On 7 November 2014, the first Rolls-Royce Engineering Doctorate Conference was held at the Learning & Career Development Centre in Derby. The showcase event primarily intended to highlight the cutting-edge research conducted by Rolls-Royce-sponsored Engineering Doctorate (EngD) researchers, and to promote the crucial role that the EngD scheme employs to drive innovation and the development of new technologies.
The event was hosted by the Rolls-Royce Engineering Doctorate Network; a platform for the communication and collaboration between EngD researchers across all sectors of Rolls-Royce. Founded in 2012 by EngD researchers Oliver Nowers, Maria Felice and James Pettit, the Network principally aims to make the barriers to collaboration between EngD researchers more transparent, and to promote awareness of the EngD scheme and the benefits that it brings to Rolls-Royce.
Presentations at the event were given by both current and alumni EngD researchers, consisting of a high-level overview of the background knowledge, current research efforts and route to incorporation of the project. A broad variety of talks were given, ranging from the modelling of ultrasonic inspection of nuclear submarines, to the importance of value-driven design for aero-engine systems.
Invited plenary speakers included Henner Wapenhans, Head of Technology Strategy at Rolls-Royce, who outlined the technology capability offered by Rolls-Royce, and Martine Gagne, Head of the Rolls-Royce Strategic Research Centre (SRC), who discussed the corporate innovation strategy and the key research challenges for the future.
Insight into research further afield at Rolls-Royce was provided by Charles Ng, who is part of the Industrial Postgraduate Program (IPP) at Rolls-Royce Singapore, an analogous qualification to the EngD. In addition to presenting a variety of projects involved with the IPP, he also outlined the recently founded Rolls-Royce@NTU Corporate Laboratory, a joint investment of S$75 million by Rolls-Royce, the National Research Foundation of
Singapore, and Nanyang Technology University (NTU).
The conference exhibition, held in the Heritage Museum, included an EngD poster event in addition to a variety of DTC stands, exhibiting their research with potential application to Rolls-Royce technologies. In total, over 18 DTC’s spanning 11 UK universities were represented at the event, with over 130 people in attendance, including over 50 EngD students from all areas of the business.
Support for the event underlined the continued commitment from Rolls-Royce to invest in the next-generation of engineering challenges, and the importance of the EngD as a key enabler for the transfer of technology from academia to industry.
If you would like further information about the Rolls-Royce Engineering Doctorate Network, please contact Oliver Nowers – email@example.com.