60K US Dollars or Euros. Commercial software is a product that cannot be paid by a student budget just like a truck/ commercial car that only a company can buy. A company can buy thousands of trucks, but a single person is quite forced to buy a truck.

Demo is requested, it comes as a link, you have downloaded on your computer from the internet, you run the demo, but the parameters are locked, the software does not allow any parameter change. So the capacity figure is fixed, the fuel is fixed, the environment is fixed.
You understand how the software works, but there is no special use. Software companies say, “we send demo via internet link, any demo user who runs the demo software, can use this software in every condition”.

Then you may ask, “Is there any academic version of this software?” There are academic versions of the software, but not free. Software companies have placed symbolic prices for these academic versions. For example 100-1000 US Dollars or Euro. They just expect the serious user to apply.

Why do software companies give the software to academicians a car or truck price at a very cheap figure? They let the academician to learn the software in the academic program, then in commercial life when they need then to come again, you get the commercial version for your company. They invest in the future. It is very normal for American software developers to provide software for academic use. They want all students to learn this software at school and after graduation their companies pay the full price at the workplace. Students of the same program can pay very low prices.

Academic versions have an important common requirement. When you write a PhD thesis or referee-controlled academic paper, you will write the name of the software company at the end of the bibliography. The technical software to this article will appear there that it supports, it will be cited. The paper will work as the introduction of the software. An extremely normal acceptable request.

If the price of 1-YEAR use of academic software is US $ 100 or Euro, you will not worry, you will find money from a place and you pay. But most of the time the price can be $ 1000 or more. You ask your supervisor. Your supervisor talks about funds that support scientific research on this subject. We have them everywhere. If you collect the necessary documents, you can find money for the software.

Every university seeks and provides scientific funding for such academic research. You will be applying for scientific research at your university. In international markets, you choose one of the many software that suits your doctoral subject.

You ask an invoice from the software company.

The software is being sent in a USB stick or CD. There’s a bill on the package. This bill is likely to be over US $ 50-75. Customs application takes customs duties for any goods that are priced over $ 50-75 US dollars. For software, this ratio is around 20-25%. Not a small money.

If you want a second bill of less than $ 50- $ 75 from the North American or Western European software company, you will get a harsh negative response. Because they should put the same price as the price on the software package. It is very easy to make the invoice check of American or European supervisory agencies in an incredible computer and internet environment and the equivalence of the company bank accounts. That is a major crime, which puts serious money and imprisonment charges in the exchange of fake bills.

If you ask an crook East Asian / Far Eastern software, they don’t have. They have all kinds of crack-broken software, USB or CD. They give the bill in any number, but they don’t have the original version design software.

On the other hand, western universities have government incentives to purchase software in Western European academic environments. There is no customs duty during the purchase of software in the academic version in France, Germany, Britain, Spain, Italy or even in Russia. Since all kinds of incentives are abused in our environment, the our lawmaker has stipulated the customs duty. You pay the tax, and you receive the package. Another solution is to buy such software with help of your friend abroad, then you wait for him to come to your country with the software package to be accompanied.

If you can participate in a post-doc research scholarship abroad, you can buy it there. These are normally acceptable conditions. In the future, all demo software will be sent via internet via the link, and there won’t be any customs procedures because the material isn’t material like a USB stick or CD.

In Turkey, METU, Gazi, ITU, Bogazici, Dumlupinar, Marmara, Yeditepe universities have asked, purchased, used and run foreign software in their scientific research theses.

If you have similar experience, write to us, let us share,

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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