EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut – In June of 2018, United Technologies Research Center hosted Chris Fall, Deputy Director, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and Sonja Glavaski, Program Director at ARPA-E to discuss the mission and vision of their organization as it relates to UTC and its business units.
ARPA-E promotes the research and development of high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that need to mature before rolling out to their greater respective industries. Its portfolio includes many technologies that UTC researches and the two institutions often work concurrently.
"Coming to UTRC made it immediately apparent that we have a lot in common, not only because of the projects we work on together, but because we are very similar organizations," said Fall. "We focus on solving the same problems and we’re both working with the same top tier of talent."
During the presentation, Fall and Glavaski focused on several key research projects for ARPA-E that explored topics such as electrical aviation propulsion, autonomous industrial operations and improved power grid efficiency. Glavaski also discussed the importance of constantly asking the question, "If it works, will it matter?"
While many of its projects exist in tandem with Research Center priorities, ARPA-E's work in electric aviation is particularly relevant to UTC due to the commitment to research hybrid electric propulsion within UTC's newly founded Advanced Projects organization.
With this and other innovations in mind Glavaski made it clear during her presentation that in order to improve technology and quality of life, researchers should not focus on improving existing technology but also think strategically about what is to come.
Prior to joining ARPA-E, Fall served as acting chief scientist and lead for the Research Division at the Office of Naval Research. Fall earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree from Northwestern University.
Sonja Glavaski is no stranger to UTC as she served as Control Systems Group Leader at the Research Center prior to joining ARPA-E. During her tenure at the company, she made significant technical contributions to UTC's world-class product portfolio by advancing new knowledge and technology in the area of control and intelligent systems. Glavaski received her Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology.