Dresden gains UTC

Rolls-Royce has launched a University Technology Centre (UTC) at Dresden University, Germany to study lightweight structures and materials.

The new UTC was opened in Dresden by Colin Smith, Rolls-Royce Director – Engineering and Technology, and Professor Hermann Kokenge, Rector of Dresden University. It is the second Rolls-Royce UTC established in Germany, where the company already has several long-standing relationships with research institutions and universities.

According to Rolls-Royce, a key driver for the new UTC is aviation’s need to meet ever more stringent environmental targets in the area of noise, emissions and fuel burn.

Future aero engines are likely to incorporate lower-speed, larger diameter fans to deliver thrust levels at higher bypass ratios and hence better fuel efficiencies. Lightweight structures and materials will be key in the future to ensure weight is minimised in such larger fan assemblies and enable the development of novel architectures. Both are fundamental factors in delivering environmentally-friendly engines.

The UTC will collaborate closely with Rolls-Royce specialists at Rolls-Royce Deutschland in Dahlewitz, near Berlin, and at the company’s sites in the UK, studying and developing lightweight structures from concept to prototype manufactured parts.

Dresden has already been responsive in making and testing sub-elements in the EU-funded VITAL research programme that was launched in 2005 and is concentrating on environmental performance and lighter components within the low-pressure section of the aero engine.