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A donation from Elliott Aviation will help engineering students in the Western Illinois University School of Engineering design, fabricate and test innovations in electronics. The recent $10,000 donation supports the electronics fabrication capabilities in the Innovation Labs located at the WIU-QC campus. In the photo, L to R: Paul Plagenz, Western Illinois University-Quad Cities development director; Greg Sahr, president, Elliott Aviation; Jeff Hyland, chief administrative and financial officer, Elliott Aviation; Mark Wilken, VP of avionics program and operational logistics, Elliott Aviation; and William Pratt, director, WIU School of Engineering.
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Elliott Aviation Donation Supports WIU School of Engineering Electronics Design Capabilities

September 6, 2016


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MOLINE, IL — A donation from Elliott Aviation will help engineering students in the Western Illinois University School of Engineering design, fabricate and test innovations in electronics. The recent $10,000 donation supports the electronics fabrication capabilities in the Innovation Labs located at the WIU-QC campus.

According to WIU School of Engineering Director William Pratt, the University's School of Engineering has experienced rapid growth, and the donation not only will benefit current students, but also future students.

"The program has approximately 160 students for Fall 2016, up significantly from the initial enrollment of six students in 2009," he noted. "Elliott Aviation's generous gift allows us to build up our capabilities in electronics. We see the development of a mutually beneficial relationship with this important company, which will give our students the opportunity to work on real-world problems with a great company. We've had some of our students working on an innovative product for Elliott over the summer, and what they have done, and more importantly, what they have learned, is priceless," he added.

Michael Berggern (Galesburg, IL), a senior engineering student who worked as an intern at the company over the summer, said WIU-QC's engineering program continually challenges students to push beyond what they think they are capable of accomplishing.

"While working at Elliot Aviation this summer, I was able to apply what I've learned at Western while gaining valuable experience. I am truly thankful for Elliott's gift to the engineering program, as it will allow the faculty to continue to challenge us in new ways while preparing us for our future careers as engineers," he said.

WIU Interim Provost and Academic Vice President Kathleen Neumann said Elliott Aviation's support of the Western's School of Engineering is appreciated greatly.

"Elliot Aviation's donation will enhance students' abilities to test their innovations in electronics fabrication, providing them with important, practical learning experiences while studying in our growing engineering program," Neumann noted.

Officials at Elliot Aviation—a second-generation, family-owned business aviation company—look at the relationship between Western's School of Engineering and the company as one that is mutually beneficial.

"We are happy to assist in developing talent in our local community and pleased to have well-educated students in our engineering programs," noted Elliott Aviation President Greg Sahr.

"Engineering is a highly specialized field, and Western Illinois University has a great program," added Mark Wilken, vice president of avionics programs and operational logistics for Elliott Aviation. "Employing engineers from WIU has helped us execute a critical program for our business that will have many long-term benefits."

Elliot Aviation offers high-quality products and services for the aviation industry, including aircraft sales, avionics service and installations, aircraft maintenance, accessory repair and overhaul, paint and interior and charter and aircraft management. Serving the business aviation industry nationally and internationally, Elliott Aviation has facilities in Moline, Des Moines (IA) and Minneapolis (MN).

Learn more about the WIU School of Engineering at www.wiu.edu/cbt/qc/engineering/ and more about Elliot Aviation at www.elliottaviation.com/.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations