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April 16, 2009

Engineering, Westinghouse sign research pact

The Swanson School of Engineering has entered a master research agreement with Westinghouse Electric Co. that will allow for easier collaboration between researchers at the two entities.

Pitt is the first university to sign a master research agreement with Westinghouse that covers all legal issues between the two institutions. Instead of addressing these issues for each individual project — which can delay the start of research — University researchers and Westinghouse personnel now simply must provide a budget and an explanation of the scope of work to commence a research study.

The agreement builds on the established partnership between the Swanson school and Westinghouse, said Mark Redfern, the school’s associate dean for research. When Pitt developed its nuclear engineering certificate program, engineers and managers from Westinghouse joined their colleagues from Bechtel Bettis and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. on an advisory committee that helped design a curriculum with the most relevant and up-to-date information. Pitt’s program was launched in 2007 and is the only nuclear engineering program in western Pennsylvania. Experts from Westinghouse and the other partner companies serve as adjunct professors.

“The master research agreement enhances our faculty members’ ability to deploy their technical expertise on solving problems of importance to the company through collaborative research efforts,” Redfern said.

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