May 17, 2017
UTRC gift establishes power electronics fellowship at Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, Virginia - United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), the research and innovation arm of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), today announced a $250,000 gift to Virginia Tech to establish a five-year fellowship in power electronics within the College of Engineering. The fellowship will provide financial support to Ph.D. candidates and doctoral research students who are pursuing degrees within the power electronics field.

"Power electronics innovations are a key enabler for many of United Technologies' future products," said Dr. David Parekh, corporate vice president, Research, and director, UTRC. "Working with Virginia Tech provides us the opportunity to conduct research with some of the top faculty in this field and also to strengthen our pipeline for talent through collaborative projects between Virginia Tech graduate students and UTRC scientists and engineers."

"We are proud to partner with United Technologies Research Center," said Luke Lester, the department head of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. "The fellowship will provide graduate students the ability to pursue a hands-on, minds-on education at Virginia Tech and better prepare them for a career in a science, technology, engineering or math field, such as power electronics."

Niloofar Rashidi Mehrabadi is the first recipient of this prestigious fellowship. She is working toward a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, having already completed a master's in that subject at Virginia Tech. Mehrabadi's research, within the university's Center for Power Electronics Systems, seeks to improve the modeling framework used in manufacturing power conversion equipment for aerospace and other industrial applications.

"UTRC's generosity makes it possible for me to continue my research in modeling and design optimization of power electronic converters and systems," said Mehrabadi, who is exploring ways to better account for uncertainty within the modeling process. "I'm extremely grateful and excited to continue this promising work."

As the innovation hub of United Technologies Corp. (UTC), United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) supports the development of new technologies and capabilities across the company and collaborates with external research organizations, universities and government agencies globally to push the boundaries of science and technology. Further, UTRC leads the monetization of UTC's intellectual property through business model innovation. UTRC is headquartered in East Hartford, Connecticut, with additional operations at its affiliate in Berkeley, California, and its subsidiaries in Shanghai, China; Rome, Italy; and Cork, Ireland. UTC, based in Farmington, Connecticut, provides high technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries.

Contact: Laura Stevens, (860) 610-1653

Related link: Collaborating On The Future Of Flight: Virginia Tech And UTC Aerospace Systems Announce Research And Education Agreement (UTC Aerospace Systems)

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