Pratt & Whitney Establishes Engineering Center of Excellence at the University of Connecticut

By Jeff Jurgensmier

EAST HARTFORD, Conn., Feb. 17, 2010 — Pratt & Whitney has established a Center of Excellence at the University of Connecticut (UConn) School of Engineering for research in the field of aviation propulsion systems. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.

pratt whitney photoPratt & Whitney will work with UConn on fundamental and applied research initiatives that support the design and development of more efficient gas turbine engines. The university’s primary focus will be research in the in the field of advanced sensors, diagnostics, and controls for use in commercial and military aircraft propulsion systems.

“We are very excited about the addition of the University of Connecticut as one of our University Centers of Excellence. This is a great opportunity to expand our longstanding working relationship with the UConn School of Engineering. Pratt & Whitney is committed to differentiating our products through investment in fundamental research and development of new technologies. UConn has solid technical capabilities that complement our growing research needs,” said Paul Adams, senior vice president, Pratt & Whitney Engineering. “We have thousands of engineers in Connecticut, including many UConn graduates. This partnership allows us to bring their expertise to the next generation of engineers in a way that complements traditional studies.”

“Establishing the Center of Excellence is the opening of a new chapter in the long-term partnership in research, education and outreach between UTC and UConn Engineering,” said Baki Cetegen, head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the UConn School of Engineering.

“The collaboration between Pratt & Whitney and UConn helps us attract world-class experts to our faculty and students to our school and provides companies like Pratt & Whitney with talented engineers. These partnerships also benefit the people of the state of Connecticut,” said UConn Provost Peter Nicholls.

“We think this is going to be the beginning of an important relationship with Pratt & Whitney. With renewed emphasis on collaboration, we can make this relationship even more successful. In the end, we want to be a technical resource for key industries in this state,” said Mun Choi, dean of the UConn School of Engineering.

The agreement is indicative of the improvements that have been made in the long-term relationship between Pratt & Whitney and the UConn School of Engineering. For example, a Pratt & Whitney-endowed chair at the UConn School of Engineering leads research projects to help the company’s manufacturing operations improve products and processes. The BRIDGE Program, which awards annual scholarships to promising engineering students, has been revamped to include more mechanical engineering students and some engineering students in their final year at UConn spend time working at Pratt & Whitney.

“Pratt & Whitney’s commitment here represents a tremendous amount of effort over many years. Our relationship with the UConn School of Engineering is critical to helping Pratt & Whitney continue to find the engineering talent to develop more game-changing products like our award-winning PurePower® PW1000G Geared Turbofan™ engine,” added Al Brockett, vice president, Pratt & Whitney Engineering-Module Centers.

The University of Connecticut was founded in 1881 and is the top-ranked public university in New England. UConn’s School of Engineering was founded in 1901 and is home to five departments, 110 full-time faculty members and more than 2,300 graduate and undergraduate students.”

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and commercial building industries.

Categories: Aerospace, award