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Rolls-Royce Launches Technology Centre At Darmstadt University

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Rolls-Royce Plc
: 04 December, 2006  (New Product)
Rolls-Royce launches technology centre at Darmstadt University
04 December 2006

Rolls-Royce, the world-leading power systems company, today formally opened its latest University Technology Centre (UTC) in Darmstadt, Germany. This is the 25th UTC the company has established in Europe.

The UTC was launched at the Technical University in Darmstadt by Rolls-Royce Director - Engineering and Technology, Colin Smith, and the President of the Technical University Darmstadt, Professor Johann-Dietrich Wörner. It is the third Rolls-Royce UTC established in Germany, where the company already has a strong research pedigree with a number of institutions and universities established over many years.

This new UTC will specialise in the aerothermal interaction between the combustor and turbine. This discipline shapes the engine's environmental performance, which is an increasingly vital driver for the Aerospace industry of today and tomorrow.

Effective work in this area will allow Rolls-Royce to maintain its competitive position by improving efficiency at the same time as reducing engine emissions, which is an essential ingredient in meeting the highly challenging environmental goals set by ACARE (the Advisory Council for Aerospace Research in Europe) in its 2020 Vision.

Initially, research by the Darmstadt UTC will be aimed predominantly at the aerospace sector. The TU Darmstadt also has the capabilities to support research activities for the other Rolls-Royce business sectors, marine and energy.

Colin Smith said: 'We take great pride in selecting universities that are world leaders in their field – and TU Darmstadt is no exception. We are already working together on a number of projects, and strong links have been forged with some of the university's students being recruited into Rolls-Royce. We've been impressed both by the quality of research undertaken here, and by the professionalism and enthusiasm of staff and students alike.

'Improving the environment is a big challenge for us all, and TU Darmstadt will play a key role for us in helping meet future targets the industry has in this area.'

Professor Wörner said: 'For TU Darmstadt, the institutionalisation of co-operative research ventures with globally successful companies is an essential part of the research strategy. Through such collaboration we want to contribute towards the development of better, more economic technical solutions in many socially relevant areas. In this respect, co-operation with global player Rolls-Royce, one of the world's leading high-technology manufacturers, offers us some great opportunities. We will use them.'

Alois Rheil, Minister of Economics for the Hesse region of Germany, who also attended the opening, added: 'The intensive and successful co-operation between Rolls-Royce and TU Darmstadt is not only of great importance for both partners, but is also important for Hesse as an industrial location. They have recognised the strategic importance of the successful transfer of technology and are making use of this in a variety of ways. We are pleased that the existing co-operation, which has already been fruitful, is now to be elevated to an institutional level, and so will be further strengthened.'

Since 1990, Rolls-Royce has established a global network of 27 University Technology Centres. Initially UTCs were established mostly in the UK, but in recent years UTCs have been founded in the US, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Germany and Singapore. Each addresses a key technology; collectively they tackle a wide range of engineering disciplines – from combustion and aerodynamics to noise and manufacturing technology.

Rolls-Royce has considerable research links with Germany, including work programmes with several universities and with DLR, the national aerospace research institute. In the last two years, UTCs were established at Cottbus - with the Brandenburg Technology University, studying whole engine modelling, knowledge management and a range of design and process integration issues, and at Dresden University, researching lightweight materials and structures.

UTCs are long-term, funded collaborations that ensure continuity of work – offering high-quality technology for the company and real-world challenges for academic partners. Each is led by a world-class academic and supported by a strong team of research associates, students, technicians and facilities.

Rolls-Royce Deutschland has a workforce of over 2,500 divided between its two sites in Dahlewitz, near Berlin, and Oberursel, near Frankfurt am Main. It is the only German engine manufacturer officially approved to develop, manufacture and maintain modern civil and military turbine engines. Developed in Dahlewitz, the BR700 engine family included the first German civil jet engines to win international certification. Dahlewitz is the Rolls-Royce Group's centre of competence for two-shaft engines – responsible for Tay, Spey, Dart and V2500 engine series.

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