Professor Massimo Ruzzene and a man entering a wind tunnel

Pratt & Whitney Endows New Professorship

A valued corporate partner is helping to make the Guggenheim School more competitive.

Professor Massimo Ruzzene has always wished he could afford to send his Ph.D. students to other labs to both share with and learn from other researchers. he would also like to sponsor visits from Ph.D.s around the world. Now he can.

In November, Ruzzene was awarded the very first Pratt & Whitney Professorship in Aerospace Engineering. 

Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corporation, established a faculty endowment fund for appointments in the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering. 

Ruzzene, also director of the Vibration and Wave Propagation Laboratory, has authored two books and more than 260 journal and conference publications. He has participated projects for the military, DARPA, NASA, Boeing, Raytheon, and TRW.

"Being selected for this professorship is an honor and signals the strong commitment, shared by Pratt & Whitney and Georgia Tech, to educating and inspiring the next generation of innovative thinkers and doers," Ruzzene said. 

The appointment, he added, will also allow him to explore new directions in his research, which focuses on metamaterials, structural dynamics, and multiscale modeling of complex structural components. 

"The Pratt & Whitney Professorship will enable further discoveries in the field of materials that impact our lives, with improved sensor technology, novel manufacturing materials, and new structural designs," he said. "My hope is to continue to build on Tech's longstanding relationship with Pratt & Whitney to define a new frontier in aerospace systems."

Vigor Yang, chair of the Guggenheim School, says Ruzzene earned this distinction for his "extraordinary scholarship, keen sense of innovation, and investment in the education of current and future engineers."

The infusion of Pratt & Whitney's industry expertise as well as financial support is vital to the work ahead, he added. Georgia Tech is one of the company's distinguished Centers of Excellence, and Tom Prete, vice president of Engineering, Military Engines, at Pratt & Whitney, serves on the school's advisory board. 

"Our relationship with Pratt & Whitney has withstood decades of technological advancement, and for that I am grateful," Yang said. "We will make the most of the endowment through research and education for the people in our community and around the world."