INNOVATE researchers bond over team building exercise.

Sky's the limit for international aerospace project

The University of Nottingham has secured funding to lead an international research project to investigate the core technologies that will reduce the impact of air travel and increase its efficiency.

The Integration of Novel Aerospace Technologies research project, known as INNOVATE, brings together doctoral students from around the world with 14 industrial partners including Rolls-Royce, GE Aviation and EADS and the University Of Nottingham’s Institute for Aerospace Technology.

The project will take a multidisciplinary approach to look at the whole air transportation system. Each early stage researcher will develop novel technologies inside each of the core participating Nottingham research groups leading to their PhDs, while contributing to the formulation of the blueprint as part of a team effort. Students will also undertake a placement with one of the industrial partners.

The students were recruited from mainly engineering disciplines, but also include mathematicians, computer scientists, navigation or human factor specialists.

By breaking down traditional research silos and creating a new model, where researchers will be working as an interdisciplinary team to meet common problems, academics believe a new breed of engineers will emerge.

Unlike a traditional PhD model, the researchers will not be working in isolation and will extract and develop the technologies from their individual research, which will then immediately fit as part of an air transport system. The project seeks to address this industrial challenge of translating research into innovative, market-ready products.

“We firmly believe that this kind of integrated approach will be critical to delivering innovation to the marketplace,” says Dr Hervé Morvan, director of Research, IAT.

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