Smiths Aerospace Allies with Universities for Technology Strategic Research Programmes

Smiths Aerospace announces two long-term research partnerships with universities in the United Kingdom. The first University Technology Strategic Partnership (UTSP) is in aircraft electrical power and actuation research with the University of Nottingham and the University of Warwick. The second UTSP is in metallic and composite materials with the University of Bristol and the University of Oxford.

The two UTSPs have been set up with assistance and financial support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the UK. Research projects are currently underway between the universities and Smiths' facilities in Cheltenham, Wolverhampton, Southampton and Gloucester.

"Investment in research and technology for future aerospace programmes is vital to our industry," stated Dr. John Ferrie, President, Smiths Aerospace. "Smiths has increased its commitment to technology leadership by more than doubling investment in R & D to 10 percent of annual sales. Strategic partnerships with the universities enable Smiths to invest in developing the talents of our young people, while cultivating advanced technology."

The universities will work in conjunction with Smiths to explore potential new product directions. Research in enabling concepts and technologies will be identified and these will be jointly investigated by Smiths and the universities.

The goal of the University Technology Strategic Partnership is to:

-- Facilitate medium to long-term research on enabling technologies;

-- Become Centers of Excellence for critical areas of Smiths businesses;

-- Generate mutual understanding of the business environment and build stronger communications between the partners;

-- Assist with company training and recruitment programmes.

"We are excited by the opportunity to apply our composites expertise to advancing the design and manufacture of Smiths' current aerospace products, and to work together with Oxford University on future cutting edge applications of smart composites technologies," commented Professor Michael Wisnom, Director of the Smiths UTSP, University of Bristol.

"Aircraft electrical systems are undergoing radical changes. We are excited to be working with Smiths Aerospace and Warwick University on innovations that will create the electrical technologies of the future in aerospace," said Professor Jon Clare, Director of the Smiths UTSP, University of Nottingham.

About University of Bristol: The Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science at the University of Bristol brings together an interdisciplinary team of more than 50 researchers working on the science, engineering and application of fibre reinforced composite materials and structures. Research spans four broad themes: Multifunctional Composites & Novel Microstructures; Design, Analysis & Failure; Intelligent Structures and Composites Processing and Characterisation. The Centre has very strong industrial links, especially in the aerospace sector.

About University of Oxford: The Department of Materials at Oxford University has objectives: (I) to produce world class graduate materials scientists and engineers, and (ii) to conduct world class research into the manufacture, structure, properties and applications of materials, for the benefit of the UK and world community. The Department was awarded the highest "five star" grading for research in the Government's most recent research assessment exercise, and consistently tops the overall performance league tables for UK Materials Departments. The Department is part of an integrated Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at Oxford, and provides an ideal environment for interdisciplinary teaching and research. Fundamental developments in the physics and chemistry of materials take place directly alongside applications in manufacturing processes and engineering design.

About University of Nottingham: The Power Electronics, Machines and Control (PEMC) Group at the University of Nottingham has a team of approximately 80 researchers working on all aspects of power conversion. The Group has a large portfolio of work in the aerospace sector concentrating on electrical power systems and actuation. This work includes a strong collaboration with the School of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering on integrated thermal design of electro-mechanical systems. The Group has international reputations in a number of research fields including AC drive control, power electronic converter applications, AC-AC power conversion, and motor drive efficiency and instrumentation methods. Expertise also includes robust control, system control of wind and hybrid generation, system control of isolated power buses; EMC in drives and power electronic systems, and dynamic modelling techniques for electrical machines.

About University of Warwick: The University of Warwick has a unified School of Engineering covering and integrates most branches of Engineering. The School of Engineering is large with approaching 1000 undergraduates and 1600 postgraduates supported by 300 academic teaching and research staff. The great strength of the School is its combination of world-class fundamental research with the strong wealth creation that results from its exceptionally close involvement with industry. Its activities range widely over all aspects of engineering involving international industry and business. Apart from research and development, it provides a wide range of services to both local and worldwide companies, aimed at improving their performance. Today it has links with some 500 companies on five different continents. It has pioneered an international model for working with industry, including the provision of extensive training programmes, with centres in China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, South Africa and Thailand.

About Smiths Aerospace: Smiths Aerospace, a part of Smiths Group, is a leading transatlantic aerospace systems and equipment company, with more than 11,000 employees and $2 billion revenues globally. The company holds key positions in the supply chains of all major military and civil aircraft and engine manufacturers and is a world-leader in digital, electrical power, mechanical systems, engine components and customer services.

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