The vice president of public affairs with Rolls-Royce North America in Indianapolis says a new research and development collaboration among the company, Purdue University and the state demonstrates a comprehensive approach to engine technology of tomorrow. Joel Reuter says the turbine airfoil technology that will be the focus of a planned $24 million gas turbine engine laboratory will have implications in the commercial and defense sectors of the aerospace industry. Details of the announcement were made public by Governor Eric Holcomb and Rolls-Royce, Purdue and state officials during a European economic development mission that included networking at the high-profile Paris Air Show.
Reuter says Monday’s announcement continues "a partnership for the ages that continues to grow." The Rolls-Royce and Purdue gas turbine engine research collaboration dates back to 1995 when Rolls-Royce acquired what was then Allison Engine Co. in Indianapolis. Rolls-Royce has already committed to investing more than $18 million into research initiatives with Purdue through 2020. Over the years, the company has recognized Purdue as a global University Technology Center, which made the school "a critical part" of the company’s development strategies. Last year, the status was boosted to University Technology Partnership. In 2015, Purdue announced Rolls-Royce will be the first tenant of its planned Purdue Research Park Aerospace District in West Lafayette.
More than 4,000 are employed by Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis, many of which are Purdue graduates. Reuter says the work with Purdue represents a "critical partnership and a "rich" source of talent for the global company. "The pipeline for R&D for us is to partner with these worldwide universities such as Purdue to develop specific technologies in advancing aero engines for the next generation of aircraft," Reuter says. "Relationships like these help build that brand recognition with potential recruits and employees and fellowships with universities like Purdue."
Rolls-Royce designs, engineers, tests and manufactures gas turbine engines in Indiana for commercial customers and defense industry contractors like the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Navy and NASA.
Rolls-Royce North America Vice President of Public Affairs Joel Reuter says Monday’s announcement continues “a partnership for the ages that continues to grow.”