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New technology centre puts Nottingham at forefront of aerospace research

News International-French

2 Nov 2012

John Rishton, the Chief Executive of global power systems company Rolls-Royce, and an alumnus of The University of Nottingham, opened a new £5.1 million Aerospace Technology Centre at the University.

The 2000m2 Centre at the University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP), will eventually house over 100 staff, including secondees from industry. Researchers will work on specific projects to develop new aerospace technology and on ways to transfer that knowledge more effectively from academia to industry.


The Centre will be at the heart of the University’s Institute for Aerospace Technology. The Institute brings together a number of internationally leading research groups involved in work on Aerospace Materials, Advanced Manufacturing, More Electric Aircraft, Aero Engines and Propulsion and Aviation Operations. 


Working with world leading businesses
Many of the world’s leading aerospace businesses work with the University, including Rolls-Royce, GE, Airbus, EADS, Boeing, BAE Systems, GKN, Thales, Safran and UTC Aerospace Systems. In addition, the University is also working with many small to medium sized businesses which play a key role in the aerospace supply chain.

Speaking at the opening of the centre, John Rishton, Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce, said: “I am delighted to be opening the Aerospace Technology Centre. Rolls-Royce has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with the University including two University Technology Centres researching aero-engine transmission and manufacturing technologies. This new facility will help Rolls-Royce, the aerospace industry and The University of Nottingham maintain their positions at the forefront of technology.”


Demonstrating large scale and complex technologies
Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, added: “It is very fitting that John Rishton is opening our new Aerospace Technology Centre today. Not only is John a distinguished alumnus of the University, but, Rolls-Royce is the University’s largest industrial research partner. We are very proud of our long and close association with one of the UK’s most prestigious global businesses. 

“The Aerospace Technology Centre provides the University, and our key industrial partners, with a unique facility. Within it, we will be able to develop, integrate and demonstrate new technologies at a scale and complexity not currently possible within any other research institute in the UK.”


A £50 million aerospace research portfolio
Nottingham University is currently involved in approximately 70 industrial aerospace projects across a spectrum of research areas. The University’s aerospace research portfolio amounts to around £50 million, which includes over £20 million in funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).


The funding for the Aerospace Technology Centre building includes £3.1 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £2 million from the University. In total, £8.8m is being spent to support the establishment of the Institute, which will help to secure the University’s position as one of the leading institutions in the world for research into aerospace technologies.


Other significant investors in the University’s Institute for Aerospace Technology, include the EPSRC, which has invested £1.37m in specialist equipment for use in aerospace research.


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