Rolls-Royce has donated a Trent 1000 jet engine to Virginia Tech that will be the centerpiece of its new Signature Engineering Building. Construction workers recently positioned the engine into the foyer of the building where it will hang suspended 15 feet above the floor. The building is going up around the engine, and it will remain in a protective cover until the structure opens in spring 2014.
Rolls-Royce said it plans to outfit the new building with interactive kiosks containing information on engine design and advanced manufacturing to inform students about careers in engineering.
“We are honored and delighted to make this engine donation to Virginia Tech,” said Phil Burkholder, Rolls-Royce, executive vice president, engineering and technology. “Rolls-Royce enjoys a strong partnership in higher education with Virginia Tech that includes research and development programs, endowments and internships. We hope our Trent 1000 engine, a modern engineering marvel, will serve as a symbol of excellence and inspire generations of talented students to pursue careers in science and engineering.” The donated engine is one the company’s early test engines.
The global power systems company, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia formed a research partnership called the Commonwealth Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems to address technology challenges using the universities’ facilities. It is in its second year of operation. Rolls-Royce and Virginia Tech also are partners, along with the University of Virginia, Virginia State University and private companies in the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Prince George County, which accelerates the translation of innovative research from the laboratory to commercial use.
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