Wings Magazine

Rolls-Royce opens new engine facility in the U.S.

Rolls-Royce has officially moved into the Purdue Technology Center Aerospace, a 55,000-square-foot facility in West Lafayette, where the company will conduct research and development for jet engine components.

March 27, 2017  By Rolls-Royce

More than 250 people attended the Thursday (March 23) dedication celebration for the first building in the 980-acre Purdue Research Park Aerospace District Located at 1801 Newman Road, West Lafayette, Indiana.

“We are proud of our long-standing partnership with Purdue University and are excited to take it to the next level as the first business to locate at the new Purdue Research Park Aerospace District,” said Rolls-Royce North America President and CEO Marion Blakey. “This expanded collaboration will help us develop new and critical capabilities for our customers around the world who are seeking quieter, cleaner and more powerful engines.”

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

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

“It is highly appropriate that the first company to move into the Purdue aerospace district would be Rolls-Royce, an international leader in aerospace research and development,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. “Rolls-Royce and Purdue have a long history of collaboration that has proven positive for Rolls-Royce, for Purdue and for the students at Purdue.”


In 2016, Purdue and Rolls-Royce announced a $33 million jet-engine research and development program to create next-generation aircraft propulsion systems. Purdue undergraduate and graduate students benefit from the Rolls-Royce relationship as well. The company employs more than 600 Purdue graduates, sponsors four Rolls-Royce Fellows and provides research funding for 20 graduate research assistants.

“We cannot emphasize enough how important the dedication of the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District is and what it means long term for West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County and the state of Indiana,” said Sen. Brandt Hershman. “Rolls-Royce and Purdue are together enhancing each other’s strengths in education, research, technology and economic development, and Indiana residents are the recipients of this endeavor.”

Earlier Thursday, an MV-22 Osprey, an aircraft that is able to do a vertical take-off and landing yet fly like a jet, was on public display at the Purdue University Airport for community members and visitors to view and walk through. More than 1,500 people attended that event. The MV-22 Osprey that was on display at Purdue is operated by Marine Helicopter Squadron One, the Washington, D.C. This unit serves the President of the United States. Rolls-Royce designed, engineered and manufactured the AE 1007C engines that power the Osprey at the company’s facilities in Indianapolis.

The aerospace district is part of the $1 billion Purdue Innovation District, a partnership between the Purdue Research Foundation and Browning Investments LLC to create an environment for educational, economic, cultural, community and real estate while developing 450 acres at the west end of the Purdue University campus. The $120 million State Street Project will provide critical infrastructure to support and enhance the improvements throughout the Purdue campus and community.

“It is a great time to be part of the growth and development of West Lafayette and the Greater Lafayette Area,” said West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis. “The collaborations and strength of the partnership among so many different entities like Purdue and Rolls-Royce is showing real, permanent advancement at many, many levels.”

The Purdue Research Park Aerospace District is open to other companies interested in aerospace and aviation development.

“Rolls-Royce was an idea that became a possibility, then a project, and now a fully operational research and development facility,” said Dan Hasler, Purdue Research Foundation president and chief entrepreneurial officer. “It really is just the beginning because 980 acre district is truly a land of opportunity. I anticipate that we will have many such wonderful celebrations in the future.”

The Purdue Research Park Aerospace District encompasses the Purdue University Airport, Purdue Aviation, Mach 6 Quiet Flow Ludwieg Tube Wind Tunnel and the Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories. The site is an Indiana Certified Technology Park by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.


Stories continue below