Tech Innovator Heads to United Technologies Corp.
David Parekh Leaves Solid Legacy at Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech Research Institute Deputy Director Dr. David E. Parekh will be leaving Georgia Tech to take a high-level position with United Technologies Corp. in East Hartford, Conn. Effective September 10, Parekh will become director of the United Technologies Research Center and the company's vice president for research.
Parekh, 46, has been deputy director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) since 2003. At GTRI, Parekh has had primary responsibility for research operations, business development, commercialization, and the institute's internal research portfolio. He has also served concurrently as associate vice provost for research for the Georgia Institute of Technology and as president of Georgia Tech Ireland (GT Ireland), the university's nonprofit corporation. He led the team that created GT Ireland, which was founded in 2006 to conduct basic and applied research programs with multinational corporations and universities in Europe.
His tenure at GTRI included increasing levels of executive leadership within the institute's Aerospace, Transportation and Advanced Systems laboratory, where he directed the pursuit of innovative research and advanced technical support for the aerospace, transportation and energy markets.
"David epitomizes creativity and innovation and he is very deserving of this wonderful opportunity, but we are sad to see him go," said GTRI Director and Georgia Tech Vice President Dr. Stephen E. Cross. "His years at Georgia Tech have been filled with many firsts. He routinely made the impossible possible and motivated the rest of us to do the same."
Parekh founded the first major Georgia Tech research center focused on fuel cells, supervised Ph.D. students who built one of the world's first fuel cell-powered unmanned aerial vehicles to fly using compressed hydrogen, and launched GT Ireland, the university's first international research institute, Cross added.
Leadership of the GT Ireland initiative will be assumed by Cross. The initiative was announced in June 2006 and now includes five employees based in Ireland, projected to grow to 50 full-time employees and researchers. The international research operation has also gained widespread support from influential Irish government and corporate leaders including Ireland President Mary McAleese, who visited Georgia Tech last April.
"Over the past year a tremendous amount of work has been done to establish Georgia Tech Ireland as a vibrant and unique research institute," said Parekh. "I am proud of the strong leadership and research team we have assembled and I have no doubt that the best is yet to come. The right people and partnerships are in place to ensure a very bright future for GT Ireland."
Earlier in his career, Parekh held several prominent program leadership and principal investigator roles at Boeing Phantom Works and in the McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories.
As UTRC director, Parekh will be responsible for advancing the corporation's commitment to growth through technology and innovation.
"David is an outstanding scientist with proven expertise in identifying and guiding research and innovation across a broad range of aerospace and commercial technologies," said Dr. J. Michael McQuade, UTC senior vice president, science and technology. "He is well-suited to the unique leadership role at UTRC, which pursues fundamental technologies to enable the growth of UTC's current and future businesses. We look forward to the successes David will inspire and direct in filling this vital role for UTC."
Parekh holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering and master's degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering from Stanford University, as well as a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech.
Founded in 1929, United Technologies Research Center provides advanced technologies, innovative thinking and disciplined research in aerospace propulsion, building infrastructure and services, heating and air conditioning, fire and security systems and power generation. UTRC is located in East Hartford, Conn.
About Georgia Tech Research Institute
Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit applied research arm of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Approximately 1,300 employees perform or support more than $130 million in research yearly for hundreds of clients in industry and government.
For nearly 75 years, GTRI has solved some of the toughest technical problems confronting federal, state, local and international government agencies, industrial firms, academic institutions and private organizations. More than 70 percent of GTRI's research personnel hold advanced degrees, and all are committed to an independent, unbiased approach to solving problems. GTRI's close ties to Georgia Tech's academic faculty provide additional talent and knowledge for meeting today's most difficult technological and engineering challenges.
GTRI research is conducted in seven laboratories, in field locations around the country and at its international location in Ireland. Much of GTRI's research benefits the defense/security market; however the organization is uniquely positioned to translate those innovations into solutions for other markets such as healthcare, energy and environment and food processing.