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Tom Prete Joins Advisory Council at Georgia Tech; Presents Pratt & Whitney Professorship

Pratt & Whitney has long been known for its Wasps and Hornets, but the company has ties to Yellow Jackets, too.

Tom Prete, vice president, Engineering, Military Engines, was named as one of four new members of the advisory council for the aerospace engineering school at Georgia Tech. Prete joins Nick Lappos of Sikorsky, Alton Roming of the National Academy of Engineering, and Rafael Spears of Alpha Research and Technology as newly appointed advisors for the Daniel Guggenheim School at Georgia Tech.

The 24 members of the Aerospace Engineering School Advisory Council meet each year to discuss the progress at the school, set goals and offer guidance. The standing committee includes leaders in industry and academia, as well as former government officials.

"With the infusion of such experienced and visionary professionals, the Aerospace Engineering School Advisory Council will be ready for the work ahead," said Vigor Yang, chair of the Daniel Guggenheim School. "Progress in this field never slows down to accommodate our busy schedules."

When the advisory group convened for its annual meeting this month, Prete presented the first Pratt & Whitney Professorship in Aerospace Engineering to Massimo Ruzzene, director of the school's vibration and wave propagation lab. Ruzzene conducts research in metamaterials, structural health monitoring and structural dynamics.

"This will allow me to explore new directions in my research, areas that have not yet been studied or picked up by a sponsor," Ruzzene said in a statement. "It will also allow me to invite Ph.D. researchers from other countries to visit Georgia Tech, so I can learn from them. I won't have to wait until they have the funding. I'll have it.

"And it will allow me to send my students to other labs, where they can start to learn things that they can bring back to Georgia Tech. It will be tremendous for their educational experience."

Georgia Tech is one of Pratt & Whitney's eight Centers of Excellence and was also a stop on Pratt & Whitney's "Next Gen" Recruitment Tour, which launched this fall. Its Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering is ranked among the top five aerospace engineering schools in the United States. It boasts an enrollment of more than 1,300 students on Georgia Tech's campus in Atlanta.

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