University of Pittsburgh
April 12, 2009

Pitt, Westinghouse Agree to Broader Collaboration

Pitt is first university to sign Master Research Agreement with Westinghouse to allow for broad research collaborations
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PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering has entered a Master Research Agreement with the Westinghouse Electric Company that will allow for easier collaboration between researchers at Pittsburgh's largest university and one of the city's most successful engineering companies.

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 now must simply provide a budget and an explanation of the scope of work to commence a research study.

"Our relationship has been growing over the last several years, and this was the next step in building a stronger collaboration in research and development between Westinghouse and the University of Pittsburgh," said John Goossen, director of the Westinghouse Science and Technology Department.

The agreement also 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, Inc., and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company on an advisory committee that helped design the curriculum to ensure that students learn the most relevant and up-to-date information. Pitt's program 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. "During the past three years, we have worked closely with our colleagues at Westinghouse to develop new nuclear engineering courses and educational programs. Their decision to enter into this latest agreement with the University is an additional sign of the value they place on our research programs and our relevance to industry."