November 25, 2020

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Professor of the RUM will direct the Institute of Aeronautics and Aerospace of Puerto Rico

Professor of the RUM appointed to direct the Institute of Aeronautics and Aerospace of Puerto Rico

Dr. Sheilla N. Torres Nieves associate professor of Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mayagüez University Campus (RUM), was appointed as interim executive director of the Institute of Aeronautics and Aerospace of Puerto Rico (AAIPR, for its acronym in English), a non-profit corporation attached to the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), whose main purpose is to provide an ecosystem of support to the industry of these disciplines in the country.

The appointment, granted in late February by the president of the UPR, Dr. Jorge Haddock, contemplates a change of focus in the entity's strategies that, since its creation in 2014, have been aimed mainly at training and training technical personnel, particularly in the areas of aircraft maintenance and repair on the island to. One of the goals of the newly named will be to integrate a research and development center, also dedicated to the commercialization of technology, which, in turn, allows for external economic sponsorship.

“Since 2017, I have directed the Aerospace Engineering and Unmanned Systems (CAUSE) of the RUM, with the idea of ​​increasing research, both theoretical and practical, so that it was well related to the needs of the industry. As stipulated in the work plan that I presented to the Board of Directors of the Institute, the idea is to change the paradigm. It is not a matter of eliminating the part of certifications and training, which is very necessary to support the companies that are establishing themselves in Puerto Rico, but rather increasing that range of services, including the part of research and development. I have been concentrating on how to get the most potential out of this corporate structure for fundraising purposes, either from federal agencies or from private industry "he asserted.

His work agenda includes the construction of an Aerospace Institute for Research, as well as using the AAIPR building in Aguadilla as landing site for companies that want to establish operations in Puerto Rico. Likewise, it aspires to increase the number of collaborations with the academy, and boost entrepreneurship.

Dr. Torres Nieves, whose area of ​​expertise is in fluid dynamics, aerodynamics and turbulence, began her teaching work at the RUM in 2015 in Mechanical Engineering, where he also completed his baccalaureate. He completed his doctoral studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, and after graduating, he worked in the aerospace industry for five years.

Since he began his professional career at the UPR Mayan campus, coordinated the minor concentration in Aerospace Sciences and Engineering and the Departmental Committee of Aerospace Sciences. Starting in 2017, he assumed the leadership of CAUSE, an entity with which he obtained a grant from the company Pratt & Whitney, for $ 500,000 annually over a period of five years, to reinforce the aerospace curriculum and establish laboratories. to train students.

For his part, the president of the UPR, Dr. Haddock, stressed that with the appointment of the professor they are betting on developing new economic opportunities in the aerospace industry, for the benefit of the academy and Puerto Rico. .

“Given the global context in which we live, there are multiple economic opportunities looming for Puerto Rico to resume its potential as a center of economic development, in areas as specialized as the aerospace industry and national security. We are certain that under the direction of Dr. Torres Nieves we will be able to manage a far-reaching project. The official has valuable academic, research and private sector experience that gives her the tools to do the expected job. My congratulations and the best of success in your assignment. His appointment fills the university community with pride and inspires present and future generations of girls and women to pursue careers in science, "said President Haddock.

Likewise, the president of the RUM, Dr. Agustín Rullán Toro, exalted the values ​​of the professor, who exemplifies having completed a cycle from her high school education, to her teaching, managerial and investigative work in the main public education institution in the country.

“It fills us with I am proud to see that Dr. Sheilla Torres makes her alma mater shine in her impeccable execution of all the tasks that include educating new generations and strengthening our emblematic projects in these highly relevant disciplines. Congratulations on this well-deserved designation that we know will positively impact the University, the industry and Puerto Rico, "he reiterated.

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