New Tagliatela College of Engineering Advisory Board Chair is Sikorsky Executive

The Charger Bulletin

By John A. Lahtinen


When Andreas Bernhard, chief engineer at Sikorsky Aerospace Services and director of Sikorsky Analytics, Technologies and Engineering, agreed to chair the reconstituted advisory board for the Tagliatela College of Engineering in the fall of 2012, he did so as a way to give back to the academic world.

Photo provided by UNH Today

“It helps you reconnect with the dichotomy of the student – the enthusiasm of learning and the wonder of challenge,” Bernhard said, “but also the great trepidation, the fear of ‘how will I get a job?’

“Part of this helps us see the caliber of students coming through and also helps us shape the curriculum to address the changing needs of the industry so we ensure that students are ready for today’s challenges,” he continued. It is a thought made all the more important when you consider UNH is the largest single source of engineering graduates for Sikorsky Aircraft.

Bernhard will be on campus on Wednesday, March 27, as part of the Alvine Engineering Professional Effectiveness and Enrichment Program to discuss the challenges and opportunities in aftermarket engineering. The talk will begin at 12:15 p.m. in the Schumann Auditorium in Buckman Hall.

The lecture will explore recapitalizing the UH-60A Black Hawk (including the 5th Black Hawk, originally delivered in 1979) and resurrecting the S-61 (first flight in 1959) as a modernized aircraft. Both fleets of aircraft have been returned to service and provide their operators a cost-effective means to perform their missions. (Learn more about the lecture.)

Ismail Orabi, a professor of mechanical engineering, stressed the importance of students taking advantage of the opportunity to interact with professionals in the field.

“By attending lectures given by engineers who are active in industry, students get to see how engineering is applied and implemented,” Orabi said. “This is one of the many bridges that enable students to go from academic studies to real-world engineering.”

Similar to the automotive industry, the aftermarket is a key part of the life cycle where the manufacturer earns high profits that can ultimately be reinvested in new product development, Orabi said.

“Engineering encompasses the full life cycle of a product, from innovation and concept development, to product development, to production and aftermarket support,” he said. “This briefing will explore some of the engineering aspects of post certification and product support.”

With its members possessing years of combined industry and real-world experience, Bernhard feels the advisory board can help engineering students develop the skills and provide the direction they need to be successful.

“I think one of the key tasks of chairing something like this is trying to corral the enthusiasm of a very diverse group and to ensure momentum is sustained,” he said.

Orabi agreed, saying the advisory board is important to the overall success of the College. “It provides support and counsel on matters that continuously improve the quality and relevance of our engineering programs and identifies future courses of action related to engineering at UNH,” he said.