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UTC School Of Engineering Building Rededicated, Technology Partnership With UConn Revitalized

by Jeff Jurgensmier

In 1987, the UTC School of Engineering building at the University of Connecticut was dedicated. The building was rededicated on Sept. 3rd with significant updates to the lobby highlighting UTC’s products and services. It was the culmination of a year-long effort led by Pratt & Whitney’s Engineering organization and joined by other UTC divisions.

“The collaboration between Pratt & Whitney, UTC and UConn helps us produce better products and improve the region. All of this helps us attract world-class experts to our faculty and students to our school. These partnerships also benefit the people of the state of Connecticut,” said UConn Provost Peter Nicholls.

monitor installed in the lobby now showcases informative videos about UTC’s history and businesses. A series of technical ads detail each UTC division’s top products. A trophy case filled with hardware from Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Sundstrand, as well as a quarter-scale cutaway model of the V2500 engine, provides the opportunity for engineering students to see UTC’s aerospace products up close.

“Today’s event is not only a rededication of the UTC Engineering building, but 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.

The improvements to the building are symbolic of the improvements that have been made in the long-term relationship between Pratt & Whitney and the UConn School of Engineering. For example, the BRIDGE Program, which awards annual scholarships to promising engineering students, has been revamped to include more mechanical engineering students. A Pratt & Whitney-endowed chair at the engineering school leads research projects to help the company’s module centers improve products and work processes. As part of the Senior Design Project, some engineering students in their final year at the university spend time working at Pratt & Whitney.

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

“Today is a significant milestone in improving our relationship with the UConn School of Engineering,” said Tom Prete, director, Engineering-Turbine Module Center, at the rededication ceremony at UConn. “UTC is based on innovation. We rely on talented engineering students from your university and others to help us solve technical challenges and to develop the next generation of products at United Technologies.”

Also present was Dave Carter, vice president of Engineering & Technology, Hamilton Sundstrand. Carter, who was vice president, Engineering-Module Centers, Pratt & Whitney, is now UTC’s focal point for the corporation’s relationship with UConn’s School of Engineering.

“The work celebrated here represents a tremendous amount of effort over many years,” said Al Brockett, vice president, Engineering-Module Centers. “A revitalized relationship with the UConn School of Engineering and other top universities is critical to helping Pratt & Whitney continue to find the engineering talent to develop more game-changing products like the PurePower PW1000G Geared Turbofan engine.”

Celebrating the rededication effort were (from left to right): Vito Moreno, Peter Nicholls (UConn provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs), Dan Eigenbrode, Alan Brockett, Suman Singha (UConn vice president for Research & Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School); Mun Choi (Dean, School of Engineering), Allan Zimmerman, Baki M. Cetegen (department head, Mechanical Engineering), Tom Prete, David (Ed) Crow, and Stephen Heath.

UConn engineering students examine a quarter-scale cutaway model of the V2500 engine.

A trophy case filled with hardware from Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Sundstrand provides the opportunity for engineering students to see UTC’s aerospace products up close.