Rolls-Royce, Purdue mark partnership with dedication celebration

Rolls-Royce officially moved into the Purdue Technology Center Aerospace (WLFI).

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — An aerospace center at Purdue University took flight Thursday by announcing its official dedication and collaboration with Rolls-Royce. The company officially moved into the Purdue Technology Center Aerospace, a 55,000 square-foot facility in West Lafayette, where it will conduct research and development for jet engine components.

“It’s come together in a way that is really knock out,” said Marion Blakey, Rolls-Royce North America president and CEO. “This is a wonderful day because we have technology research and a long-standing partnership with Purdue — all here for Rolls-Royce.”

Hundreds attended the dedication. The building is the first to be dedicated in the 980-acre Purdue Research Park Aerospace District, west of campus.

“It’s fascinating,” said Sujit Shivaprasad, Purdue senior and future Rolls-Royce employee. “I’m really excited to come back and visit and see how this progresses.”

The company will conduct research and development for jet engine components. It will also offer hands-on experience in research for many students, as well as recruit future talent.

“Hands-on opportunities, where you really can work with the technology because a number of students really contributed to the building and the kidding of this facility,” Blakey said.

The company employs more than 600 Purdue graduates, sponsors four Rolls-Royce fellows and provides research funding for 20 graduate research assistants.

“Working together, Rolls-Royce will get better talent to come work with them in the future,” Purdue senior and future Rolls-Royce employee Brad Randall said. “Purdue will have more investment into research.”

Randall said the partnership will also benefit the entire aerospace industry.

“For students, this relationship will be particular benefit because Purdue has a great history of relating with people in the industry and creating opportunity for jobs and connections,” Randall said.

The MV-22 Osprey that was on display at the Purdue University Airport Thursday flew over the aerospace center during the dedication.