4 June 2001
For immediate release
Researchers at the University of Sussex have been awarded just under half a million pounds from the European Union to help develop the jet engines of the future.
'Although the jet engine has been around for a long time, we're still managing to develop the technology,' says Dr Peter Childs, Reader in Mechanical Engineering in the Thermo-Fluid Mechanics Research Centre. The four year project involves looking at how quickly the components inside a jet engine get hot and will use the Centre's gas turbine driven Rolls-Royce engine, which is the most powerful in any UK university.
As Dr Childs explains, 'the life of the components in a jet engine and their integrity is limited by the fact that they are rotating at high speed and at temperatures of well over 1000 degrees C. This project is principally to look at providing design methodologies to help predict temperatures within jet engines.'
Another objective of the project is to reduce fuel consumption. 'If you're saving on fuel it's a win-win situation in terms of both cost and the environment,' says Dr Childs.
The project will contribute to the development of the new Rolls-Royce Trent 900 jet engine which will power the new double-decker Airbus A380, which is designed to carry 550 passengers and is due to enter service in 2006. 'It's a most impressive aircraft,' says Dr Childs, 'and an ongoing challenge will be to achieve even higher levels of reliability. For Sussex to be involved is both exciting and inspiring.'
Professor Alan Turner will lead the project and will be working with Dr Peter Childs, Dr Christopher Long, Dr Nick Hills and Dr Alex Alexiou from the Centre, which was established in 1977 by a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The universities of Surrey, Aachen and Karlsruhe are also involved, as well as companies such as Rolls-Royce (the principal contractor), Volvo Aero Corporation, Daimler-Chrysler and Siemens. The project's overall funding is £1.6 million under the European Unions's 'New Perspectives in Aeronautics' programme.
Notes for editors
For further information, please contact Peter Simmons, University of Sussex,
Tel. 01273 678209, Fax 01273 877456, P.J.Simmons@sussex.ac.uk.
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