Jeff Cohen has been working at United Technologies Research Center for 30 years and he still finds it exciting. “I tell my kids that I fix today’s problems. But what really gets me excited is focusing on what United Technologies and its customers will need in the future.”
After helping develop Pratt & Whitney’s revolutionary Geared Turbofan™ engine, he now is looking at what will be needed for the next-generation of engines. “Demand is cleaner, quieter jet engines,” he says. “That means we need to develop even more advanced propulsion systems that will simultaneously deliver high efficiency and low pollution.”
Jeff began his journey with United Technologies when he was chosen as a lab assistant his junior year at the University of Connecticut. “Because of that job, I was able to attend a graduate seminar and hear a United Technologies engineer give a presentation on flow visualization using a laser. All of a sudden, it wasn’t just equations. You could actually see the flow and how it evolved. I went up to him afterward and said, ‘that’s what I want to do. How do I get that job?’ He said, ‘you’ll need to go to graduate school.’”
He did so and joined United Technologies Research Center. “I was immediately surrounded by some of the most brilliant people I’d ever met,” he says. “There were scientists from MIT, Princeton, CalTech, all of the great engineering schools.”
Twenty years later, with a Ph.D. funded by UTC and 10 patents to his credit, Jeff reached the pinnacle of success when he was named a Technical Fellow in 2007.
What might he have done had he not gotten that lab assistant job? “I would probably be an environmental scientist,” he says. “I love the outdoors, and it’s a field that combines all of the sciences together. I’m very proud that there is a sustainable component to what I do. United Technologies takes sustainability very seriously.”