Jacek Sowa planned to complete his PhD after receiving a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. However a job offer from Pratt & Whitney convinced him to concentrate on gaining practical work experience first.
Five years into the job, he was ready to go back to his studies. “I enrolled in the Employee Scholar Program in 2009 and passed my doctoral exams in 2014,” says Jacek.
His doctoral studies were specific to Pratt & Whitney. His research was concentrated on techniques for analyzing stress for aerospace spiral bevel gears. As Jacek explains, “I manage a team of talented engineers who design and develop gearboxes for next-generation engine programs. I chose to study bevel gears because we needed more people with knowledge and experience in that area.”
As a result of his research and the work of his team, Pratt & Whitney has been successful in a number of accessory gearbox projects including those for the innovative PW1000 family of engines and the unique PT6C-67A engine for tilt rotor application.
“It’s very interesting and challenging work,” says Jacek. “Perhaps my most important take away from my PhD journey is the methodology used in performing research projects. When you face time constraints, it’s important to step back and do things in proper sequence. At the end of the day, it is more efficient and avoids repetitive work.”