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Rolls Royce–Purdue University Partnership Expanded

$75-Million Agreement to Advance Hypersonic Propulsion

Purdue University and Rolls Royce have signed a research and testing agreement that will see the Lafayette, IN school receive $75 million [over ten years] from the famed, British multinational aerospace and defense company. The deal is Purdue’s richest and most expansive with an industry partner. 

The newly signed agreement will fund testing and research with focus in the areas of gas turbines, electrical, and digital technology. Subject research will be undertaken primarily at  Purdue’s Zucrow Laboratories, the largest academic propulsion laboratory in the world. 

In April, 2022, Purdue announced plans to build a $73-million, 55,000-sq-ft, high-speed propulsion laboratory for hypersonic technologies in the school’s Discovery Park District. The subsequent research and testing agreement builds on the planned expansion, furthers the 70-year partnership between Purdue and Rolls Royce, and speaks to the imminence of new, hypersonic propulsion technologies. 

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels states, “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.” 

Mr. Daniels’s sentiments are mirrored by Rolls-Royce head of assembly and testing Warren White, who states, “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.” 

Rolls-Royce supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centers. Over the years the company’s partnership with Purdue facilitated numerous advancements in gas-turbine technology, jet-engine design, and aerospace testing methods.



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