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Energy Transitions Research at the University of Cambridge

Tuesday, 14 June, 2016 - 15:30
Event location: 
Pippard Lecture Theatre at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Forum 2016

The annual Armourers and Brasiers' Cambridge Forum will be held on Tuesday 14th June 2016 in the Pippard Lecture Theatre at the Cavendish Laboratory on the University of Cambridge's West Cambridge Site.

The Forum will include the 18th Kelly Lecture, ‘Advanced Materials - Flying High’ to be given by Professor Ric Parker CBE, FREng. Recently retired, Richard (Ric) Parker was Director of Research & Technology, Rolls-Royce Group from January 2001 to March 2016. He was responsible for direction and co-ordination of Research & Technology programmes across all the Rolls-Royce businesses, worldwide. Ric joined Rolls-Royce in 1978.

When Frank Whittle built and flew his first jet engine, the available steels for the turbine blade limited the temperature, post-combustion to just over 800°C. In today’s gas-turbine compressor (before the combustor), the temperature is already over 700°C and post combustion the turbine blade must withstand a temperature of over 1700°C. This is enabled by the latest nickel super-alloys, formed as single crystals, coated with advanced ceramics and cooled internally. Throughout the history of the jet engine advances in material engineering have been the key to improved efficiency, increased safety and reduced environmental impact. The advances have not only been in metallics. Composite materials, as championed by the late Tony Kelly, after whom this lecture is named, play a significant part in reducing the weight of aircraft and also engines. Composite materials are appearing not just a carbon/polymer composites, but increasingly in the hot-end through the use of Ceramic Matrix Composites, and enabling further weight reduction through Metal Matrix Composites. The speaker will review the advances in material science, materials processing and manufacturing technology which have facilitated these great achievements. Ric Parker will also review the Rolls-Royce collaborative model which takes new technology from the university laboratory to the production centre.

Draft Programme: