The nine GE Fellows who recently toured the Plainville General Electric facility got a chance to see the concepts they study put into action.
The Fellows – all pursuing studies in the areas of advanced materials, magnetic materials, polymeric materials, and energy and modeling – toured the facility and met with officials from the company. Paul Singer, General Manager of Technology for GE’s Industrial Solutions, and Matt Dougherty, Technology Leader for Industrial Solution’s Power Components business, spoke to the students and answered their questions about working in the industry.
The students were then given tours of the New Product Introduction Accelerator Lab and Advanced Manufacturing Lab. Kan Fu, a UConn research assistant and 2014 Fellow, called the visit “an eye-opening experience.”
“It was very educational to see how engineers at GE go through the cycles of design – test, evaluate, redesign and retesting – which is the essential process for making a successful product,” he said. “Things that appear simple, such as a circuit breaker, carry a lot of intellectual development and persistence that many people do not appreciate fully.”
Jian Ren, another Fellow, said it’s important to see their studies put to real-world use.
“We’ve clearly seen the difference between industry and academia,” he said. “This helps a lot for our career planning and development.”
The GE Fellowship for Innovation program was established in 2012 as part of the company’s $7.5 million technology initiative. Besides expanding the partnership of UConn and GE, the initiative is designed to assist students in pursuing their studies, and in some cases, lead to careers at GE for Fellows after graduation.