WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University and Rolls-Royce officials have signed a research and testing agreement that will bring $75 million over 10 years to the West Lafayette campus. It is the largest deal with an industry partner in Purdue history.

The Purdue and Rolls-Royce relationship has thrived for more than 70 years, highlighted by millions of dollars invested in aerospace testing technology, sponsorship of graduate student research fellowships and more than 600 Purdue graduates among the company’s current workforce in Indianapolis. Purdue is designated among the top class of partners as a Rolls-Royce University Technology Center, recognizing their collaborations on research, including advanced engine technology, materials, and testing capability. Additionally, the relationship between Rolls-Royce and Purdue has expanded to include significant work on initiatives in hypersonics, cybersecurity, and digital technology.

The newly signed agreement will fund testing and research with a focus in the areas of gas turbine technology and electrical and digital technology. Rolls-Royce already boasts some of the most efficient and capable power systems in the world across a suite of civil and defense applications. This investment will be focused primarily at Purdue’s Zucrow Laboratories — one of the largest academic propulsion laboratories in the world — for research in sustainable power systems through advanced technology in electrification, turbines, compressors, and combustion with sustainable fuels.

This research partnership announcement is concurrent with news in April that Purdue will construct a $73 million, 55,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, high-speed propulsion laboratory for hypersonic technologies in the Discovery Park District at Purdue.

“Purdue's research partnership with Rolls-Royce will address some of the greatest technology challenges facing the U.S. Our faculty and students will work on advanced technology capabilities to ensure long-term national security,” said Mitch Daniels, president, Purdue University. “This will enhance the university's role as a world leader in engineering research." 

Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering and executive vice president of Purdue University for strategic initiatives, said, “Purdue has become the epicenter of hypersonic research and testing in the U.S. We are excited across three tracks: first, our own investment for federal and industry projects, such as the wind tunnel and manufacturing facility announced in 2021, and the high-speed propulsion facility in 2022 that Rolls Royce will be able to use; second, private sector’s investment to grow their presence in the Discovery Park District at Purdue; and third, a nonprofit consortium of industry members for ground testing hosted at Purdue.”

Theresa Mayer, executive vice president for research and partnerships, Purdue University, said, “This record-setting agreement is another example of Purdue working with leaders in industry, government, and academia to advance national security. We are excited by the prospects of technological innovation that will be discovered and developed through this agreement with Rolls-Royce."

Warren White, Rolls-Royce head of assembly and testing, said, “We’re excited to further strengthen our long-standing partnership with Purdue University through this new test and research agreement. We firmly believe in the innovative power that comes from strong collaboration between industry and academia. Over the next decade, we’ll explore transformative technologies like hybrid-electric and hypersonic propulsion that will help define the future of aerospace.”

For more information, visit www.purdue.edu.