Funding: EPSRC £6.8M, industrial partners and Rolls Royce - total £50m
Principal Investigator - Prof Paul Bowen
Rolls-Royce, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, (EPSRC), and Birmingham, Cambridge and Swansea universities are to work together in a new £50 million strategic partnership, which is the first of its kind. The partnership will develop materials skills and knowledge to support the development of future gas turbines which power many applications including aircraft, ships and electricity generation.
At present, almost all aircraft propulsion and over 1/3 of the UK's total generating capacity rely on gas turbines. Their flexibility and efficiency compared with the alternatives mean that their use in power generation is predicted to dramatically increase for the foreseeable future. Achieving drastic reductions in the emissions from gas turbines, without bringing national economic activity to a standstill, requires urgent activity on a very wide number of fronts. This is particularly important for the UK. It has Europe's largest gas turbine industry, second only to the US.
Over the next ten years, the universities will undertake fundamental materials research that will develop materials required to improve the efficiency and environmental sustainability of these gas turbines.
The partnership will include research, fellowships and postgraduate training to help create the next generation of world-class materials scientists and metallurgical engineers over the next 10 years.