Unique Rolls-Royce tour for students in Derby

A group of 16 students, comprising undergraduates and postgraduates from the Department of Engineering Science, accompanied by Teaching and Design Engineer (Materials) Dr Igor Dyson, recently visited Rolls-Royce plc in Derby for a unique tour.

Rolls-Royce site visit
The Department of Engineering Science visitors on a tour of the Rolls-Royce campus. Pictured here with two Rolls-Royce organisers of the visit, Mr Nathan Turner and Mr Duncan Leary, at the Learning & Development Centre. The students explored the design of the Trent 1000 engine which powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. (Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce).

Here Dr Dyson reports on this special and memorable day: ‘It was a busy day for us, as we toured four venues. Three of these were facilities representing Rolls-Royce’s civil aero-engine business, as it relates to its airline customers namely training, overhaul and operations. In the “Learning Centre”, we saw different production models of turbofan engines, which are used in training. In the “Overhaul Centre”, we saw different production models of turbofan engines which had just been in service, and now they were in various stages of either disassembly or reassembly. In the “Operations Centre”, we met Rolls-Royce staff who explained how, round the clock, they monitor the condition of aero-engines in service, and organise servicing of them. The fourth venue, the “Heritage Centre”, hosts a chronologic exhibition about Rolls-Royce’s history with mainly aero-engines exhibits and some relating to automotive and marine engineering. The tour of each venue was guided by a different Rolls-Royce employee; one of whom, Mr Duncan Leary, graduated from our Department recently!

‘The students were enthusiastic about what they saw, as they posed many questions (as did I) to our guides; all of whom responded equally enthusiastically! I was most impressed by the conscientious care which Rolls-Royce staff take, attending to detail in all of these facilities’.

PhD Student Yi-Sheng Chen
PhD student Yi-Sheng Chen, seen here at the “Learning Centre” (photo courtesy of Yi-Sheng Chen).

PhD student, Yi-Sheng Chen, commented: This amazing trip to Rolls-Royce headquarters in Derby is really a great privilege for the Oxford students. The whole tour was truly amazing, and perfectly showed how a masterpiece of engineering was delicately put together, by the contributions from multiple fields of expertise. This demonstrated that a successful business not only sells great products, but also has to provide a tremendous customer service to earn its reputation. It is absolutely unforgettable to see and touch the engines. Every small step of breakthrough may be contributing to an influential technology application that will change humans’ lives’.

PhD student Zhixin Li said: Thank you so much for arranging this activity! It is a fabulous chance to build a basic knowledge background about engine and aerospace engineering. And it is exciting to see models of famous engine types (such as Trent 1000 and 900) in person. I was impressed by Rolls Royce staff’s attitude towards their products and services. They are trying their best to optimise their engines and fix every detail. Personally, I appreciate their dedication and I think I really should learn from their working attitudes. It is a well-organized, one-day trip, which also allowed us to know about their internship programme and working modules’.

Duncan Leary, Services Engineer at Rolls-Royce, said: It was great to see students engaged in learning about the new technologies that power the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine. Their engagement and curiosity enabled them to explore the design, manufacture and service challenges of gas turbine engines. We hope through understanding our heritage and our future products they will be inspired to pursue a career in Aerospace Engineering’.

Published on 14 December 2016