Rolls-Royce, Purdue partner on jet engine design

Rolls-Royce and Purdue University have formed a $33 million jet-engine research and development program to create next-generation aircraft propulsion systems.

“Research and development in jet engines is an important objective for Rolls-Royce as we strive to create jet engines that are more energy-efficient and can perform more effectively,” said Phil Burkholder, President of Rolls-Royce Defense Aerospace, North America. “I am confident that our collaborative research [with Purdue] will result in strong long-term advances in jet engine development.”

Rolls-Royce is designating Purdue as a University Technology Partnership (UTP), which will initially encompass two research centers in the areas of advanced thermal management systems and advanced compressor systems, expanding beyond the current University Technology Center (UTC) designation. The first Rolls-Royce UTC established outside of Europe was launched at Purdue in 2003 to study high-Mach propulsion, and that program is transitioning into a focus on systems for advanced thermal management. Purdue has thus received the first UTP designation in the U.S.

“The added signature initiative to advance aerothermal processes in compressors will make Purdue the first university outside of Europe to have two such research centers,” said Dan Hirleman, Purdue’s Chief Corporate and Global Partnerships Officer. “The investment by Rolls-Royce will further support Purdue’s Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories, the nation's largest university-based propulsion laboratory.”

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