Research Foundation News

January 4, 2017

Purdue gives keys to Rolls-Royce, facility to open in March

PRF-Rollskeys Dan Hasler, president and chief entrepreneurial officer of the Purdue Research Foundation, hands over the keys to the first Purdue Research Park Aerospace District facility to David Waggoner, head of programs, customer and operations, Control Systems in North America for Rolls-Royce. Also pictured, from left, is Jeremy Slater, project manager of architecture and engineering at PRF; Kyle Jagger, technical lead, Control Systems for Rolls-Royce; and Brad Swearingen, director of Controls Engineering in North America for Rolls-Royce. The facility will officially open on March 24, 2017. (Purdue Research Foundation image) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Rolls-Royce formally received the keys to the 55,000-square-foot facility in the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District in West Lafayette, officials announced Wednesday (Jan 4).

Purdue Research Foundation and Rolls-Royce are scheduled to celebrate the building’s opening on Friday, March 24. More information will be available in the coming months.

“This facility is a great opportunity for us to create something unique to North America but also unique to Indiana, and allow us to strengthen our partnership with Purdue,” said David Waggoner, head of programs, customer and operations, Control Systems in North America for Rolls-Royce. “Given the unique dynamic of Rolls-Royce developing a rig in parallel with Purdue Research Foundation building the facility, it’s amazing how well the construction has gone. PRF has done a great job keeping it moving and on schedule. We’ve officially accepted the facility and we’re excited to start moving in.”

Rolls-Royce is the first company to partner with the Purdue Research Foundation in the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District. The Purdue Technology Center Aerospace building within the district will house some of Rolls-Royce’s R&D activities. The project is part of the $1 billion Purdue Innovation District, a partnership between the Purdue Research Foundation and Browning Investments LLC to create an environment for educational, economic, cultural, community and real estate while developing 450 acres at the west end of the Purdue University campus.

Park-aerospacerender Rolls-Royce will occupy 60 percent of the 55,000-square-foot Purdue Technology Center Aerospace building in the Purdue Research Park Aerospace District. The facility will house some of Rolls-Royce R&D activities. (Purdue Research Park image) Download image

“Besides research and development, this facility presents a fantastic opportunity to look at alternative fuels and other potential use cases around fuel pump capabilities,” said Brad Swearingen, director of Controls Engineering in North America for Rolls-Royce. “We also plan to utilize the facility for qualification ability to really change the game for our North America business by moving test capabilities internally.”

“There are three key things that will be going on in this facility: new builds, development and testing, and repair and overall of field returns,” Waggoner added. 

The new research facility will further assist Rolls-Royce in:

* Designing, developing and testing of jet engine components.

* Collaborating with Purdue researchers through corporate partnerships.

* Recruiting future talent of Purdue student interns and graduates.

 “This facility presents a lot of opportunity, including giving us an even stronger presence and name recognition with students on Purdue’s campus,” said Kyle Jaggers, technical lead, Control Systems for Rolls-Royce. “During the most recent Industrial Roundtable career fair at Purdue there was a great sense of interest among students about the new facility, so I look forward to seeing that interest strengthen and see opportunities for Purdue students and alum come to fruition.”

The facility is also open to other companies interested in aerospace and aviation development.

“Rolls-Royce is a world-class enterprise and exactly the type of company that the new aerospace district is designed to serve,” said Dan Hasler, Purdue Research Foundation’s president and chief entrepreneurial officer. “Since Rolls-Royce will occupy 60 percent of the 55,000 square-foot building we’re excited to offer the additional space to other companies who may be interested in partnering with Rolls-Royce or Purdue on research and development opportunities in the aerospace and aviation market.”

The Purdue Research Park Aerospace District opened in 2015 and encompasses the Purdue University Airport, Purdue Aviation (formerly Lafayette Aviation), Mach 6 Quiet Flow Ludwieg Tube Wind Tunnel and the Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories. The site has been named an Indiana Certified Technology Park by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Visit Purdue Aerospace District or State Street Project for information on these enterprises or Purdue aerospace video for a view of aviation at Purdue.

About Rolls-Royce Indianapolis

For 100 years, Rolls-Royce and its predecessor companies have been engineering, designing and manufacturing advanced technology in the city of Indianapolis. Today, Rolls-Royce employs 4,000 people in Indianapolis, with 1,050 working in production and nearly 1,400 engineers. Engines designed, assembled and tested at Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis power U.S. Department of Defense aircraft, civil helicopters, regional and business jets, and power systems for U.S. Naval vessels. These include the F-35B Lighting II, C-130J Hercules; V-22 Osprey; Global Hawk UAV: Citation X; various commercial helicopters and the new naval Ship-to-Shore Connector program.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at

Media contacts:

Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340,

Joel Reuter, Rolls-Royce, 317-410-1000,

Source:   David Waggoner, 317-230-4337,

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