W.Lafayette, Indiana, USA. - Rolls-Royce is preparing to open a 40,000 square foot facility to boost development and testing of jet engine components at the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District in West Lafayette.

Officials announced that Rolls-Royce has received the keys to the facility and an event to mark the opening is planned March 24 2017. Rolls-Royce is partnering the Purdue Research Foundation in a project that is part of the $1 billion Purdue Innovation District, a partnership between the Purdue Research Foundation and Browning Investments LLC. As part of the effort, work is taking place to develop 450 acres at the west end of the Purdue University campus that will create a positive environment for educational, economic, cultural, community and real estate development.

“This facility is a great opportunity for us to create something unique to North America but also unique to Indiana, and allow us to strengthen our partnership with Purdue,” said David Waggoner, head of programs, customer and operations, Control Systems in North America for Rolls-Royce. “Given the unique dynamic of Rolls-Royce developing a rig in parallel with Purdue Research Foundation building the facility, it’s amazing how well the construction has gone. PRF has done a great job keeping it moving and on schedule. We’ve officially accepted the facility and we’re excited to start moving in.”

“Besides research and development, this facility presents a fantastic opportunity to look at alternative fuels and other potential use cases around fuel pump capabilities,” said Brad Swearingen, director of Controls Engineering in North America for Rolls-Royce. “We also plan to utilize the facility for qualification ability to really change the game for our North America business by moving test capabilities internally.”

The new research facility will further assist Rolls-Royce in:

  • Designing, developing and testing of jet engine components.
  • Collaborating with Purdue researchers through corporate partnerships.
  • Recruiting future talent of Purdue student interns and graduates.

 “This facility presents a lot of opportunity, including giving us an even stronger presence and name recognition with students on Purdue’s campus,” said Kyle Jaggers, technical lead, Control Systems for Rolls-Royce. “During the most recent Industrial Roundtable career fair at Purdue there was a great sense of interest among students about the new facility, so I look forward to seeing that interest strengthen and see opportunities for Purdue students and alum come to fruition.”

“Rolls-Royce is a world-class enterprise and exactly the type of company that the new aerospace district is designed to serve,” said Dan Hasler, Purdue Research Foundation’s president and chief entrepreneurial officer. “Since Rolls-Royce will occupy 60 percent of the 55,000 square-foot building we’re excited to offer the additional space to other companies who may be interested in partnering with Rolls-Royce or Purdue on research and development opportunities in the aerospace and aviation market.”

The Purdue Research Park Aerospace District opened in 2015 and encompasses the Purdue University Airport, Purdue Aviation (formerly Lafayette Aviation), Mach 6 Quiet Flow Ludwieg Tube Wind Tunnel and the Maurice J.Zucrow Laboratories. The site has been named an Indiana certified Technology Park by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. 

For 100 years, Rolls-Royce and its predecessor companies have been engineering, designing and manufacturing advanced technology in the city of Indianapolis. Today, Rolls-Royce employs 4,000 people in Indianapolis, with 1,050 working in production and nearly 1,400 engineers. Engines designed, assembled and tested at Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis power U.S. Department of Defense aircraft, civil helicopters, regional and business jets, and power systems for U.S. Naval vessels. These include the F-35B Lighting II, C-130J Hercules; V-22 Osprey; Global Hawk UAV: Citation X; various commercial helicopters and the new naval Ship-to-Shore Connector program.

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