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Flying High

Nearly 30 students (right, with employees from Pratt and Whitney) will work on their major projects at Pratt & Whitney this year. Following a short hiatus, the collaboration between WPI and Pratt & Whitney has been re-established, thanks to the efforts of Michael Gonsor ’86, Justin Urban ’98, Robert Grelotti ’98, Ryan Walsh ’00, Dick Fair ’78, and Kimberly Sullivan ’92. In 1996, Professor Richard Sisson, head of the Materials Science and Engineering Program, developed research programs at the Learning Factory, a project center at United Technologies (Pratt’s parent company) in East Hartford, Conn. Previous student projects include developing a computer model that can predict how thermal barrier coating systems will be applied to turbine blades, improving the way blades are held during grinding, and devising better methods for holding the blade to improve management databases. (See “The Jet Set,” Transformations, Spring 2003.)

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