in Aerospace

Prof. Adam Clare wins RAEng research chair

Posted 7 October 2019 · Add Comment

Manufacturing engineering Professor Adam Clare at the University of Nottingham has been awarded a Research Chair by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), to further work into the future of aircraft repairs.

Above: Trent 1000 cutaway poster 2019.
Copyright Rolls-Royce plc

The Academy’s Research Chair scheme aims to strengthen the links between industry and academia by supporting exceptional academics to undertake use-inspired research that meets the needs of industrial partners. 

The prestigious position is co-sponsored by Rolls-Royce and will last five years, further enhancing the current research partnership the University has with the company. Professor Clare has been appointed Rolls-Royce plc / Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Miniaturisation of Electrophysical Techniques for Next Generation On-Wing Repair.

During this time, Professor Clare plans to develop technology to offer quick and easy repairs for gas turbine engines, which power aircraft around the world. Engines can be very expensive and time consuming to maintain, especially for unscheduled issues, because they often must be taken completely off the wing and worked on by specialist engineers with complex tools.

Being able to perform more services with the engine intact and attached to the aircraft without dismantling high value infrastructure is extremely desirable for airlines and the supply chain.

The University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Engineering has developed prototype robots to address this challenge and Professor Clare aims to take this even further, by making this technology portable to work on engines in-situ on the wing anywhere in the world.

Commenting on the award, Professor Clare said: “My journey as an engineer started with a Saturday job, helping my uncle to fix things up, welding, mixing concrete repairing machines or fixing broken trucks. Over time, I wanted new challenges and started playing with more sophisticated engines. I was fascinated by gas turbine engines – I think they’re beautiful, and it is remarkable how whole economies depend on them. What excites me most about engineering is that it never runs out – there’s always a new challenge to solve. Engineering advancements can and have changed the destiny of our species: through this award, I hope to contribute in my own way.”

The project will be delivered within the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) at the University of Nottingham, housing a Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 aero engine. This unique capability will be used as a ‘real-life’ test bed for proving novel technologies alongside Rolls-Royce engineers.



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