Imperial College London

UK-India team takes off with award for green aircraft engine research


Research team receive Major Award as part of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative - <em>News Release</em>

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Under embargo for 00.01 GMT
Friday 19 January 2007

A research project aimed at developing alloys for use in greener aircraft engines is the winner of a new UK-India Education and Research Initiative Major Award announced yesterday (18 January).

The six Major Awards and 23 Standard Awards were announced in New Delhi by Chancellor Gordon Brown at a reception celebrating and promoting links between India and the UK.

The alloys, to be developed by researchers at Imperial College London, the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, will lead to engine components that can change shape or position at a particular temperature. The team hopes that these could replace mechanical moving parts in aircraft, leading to reduced engine weight and increased energy efficiency.

Dr Upadrasta Ramamurty, Associate Prof at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, receiving the UKIERI Major Award from Gordon BrownThe lead collaborators on this project are Dr David Dye , from Imperial’s Department of Materials and Dr Upadrasta Ramamurty, from the Department of Metallurgy, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. In addition, there will be five studentships contributing to the project, two funded by Imperial and three funded by the Indian Institute of Science.

The UKIERI Major Award of £204,000 over three and a half years, will be used to support collaborative research workshops between the institutions.

Rolls-Royce plc will also collaborate on the project, working with teams from Imperial College and the Indian Institutes to design 'self-actuating' components suitable for use in aero engines – likely to be applied initially to noise and emissions reductions systems.

Welcoming the award, Sir Richard Sykes , Rector of Imperial College, said:

"Imperial has many research links with institutions in India, a country that is doing a great deal to position itself as a place where scientists can do business. These global partnerships between leading research centres are a vital part of finding the solutions to major world challenges, so the work that UKIERI does in facilitating such relationships is extremely important."

Dr David Clarke, Head of Technology Strategy at Rolls-Royce, added:

"This new research collaboration builds on our existing industrial relationships in India and marks the start of a new long-term partnership between Rolls-Royce and India on advanced technology development. Globally we operate 27 University Technology Centres – large, world -class research teams focused on advanced engineering and technology – and we are delighted that the UKIERI initiative allows the innovative researchers in India to be linked into that network through Imperial College."

Imperial was also awarded two Standard Awards which provide a maximum of £150,000 per project. Professor Poole-Wilson , from the College's National Heart and Lung Institute in collaboration with Professor Srinath Reddy, Head of the Department of Cardiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences were awarded funding for their research on cardiovascular disease, its prevention and origins.

Professor Andrew Miller , from the Department of Chemistry at the College also won a Standard Award in collaboration with Dr Ahmed Kamal, Principle Researcher at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology and Professor Manfred Schneider at Bergische University, Wuppertal, Germany.Their project researches biomedical solutions for India and the UK to discover next generation Antiinfectives.

UKIERI is an initiative aimed at improving research and education links between India and the UK. It is supported by £12m from the UK government as well as by industrial sponsors including Rolls-Royce, BP, GlaxoSmithKline, BAE Systems and Shell.

A reception to celebrate the announcement of the awards and congratulate the winners will be held in London on 23 January, with Bill Rammell, MP, Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education.

For further information contact:

Naomi Weston
Imperial College London Press Office
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6704

For further information on the UK event in London, please contact:

Ellen Miller, British Council Press Office
Tel: +44 (0)207 389 4939

Notes to editors:

About Imperial College London

Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,500) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

About Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce, the world-leading provider of power systems and services, invests in core technology, capability and infrastructure that can be applied across the aerospace, marine and energy sectors. These investments create high barriers to entry, and the company has established strong positions within programmes that will shape the future power-systems market. This will support its existing broad customer base comprising 600 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces and more than 2,000 marine customers, including 70 navies.


The UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) is a five year initiative designed to facilitate a step-change in education and research cooperation between the UK and India. The initiative prioritises high quality, innovative research and academic excellence in areas of priority int erest and benefit to both countries. In addition to academic and research excellence, the research awards require a high level of mutuality and sustainability, which are key features of the initiative. UKIERI supports collaborations between the two countries in Schools, Professional and Tech nical Skills , Higher Education and Research.

The Standard and Major Awards provided by the initiative are a key part of its programme to encourage and support research between the two countries. Major Awards provide a maximum of £500,000 per project. Other Major award winners announced today include: University of Cambridge and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology Hyderabad, University of Nottingham and the Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow, University of Leicester and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Walker Institute, University of Reading and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune and City University and Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.


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