Air Commodore Jez Holmes (pictured left), Head of the RAF Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO), was invited to Loughborough to meet Vice Chancellor Professor Nick Jennings (right) last week and officially sign the partnership pledge.
The University already has a number of RAF sponsored studentships focussed on AI-based vehicle condition monitoring, communications systems for aerial platforms and decision making.
This agreement will provide further opportunities to increase impact from the University’s research. Potential future collaborations include staff exchanges, visiting positions and fellowships, alignment of student projects and research programmes, student visits to specialist facilities, and staff education and continuing professional development to sustain the key skills needed by Defence science and technology.
Prof Jennings said: “This is a fantastic partnership and by working together, we can help to enhance the capabilities and technologies needed to ensure the future security of the UK.”
Air Cdre Holmes added: “I am delighted that this valuable relationship is being developed with Loughborough University and I look forward to seeing the fruits of this collaboration.”
Loughborough has a number of joint projects with the RAF, including using machine learning and artificial intelligence for battlespace networking, drone control and command decision-making.
“The MOU will provide a springboard for future work in many aspects of Loughborough research with the RAF,” said Dr Iain Phillips, Head of Computer Science at Loughborough, who is collaborating with Professor Patrick Baker of RCO.
Also present at the signing ceremony were the Dean of Science, Professor Claudia Eberlein, Provost Professor Chris Linton and Research Support Manager, Dr Katy Wing.