Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Research

Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC)

Our mission is to provide Rolls-Royce with advances in understanding and design capability in the field of Combustion Aerodynamics Technology.

The Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) at Loughborough University represents a strategic partnership between academia and industry set-up to investigate Combustion System Aerothermal Processes.

The Loughborough UTC is widely recognised as a world leading research centre and focusses on the complex aerodynamic processes occurring within gas turbine combustion systems and other related engine components. It provides enhanced knowledge of the fundamental physics, the development of new and innovative methodologies and is supported by state-of-the-art computational and experimental facilities. Ultimately the research enables Rolls-Royce plc. (and the UK aero engine industry) to develop new and improved technologies for gas turbines engines that will meet future economic and environmental targets.

Officially established in 1991 it has continued to grow and now has an annual research income of circa. £2.4M, roughly distributed between the EPSRC, EU, Innovate UK and Rolls-Royce. In 2008 the UTC opened the £3M Unsteady Fluid Mechanics laboratory which provides enhanced capability and capacity. Over 12 test facilities provide researchers with the opportunity to operate test rigs of various sizes and over a range of temperatures and pressures. Led by Professor Jon Carrotte the UTC includes several permanent academic staff members, 20 experienced post-doctoral researchers and typically over 10 PhD students (including students registered under the EPSRC CDT in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics). The research team is supported by a Senior Experimental Officer, 4.5 Technicians and an administrative team comprising Business Manager, UTC Administrator, and CDT Administrator. The core staff members have over 90 years of combined experience. In total the group has supervised in excess of 50 successful PhD candidates and the research activities have led to almost 200 journal publications, over 260 conference papers and the award of numerous worldwide patents.

2017 marks the start of construction work on the new multi-million pound National Centre in Combustion and Aerothermal Technology, a project supported by Government and Industry. The National Centre will put Loughborough at the heart of UK aerospace engineering and technology development. It will focus on the development of future low emission aerospace combustion systems that will reduce the environmental impact of aircraft.  Rolls-Royce will be a lead partner in the project, building on the existing relationship between Loughborough University and Rolls-Royce. The Centre will allow industrial problem-owners to visit and work closely with academic researchers to ensure that new technologies are translated from theory to practice as quickly and as efficiently as possible. It will also become a training ground for current and future aerospace engineers in a critical skill area for the UK.  It is expected that the Centre will be operational in 2019.