Rolls-Royce will expand its research and development footprint at Purdue University in a multi-million-dollar partnership with the university and the Purdue Research Foundation. The aircraft engine manufacturer has conducted jet engine component analysis in the 55,000-sq-ft Purdue Aerospace Technology Center since 2017. There it employs hundreds of the U.S. university's engineers focused on direct engine controls and advanced technology engine research.
The enhanced partnership announced on August 2 calls for Rolls-Royce to expand its facilities in the Purdue Aerospace District, adjacent to the university in West Lafayette, Indiana, to develop high-altitude and hybrid-electric engines to power new aircraft for the U.S. military. The company is also working on new electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems for potential civil applications and is partnered with UK-based eVTOL aircraft developer Vertical Aerospace.
“We look forward to having deeper engagement with Rolls-Royce as part of Purdue’s rapidly-growing defense research and technology ecosystem,” explained Theresa Mayer, the university’s executive vice president for research and partnerships. “The researchers working in these facilities will be able to leverage the deep expertise of our faculty and staff as well as our new and existing facilities for research, design, testing, and evaluation.”
“Rolls-Royce has a proud history of supporting our U.S. military and commercial customers, and this new significant investment will continue to grow our capability to serve our customers,” added Tom Bell, the engine manufacturer’s North American chairman and CEO. “This reflects yet another major investment in Indiana, and we are also planning significant upgrades to test facilities at our Indianapolis manufacturing campus, which has benefitted from a recently completed $600 million modernization program to grow advanced manufacturing and technology capability.”