The University of Nottingham is set to receive a share of £138million to strengthen research and business partnerships.
The funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is split into two major investments- Prosperity Partnerships and Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAA) - announced by Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science. Both investments aim to show the pivotal importance of engineering and the physical sciences to Britain’s development as a global research and innovation leader.
The partnership led by Nottingham will total £12m, with some £5m for its Gas Turbine and Transmission Research Centre (G2TRC), home to the Rolls-Royce Transmissions UTC which celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this year. The funding will help to develop advanced aircraft engines, specifically looking at mechanical integrity under extreme power levels.
This work is underpinned by a relationship with Rolls Royce than spans two decades, harnessing the expertise of University of Nottingham Technology Centre in Gas Turbines Transmissions Systems.
Professor Seamus Garvey, Principal Investigator on the project and Director of the Transmissions UTC said: “This project comes at the best possible time – a tipping point in aerospace propulsion technology. Along with our collaborating institutions, this will enable us to solve some important fundamental elements of mechanical engineering science to underpin near-future (2025) aero propulsion architectures and to explore some very exciting new possibilities likely to transform this machinery in the longer term.”
Professor Hervé Morvan, Director of the Institute for Aerospace Technology (IAT), Head of G2TRC and Co-Investigator on the project, said: “Our collaborations and expertise with global partners such as Rolls Royce will see us leading the way with this research portfolio. This new funding from the EPSRC will strengthen these partnerships and further Nottingham’s expertise in electro-mechanical coupling, advanced thermal management for conventional gas turbines and more advanced hybrid systems in the future — to transform aircraft propulsion and transport as we know it.”
Rolls-Royce plc is no less excited about this project. Dr Mark Jefferies, Chief of University Liaison for the company said: “Rolls-Royce is unique in many ways not least for the trust and opportunity that it places in its long-term research partners. We pioneered the UTC system 25-years-ago and we have been delighted with the sustained delivery of top-quality customised science from our set of University partners over this time. This project marks the beginning of a new level of engagement with our core academic partners. All of the academic investigators know that we have high expectations from this triumvirate of first-class research Universities.”
The work will have synergies with the Beacon of Excellence in Propulsion Futures, recently announced as part of a £200 million investment by the University. The Beacon will deliver expertise in driving the world towards more sustainable and more responsible travel and will address the discovery and translation of new materials, new components and new technologies for electrified transport. This funding will also support core aircraft propulsion activities at the University led by the IAT.
Announcing the Prosperity Partnerships the Minister said: “A central part of our Industrial Strategy is boosting the economic impact of our world-class research base by supporting the flow of innovative ideas and techniques from concept to market-place.
“This investment will ensure the work of our universities continues to have positive impact around the world and maintain the UK’s global leadership in science and innovation.”
Nottingham will also receive an IAA investment from the EPSRC to help increase the likelihood of impact from the research- taking the full value of the funding to £12m.
Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council said: “If innovation is an ecosystem then it is dependent on having a fertile soil of research and the fresh air of ideas to nourish its growth. These new EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships and IAA investments will provide the right conditions in which new technologies and products can be developed more quickly. In turn, this will return social and economic benefits and ensure the UK continues to be one of the best places in the world to research, innovate and grow business.”
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Notes to editors:
The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.
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