Rolls-Royce engine powers stronger Purdue partnership

Thursday, 1 November 2007

A Rolls-Royce AE 3007 engine, now on display at the new Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering at Purdue University, is another example of the strong and growing relationship between the company and the school.

The engine – which serves as a powerplant for both commercial and military aircraft - will be used as a teaching aid for students in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. It is on a long-term loan to the university.

After years of working together informally, Rolls-Royce and Purdue formalized their association in 1999 with a Memorandum of Understanding supported by a Master Sponsored Research Agreement. The results of the agreement speak for themselves.

In 2003, the organizations worked together to acquire funding to establish a new Rolls-Royce sponsored High-Mach Propulsion University Technology Center (UTC) at Purdue. UTCs are key to the Rolls-Royce research and technology program, with a worldwide network of 29 such facilities providing technology support for product development as well as fundamental research.

The Purdue UTC, still the only Rolls-Royce facility in the US, is an alliance under which researchers work on propulsion technologies for future aircraft that may fly as fast as seven times the speed of sound.

Also in 2003, Rolls-Royce committed $250,000 to support construction of the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering at Purdue. The new building opened to the public last week.

Rolls-Royce and Purdue co-founded the Indiana Advanced Aerospace Manufacturing Alliance in 2005, with the stated mission of growing an aerospace-capable industry within the state of Indiana. To date, more than 45 companies in Indiana have joined this alliance generating results in the form of new business opportunities;

Rolls-Royce defines Purdue as a “partner school”, one of a small number of academic institutions around the world that collaborate with the company on recruitment, learning and research and technology programs.

A significant number of Rolls-Royce employees serve on university advisory councils and, each year, Rolls-Royce hosts the Freshman Engineering Honors Program for a full-day of technical briefings and tours.

Since its founding in 1915, thousands of Purdue graduates have worked at the company’s Indianapolis facility. Today, there are over 600 at Rolls-Royce, of which 80 per cent have Engineering or Engineering Technology degrees.

Dr. Allen Novick, VP of Marketing Intelligence at Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis, also serves as the company’s University Business Executive with Purdue.

“Rolls-Royce is pleased to support Purdue as it continues to raise the bar in terms of the quality of education it provides to its students,” he said. “The many links that exist today between Purdue University and Rolls-Royce have far-reaching benefits to industry, to academia, to students, and to the state of Indiana. This is a model relationship in North America, and one we would like to replicate with other schools around the country.”

  1. Rolls-Royce is a significant business in North America, with some 8,000 employees at more than 64 US locations in 26 states and eight Canadian sites in six provinces. Annual sales in North America are more than $3 billion and the company’s total U.S. investment stands at $1 billion and growing.
  2. More Rolls-Royce engines are built in the United States than anywhere else in the world. Rolls-Royce engines produced in the US power the C-130, C-27J, V-22, Global Hawk and other military aircraft, as well as multiple civil airplanes and helicopters.
  3. Rolls-Royce has been named the No. 3 Top Performing Company in the world and No. 1 most improved over five years in a financial study of aerospace / defense companies announced in 2007 by Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine. Aviation Week has evaluated aerospace / defense companies annually for the past 11 years, using a complex formula involving several financial categories. The study, completed by a project team led by an equity analyst and former aerospace executive, compares companies in similar revenue categories and gives each an overall score.
  4. In 2007, Rolls-Royce appeared in a list of top 50 companies for engineering internships compiled by Jungle Campus. The listing reflected results from a survey of over 37,000 students.
  5. Rolls-Royce has retained its position in the Dow Jones Sustainability World and European Indices for the sixth successive year. The Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) is a global index that tracks the financial performance of leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. The index is based on a thorough assessment of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, and measures areas such as corporate governance, risk management, branding, climate change, supply chain standards and labor practices.
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