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UTC invests in UConn systems engineering

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The UConn School of Engineering at Storrs has partnered with United Technologies Corp., the parent company to Stratford-based Sikorsky, to launch the UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering at UConn, the result of a multimillion-dollar planned investment from UTC.

The $7.5 million contribution is one of the largest corporate gifts in UConn’s history and, according to the two parties, “represents a significant investment in educating the next generation of engineering leaders.” UTC is headquartered in Hartford.

Systems engineering focuses on the interactions between technological systems and components to make products more efficient and reliable, with greater capabilities and at a lower cost. “As we look to the future, this expertise will be crucial for engineers who want to design and create the most advanced products and solutions,” UConn and UTC said in a joint press release.

“We are excited to work with UConn to develop the next generation of engineers who understand how to approach complex systems,” said J. Michael McQuade, UTC senior vice president for science and technology. “The institute will train the innovators and engineers of today and tomorrow, ensuring that we have the people and skills necessary to keep UTC at the forefront of technology.”

“The UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering will provide our students exciting opportunities for research and training in one of the fastest growing fields in engineering today,” said UConn President Susan Herbst. “This investment demonstrates UConn’s highly ambitious commitment to promoting education and research in critical disciplines across the board that will benefit our students and our state.”

In support of the institute’s launch, UTC will contribute $7.5 million over five years to UConn as a cash gift, with a goal for an additional $2.5 million to fund sponsored research related to advanced systems projects for UTC.

The plan aligns with the the goals of Next Generation Connecticut, a push to expand education, research and innovation in science, technology, engineering and math — the so-called STEM curriculum — across the next decade. “The Institute will establish capability and experience in advanced systems engineering, strengthening UConn’s reputation and impact in science and engineering,” the parties said.

“The need to produce high-quality products in a globally competitive economy is dramatically changing the way systems are designed, operationalized, and maintained,” said Krishna Pattipati, UConn’s UTC professor of systems engineering and the institute’s interim director. “A workforce highly trained in systems engineering can help reduce the cost of product development, speed delivery time and ensure high reliability of complex systems.”

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