Addressing challenges in industry in partnership with Rolls-Royce
Our long-standing relationship with Rolls-Royce continues to develop novel solutions to industry challenges through collaborative research and an active apprenticeship, internship and graduate programme.
Working together enables Rolls-Royce to maintain its cutting-edge in competitive industries such as civil and defence aerospace, marine and energy markets.
It's not just about the research - it’s the students that we train, our staff who work in collaboration, and of course in recent years the development of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).
We’re really excited about the future because Rolls-Royce is going to be doing some of the most important things for the United Kingdom.
Professor Sir Keith Burnett
University President and Vice-Chancellor (2017- October 2018)
Advancing developments in technology for future Rolls-Royce markets
Since the 1990s, dedicated research programmes in the University’s two Rolls-Royce University Technology Centres (UTC) have looked after the company’s technical interests, enabling Rolls-Royce to advance their technology and meet future market requirements, improving products and increasing productivity.
- Control and Systems Engineering UTC – projects range from monitoring systems to wireless technologies. Improving risk assessment methods to minimise potential disruption has applications for aircraft gas turbine engines and industrial turbo-generators.
- Advanced Electrical Machines and Drives UTC – projects include looking at fault-tolerant generators for the 'more-electric' aircraft.
Using fundamental research to develop the largest 3D printed engine part
Using additive layer manufacturing (ALM), Rolls-Royce worked alongside the Department of Materials Science and Engineering to construct a 1.5m-diamenter titanium front bearing housing (FBH) which is held inside a Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engine.
The construction of the bearing marked the first time ALM had been used to produce such a significant load bearing component, rather than the conventional processes of casting or forging.
Not only do I get to work alongside staff who have got years of experience in engineering, I also work with some of the most advanced technology we’ve got in the aerospace sector at this moment in time, which is absolutely fantastic for someone my age and something I really enjoy.
Technical apprentice sponsored by Rolls-Royce
"We were approached in 2007, right at the start of additive manufacturing in metals, and were asked to make some small sections of components for Rolls-Royce. We were originally involved just to see if the technology had an application in engine development programmes and we ended up being involved in the actual manufacture of components to go in flight or ground test." - Iain Todd, Professor of Metallurgy, the University of Sheffield
Training the next generation
Strong relationships between Rolls-Royce and several academic departments bring valuable and industry-relevant input to academic programmes.
In the Management School, the Rolls-Royce-supported Operations and Supply Chain Management module features lectures from company professionals, real-world case studies and practical challenges. Every year, the company has a variety of students from the University on placement, giving them invaluable industrial experience and context to their studies.
If I was 16 years old and I was given a hundred choices for careers, I would choose the AMRC everytime. You cannot ask for a better environment than this for tomorrow's engineers to create the complex, customer-oriented values and solutions for industry.
Dr Hamid Mughal OBE
Director of Global Manufacturing, Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce capitalise on this resource of emerging talent: many of the University’s high-calibre graduates find careers with the company.
"The standard and quality of the work presented are excellent, demonstrating the extraordinary capability of these students in analysing such a complex business and supply chain of the civil aviation industry." - Peter Ralph, Risk Manager, Rolls-Royce.
Find out more
- Business Gateways
Contact our business gateways to discuss partnership opportunities
The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing is a world-class centre for advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors.
- Nuclear AMRC
Managed by the University of Sheffield, the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre helps companies of all sizes to win work in the nuclear sector.
- Management School
We use our world-class research to develop knowledgeable and employable students, promote socially-responsible work practices and have a positive impact on organisations and society.
- Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Our world-leading staff and talented graduates help to shape the world around us, developing innovative materials to improve lives and protect the environment.
- Our plan: strategic partners
Our strategic plan explains our commitment to developing and maintaining mutually beneficial strategic partnerships.
- Control and Systems Engineering UTC
Situated within the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, the UTC co-ordinates and directs programmes of systems and control research for Rolls-Royce and are devoted to looking after Rolls-Royce's technical interests in the fields of control and monitoring systems.
- Advanced Electrical Machines and Drives UTC
Situated within the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, the UTC undertakes research programmes under the direction of Rolls-Royce, with a view to facilitating advancements in technology aimed at future Rolls-Royce market requirements.
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