The collaboration is facilitated via Cranfield’s Through-Life Engineering Services Centre (TES) and focuses primarily on key areas of digitalisation such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and digital twins. Babcock and Cranfield are leading members of Team Defence Information’s (TDI) Community of Practice Group for Digital Twins, which also includes members such as Rolls-Royce, Atkins and BAE and KBR. The group is responsible for developing a roadmap for digital twins in defence, linking into the National Digital Twin Programme.
“We’re delighted to be extending our partnership with Cranfield and one of the main benefits will be in how we deliver support in an increasingly complex engineering world, one where data volumes and digital technologies are increasing day by day,” said Jim Sibson, Babcock’s head of Research and Partnerships.
“This collaboration will enable us to continue delivering innovative support solutions for our customers, more efficiently and reduce costs in through-life support whilst improving asset availability.”
Other areas that the extended partnership will address include digital skills, with Babcock continuing to support a Cranfield University PhD based around Digital Twins. The defence giant is also contributing to the development of the new Master Level apprenticeship in Digital and Technology Solutions, which will be launching in April 2022.
“For us, it is very important to work with companies like Babcock because we value the experience they can share with the students and also with developing our academic research,” said John Erkoyuncu, director of Through-Life Engineering Services at Cranfield University.
“The benefits of collaborations between industry and academia can be substantial for both. With Babcock we’re looking at emerging and existing technology areas and to have the real-world challenges to work with means our research is really being tested and put to good use.”