MBH ARCHITECTURE Completes State-of-the-Art 3d Printing & Labs @ UTC Aerospace Systems
- February 26, 2016
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Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy cuts the ribbon during the opening of the Materials & Processing Engineering Lab in Windsor Locks on Feb. 25. Also on hand were (From left, Dave Carter, Dr. J. Michael McQuade, Lisa Szewczul, Geoff Hunt, Tom Pelland, Peter Smith, Mun Choi and Hamdi Kozlu.
Calling it an important investment in the growth of UTC and the state of Connecticut, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and employees helped write a new chapter in Windsor Locks’ site history on Thursday.
Malloy was joined by UTC and UTC Aerospace Systems leaders, state and local officials and some 100 employees who played major roles in making the new $8 million state-of-the-art Materials & Process Engineering (MPE) lab a reality.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment. The new marriage between Connecticut and UTC has been tremendous for the state,” said Malloy, who toured the lab with senior leadership before speaking to employees. “I asked a lot of questions in the labs and you can’t help but be very impressed by UTC Aerospace Systems’ investment.”
Lab capabilities include additive manufacturing (“3D printing”) to build metal and plastic engineering development parts, high-temperature composites lab to develop advanced composites for aircraft brakes and nanomaterials lab to develop and characterize light-weight metal matrix and polymer composites for a variety of applications across UTAS.
Dave Carter, senior vice president of Engineering, Operations and Quality, pointed out that the new lab will help make UTC Aerospace Systems better.
“Each day our customers’ airplanes take off, helicopters fly, rockets are launched — and each of these have at least one thing in common — they all use the lightest, strongest, most durable, highest-temperature capable materials that are available. No other industry in the world relies on or pushes their materials to the limits like we do,” Carter said. “In aerospace, materials technologies are a cornerstone…they support the entire company. And that’s why today is so significant. Because UTC Aerospace is a great company….but for us to stay great, we need to continually design and develop cutting-edge technologies into our parts. We will always need the lightest, strongest, best.
Peter Smith, vice president of Central Engineering and Engine & Environmental Control Systems Engineering, said the lab was the culmination of five years of hard work.
“This grand opening is a huge milestone that comes – appropriately — during National Engineers Week,” Smith said, as he thanked the technicians and engineers – too many to mention – that made it possible. “Let’s all give a round of applause for the hard-working people who made this new cornerstone of our business possible.”
Dr. J. Michael McQuade, senior vice president for Science & Technology at UTC, pointed out that the MPE lab aligns with the United Technologies vision.
“We succeed when our systems are more efficient, more cost-effective and create more value for our customers than our competitors do,” McQuade said. “To achieve this, our strategy has always been pretty simple – invest in research and development, and have the best engineers and scientists working in the best research and development facilities.
He added that the lab opening celebrates the kinds of investments possible when collaborating with the state of Connecticut and academic and business partners.
Among those partners is the University of Connecticut.
The UTC Aerospace Systems Materials Engineering Center of Excellence (COE) was established at the University of Connecticut that includes a commitment of $1 million over the next five years in the areas of additive manufacturing, high-temperature composites, thermoplastics and other advanced materials.
The MPE Department will also host co-op students from UCONN each year to provide an opportunity to rising sophomores and juniors to work alongside UTC Aerospace Systems engineers and scientists in the area of aerospace materials and developing advanced materials and manufacturing technologies for future aircraft.
“We are very excited about the new MPE lab which will transform the way engineers and scientists will collaborate to produce innovative solutions using a spectrum of material and manufacturing combinatorial techniques,” said Mun Choi, Provost at the University of Connecticut. “The Center of Excellence we’ve established will provide our students with a unique learning experience by working in the lab with UTC Aerospace Systems’ talented engineers.”
Malloy, who received a commemorative “coin” shaped like a UTC gear logo that was made in the Additive Lab, put the day into perspective for the state.
“My line of work has good days and bad days,” Malloy said. “You win some. You lose some. Today is a good day.”