WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University and Rolls-Royce officials have signed a research and testing agreement that will bring $75 million over 10 years to the West Lafayette campus. It is the largest deal with an industry partner in Purdue history.
The Purdue and Rolls-Royce relationship has thrived for more than 70 years, highlighted by millions of dollars invested in aerospace testing technology, sponsorship of graduate student research fellowships and more than 600 Purdue graduates among the company’s current workforce in Indianapolis. Purdue is designated among the top class of partners as a Rolls-Royce University Technology Center, recognizing their collaborations on research, including advanced engine technology, materials and testing capability. Additionally, the relationship between Rolls-Royce and Purdue recently has expanded to include significant work on initiatives in hypersonics, cybersecurity and digital technology.
The newly signed agreement will fund testing and research with a focus in the areas of gas turbine technology and electrical and digital technology. Rolls-Royce already boasts some of the most efficient and capable power systems in the world across a suite of civil and defense applications. This investment will be focused primarily at Purdue’s Zucrow Laboratories — the largest academic propulsion laboratory in the world — for research in sustainable power systems through advanced technology in electrification, turbines, compressors and combustion with sustainable fuels.
This research partnership announcement is concurrent with news in April that Purdue will construct a $73 million, 55,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, high-speed propulsion laboratory for hypersonic technologies in the Discovery Park District at Purdue.
What they’re saying
Purdue University President Mitch Daniels: “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. This will enhance the university’s role as a world leader in engineering research.”
Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering and executive vice president of Purdue University for strategic initiatives: “Purdue has become the epicenter of hypersonic research and testing in the U.S. We are excited across three tracks: first, our own investment for federal and industry projects, such as the wind tunnel and manufacturing facility announced in 2021, and the high-speed propulsion facility in 2022 that Rolls Royce will be able to use; second, private sector’s investment to grow their presence in the Discovery Park District at Purdue; and third, a nonprofit consortium of industry members for ground testing hosted at Purdue.”
Theresa Mayer, Purdue University executive vice president for research and partnerships: “This record-setting agreement is another example of Purdue working with leaders in industry, government and academia to advance national security. We are excited by the prospects of technological innovation that will be discovered and developed through this agreement with Rolls-Royce.”
Warren White, Rolls-Royce head of assembly and testing: “We’re excited to further strengthen our long-standing partnership with Purdue University through this new test and research agreement. 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.”
About Purdue University
Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last four years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://stories.purdue.edu.
Rolls-Royce pioneers the power that matters to connect, power and protect society. We have pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in our operations by 2030 (excluding product testing) and joined the UN Race to Zero campaign in 2020, affirming our ambition to play a fundamental role in enabling the sectors in which we operate to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.
Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces and navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.
Rolls-Royce supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centers, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.