Blacksburg-based company VPT Inc. has donated $15,000 to the Virginia Tech College of Engineering's Center for Space Science and Engineering Research, commonly referred to as the Space@VT program. It is the third such donation from VPT in four years, bringing the total to $45,000.
A subsidiary of Miami-based Heico Corp., VPT provides high-density, low-profile, lightweight DC-DC converters, EMI filters and custom engineering services for avionics, military and space applications. It also is a long-time supporter of Virginia Tech’s Center for Power Electronics Systems. The Center for Space Science and Engineering Research and the Center for Power Electronics Systems are part of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
VPT’s support, guidance and donations to the electrical and computer engineering department has helped in the hiring of new faculty members to join the Center for Space Science and Engineering Research, which has now grown into a nationally recognized research center with six tenure track faculty members, two research faculty members, three postdoctoral fellows and more than a dozen doctoral students, according to Wayne Scales, a professor in the electrical and computer engineering department and director of the Center for Space Science and Engineering Research.
VPT’s interest in seeing the space science initiative succeed goes beyond philanthropy to the university, Dan Sable, president of VPT, has said in the past. The company’s power converters have been used in such space missions as NASA’s Messenger mission to Mercury and New Horizons mission to Pluto. VPT components also are used in the European Space Agency Venus Express mission and in multiple U.S. Air Force GPS satellites.
Sable is president of VPT, and a two-time graduate of the electrical and computer engineering department at Virginia Tech received his master’s degree in 1985 and a Ph.D. in 1991. He serves on the Electrical and Computer Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, where he is a past chairman. He also is a member of the College’s Committee of 100.