Sikorsky awards grant to Fairfield University's School of Engineering Video-teleconferencing Project expanding course offerings to community college students




(L-R) At the check presentation were E. Vagos Hadjimichael, Ph.D., dean of Fairfield University's School of Engineering, and Mark F. Miller, vice president of research and engineering for Sikorsky.

Fairfield University's School of Engineering received a $10,000 grant from Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation for the School's video-teleconferencing (VTC) project, enabling the broadcast of live classroom lessons by faculty to community college classrooms throughout Connecticut. Attending the grant presentation on the Fairfield University campus were Mark F. Miller, vice president of research and engineering for Sikorsky, and E. Vagos Hadjimichael, Ph.D., dean of the School of Engineering. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE; UTX).

Sikorsky has provided more than $100,000 in grants to the University during the last 15 years. Miller said, "This is another great Fairfield University project for Sikorsky to be a part of. The calculus-based science and engineering courses to be offered are not available at community colleges."

E. Vagos Hadjimichael, Ph.D., dean of the School of Engineering, said the project supports the School's outreach efforts to develop interest in engineering and science among young people, while providing the workforce - locally and globally - with well-educated engineers with the critical and technical skills to meet the challenges of technology and social needs in the 21st century. "Sikorsky and United Technologies strongly support the development of future engineers and scientists," Miller said.

The School of Engineering's high definition, state-of-the-art video-teleconferencing system linking the school with seven community colleges is part of an alliance among the University and these colleges, enabling community college students to take Fairfield University engineering courses at their home schools and receive credit for them from their respective college. The community colleges involved are Gateway Community College, Housatonic Community College, Manchester Community College, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Norwalk Community College, Three Rivers Community College, and SUNY Westchester Community College.

Sikorsky's many collaborations with the School of Engineering include its recent donation of $10,000 toward the School's cutting edge 3-dimensional printer, and its annual presentation with the School of the 'Excellence in Mathematics and Science Awards,' recognizing high school juniors for their outstanding work in science and mathematics. The underlying goal of this award program is to encourage young people to pursue engineering careers. Additional synergies with Sikorsky include several senior design projects and capstone projects that provide opportunities to engineering students at Fairfield to tackle and solve workplace engineering problems. Finally, SOE students have interned at Sikorsky in recent years.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. Its mission statement reflects the company's long commitment to safety and innovation: "We pioneer flight solutions that bring people home everywhere... every time™." More information is available at the interactive http://www.sikorsky.com website.

United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Connecticut, provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries. For more information, call the School of Engineering at (203) 254-4000, ext. 4147, or visit www.fairfield.edu/engineering.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on December 5, 2008

Vol. 41, No. 157