Purdue University has signed a research and testing agreement with Rolls-Royce that it says will bring $75 million to the West Lafayette campus over 10 years. Purdue says the agreement will fund testing and research focused on gas turbine technology and electrical and digital technology.
The investment will primarily be focused at Purdue’s Zucrow Laboratories, which is billed as the largest academic propulsion lab in the world.
Purdue says the research will focus on sustainable power systems through advanced technology in electrification, turbines, compressors, and combustion with sustainable fuels.
“Purdue’s research partnership with Rolls-Royce will address some of the greatest technology challenges facing the U.S. Our faculty and students will work on advanced technology capabilities to ensure long-term national security,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said in written remarks. “This will enhance the university’s role as a world leader in engineering research.”
The agreement comes more than a month after Purdue announced plans for a $73 million high-speed propulsion laboratory at the university’s Discovery Park District. The facility is set for “substantial completion” by November 2024.
In March, Rolls-Royce detailed plans for a large-scale testing campus in the Purdue Aerospace District as part of a $400 million investment that also included facility additions in Indianapolis.
“We’re excited to further strengthen our long-standing partnership with Purdue University through this new test and research agreement,” said Warren White, head of assembly and testing at Rolls-Royce. “We firmly believe in the innovative power that comes from strong collaboration between industry and academia. Over the next decade, we’ll explore transformative technologies like hybrid-electric and hypersonic propulsion that will help define the future of aerospace.”
Zucrow Labs sits on 24 acres adjacent to the Purdue University Airport. Research on the lab focuses on several areas, including aerodynamics of turbo machinery, aeroacoustics, and combustion.
Purdue calls the agreement the largest deal with an industry partner in its history.