T&D World Magazine
Five-Year Investment at UConn Supports Circuit Breaker Research, Endowed Professorship, Graduate Fellowships

Five-Year Investment at UConn Supports Circuit Breaker Research, Endowed Professorship, Graduate Fellowships

With a five-year, multimillion dollar investment, GE is expanding its longstanding relationship with the University of Connecticut (UConn) to transform the state’s technology sector and spark breakthrough innovations in electrical distribution products.

The financial support from GE’s Industrial Solutions business, creator of advanced technologies that protect and control the distribution of electricity, will bring together researchers from various academic disciplines and from the energy industry to conduct research and development on core electrical-protection technologies, including circuit breakers. As part of the donation, GE also will finance the creation of an endowed GE professorship in the UConn School of Engineering, as well as GE graduate fellowships and GE-sponsored research.

The five-year, $7.5 million GE initiative includes philanthropic support through the University of Connecticut Foundation as well as sponsorship for UConn research:

  • $1.5 million endowment for a GE professorship in the School of Engineering.
  • $2.7 million grant for graduate and undergraduate sponsorships.
  • Up to $3.3 million to UConn for GE-directed research in materials, manufacturing and advanced circuit breaker technologies.

The sponsored research, geared toward advancing GE’s circuit breaker product lines, will focus on arc-plasma containment, electrical materials, magnetic and mechanical systems and advanced manufacturing technologies.

A new chapter in the long-term relationship between GE and the university, the new agreement also empowers both institutions to support the activities of the new state-funded UConn Technology Park, which is currently in development in Storrs, Conn. The Connecticut legislature recently allocated $172 million to develop the park’s 125,000-square-foot anchor building for industry partnerships in advanced science and engineering. Together with UConn’s new Eminent Faculty Program, these efforts will nurture activities leading to:

  • Innovation with industry, from startups to mid-size and large corporations.
  • An interface linking basic research and industrial applications.
  • Jobs, new business startups and economic development.

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