February 23, 2009
Mike Francis named Chief Advanced Programs

Mike Francis named Chief Advanced Programs

EAST HARTFORD, Conn., Feb. 23, 2009 - United Technologies Research Center has named Mike Francis Chief Advanced Programs, effective Feb. 16, 2009.

Dr. Francis is internationally recognized as an expert in systems development and advanced aerospace technologies and has pioneered conceptualization, development and delivery of leading edge technology and advanced defense systems and capabilities to meet U.S. security challenges.

"Mike is a visionary who understands the power of systems thinking and integration, and he has an enviable track record of pioneering accomplishments in government and industry across a broad spectrum from fundamental research to international scale programs," said David Parekh, Vice President, Research, and Director, UTRC.

"His initial focus will be on developing capability and major programs in the area of intelligent systems and providing strategic support to Sikorsky in establishing a business and technology roadmap for autonomy," Parekh added.

Looking forward to his support of Sikorsky, Mark Miller, Vice President of Research and Engineering at Sikorsky, remarked, "Mike will serve as the senior technical advisor to Sikorsky in the area of autonomy and autonomy related technologies. Mike's high level objective will be to establish strategies and tactics to quickly advance Sikorsky to a position of technical and business strength in autonomy to ensure continued product relevance and to create new business opportunities."

Dr. Francis joins UTRC from General Atomics, San Diego, Calif., where he most recently served as Chief Operating Officer, Photonics Division, and Program Director of the HELLADS high energy laser program.

His extensive career highlights include two tenures at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), 1991-1996 and 2003-2006, as well as serving as Director, Technical Integration, at Lockheed Martin.

At DARPA, Dr. Francis was selected to serve as Director, Joint Unmanned Air Combat Systems (J-UCAS) Office, from 2003-2005, leading the most complex and aggressive system development program in the agency's history. He subsequently served as Special Assistant to the DARPA Director for Aeronautics prior to moving on to General Atomics.

He holds Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado and is a Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He also is a member of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

"I am absolutely delighted to have Mike join our team and know that he will provide key leadership as we seek to define new frontiers for UTC," Parekh added.

Founded in 1929, United Technologies Research Center provides advanced technologies, innovative thinking and disciplined research for industry leading customers in aerospace propulsion, building infrastructure and services, heating and air conditioning, fire and security systems and power generation. UTRC's customers include all UTC business units, as well as government agencies and independent organizations. Among its key research goals are sustainable technologies that positively impact the marketplace while conserving resources. UTRC is based in East Hartford, Conn., and operates an office in Shanghai, China.

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