University of Louisville engineering dean not concerned about Ap - WDRB 41 Louisville News

University of Louisville engineering dean not concerned about Appliance Park fate

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Neville Pinto Neville Pinto
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The dean of the University of Louisville's Speed School of Engineering said he's not worried about the fate of U of L's many partnerships with General Electric's Appliance Park should the massive Louisville factory be sold to Swedish appliance giant Electrolux AB.

GE has acknowledged that it's considering selling its Louisville-based appliance business to Electrolux, and the Reuters newswire reported yesterday that a deal is imminent.

Speed School dean Neville Pinto and U of L President James Ramsey told the university foundation board on Friday that the potential sale does not dampen the future of FirstBuild, the new GE “microfactory” for innovative appliance design located on the U of L Belknap campus.

“We don't believe this (FirstBuild) is dependent (on GE), in fact we've already got some other partners,” Ramsey told the foundation board.

Pinto added that FirstBuild is a corporate project of GE not formally connected to the appliance division. But, if it were to be part of a potential sale to Electrolux, he doubted the new owner would scuttle the project.

“When I look at the equipment and more importantly the personnel they have devoted to that, that's a huge investment for them,” Pinto said in an interview with WDRB.

Pinto said he's also not concerned about the engineering school's broader relationship with Appliance Park, where he teaches a graduate class.

“We have a very good relationship with GE engineers and the leadership…and I can't see that changing when Electrolux comes in because I am assuming Electrolux is buying it because it has value... So we would work with Electrolux at that point, and I am sure GE would help us with the transition.”

Kim Freeman, GE's Louisville-based spokeswoman, declined to comment.

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