Tom Keighley

Chinese aerospace outfit to use Nottingham research

The University of Nottingham will develop a new University Innovation Centre (UIC) with one of China’s biggest aerospace businesses.

The AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine Company Limited (ACAE) will undertake a number of civil aerospace research projects in the centre.

AVIC employs over 400,000 people in China and own assets valued at £29bn. This project is said to be worth over £1m per annum to the University.

The company is already sponsoring a group of around 20 employees who are undertaking postgraduate and masters studies at the University.

Research will include investigation of impact damage on composite materials, as well as research into thermal barrier coatings to help improve the performance of engine components such as turbine blades, which have to operate in very high temperatures.

Dr Victor Wang, the R&D Director of ACAE visited Nottingham to witness the contract being signed by the University and to take the documents back to China for signatures.

He said: “This really is an historic moment for ACAE, as it is the first time we have collaborated with a British University. The University of Nottingham has an excellent reputation for its work in engineering and aerospace, and I am confident that our work with them will enable us to further develop our products and help to give us a competitive advantage in our market.”

Professor Andy Long, who is the executive director of the Innovation Centre, added: “The partnership with ACAE is a very exciting development for the University. We have significant expertise in the aerospace sector, and this agreement means that we will be able to further enhance our understanding of composite materials and thermal barrier coatings in this area, leading to the development of new technologies.”

The University is also building a new Aerospace Technology Centre, to strengthen links with global aerospace firms and increase research industrial research in the sector.

Speaking about the University’s work in the aerospace industry, Professor Chris Rudd, the University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Business Engagement and Knowledge Transfer, said: “China, together with other Asian economies will drive global civil aerospace growth over the next decade.

“We recognise that there is a tremendous opportunity for us to build close partnerships with ACAE and AVIC, to help develop innovative new solutions for them. I am sure that this will be just the start of a long and mutually beneficial collaboration between our two organisations.”

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