Case Study: Rolls-Royce


Birmingham City University has been working as a supplier for research with the Aerospace Division of Rolls-Royce since 2008, on a project examining its advanced engineering systems. It is currently collaborating on the £90 million Technology Strategy Board-funded project, SILOET (Strategic Investment in Low Carbon Engine Technologies).

The relationship began with an initial twelve-month Knowledge Based Partnership (KBP), within the University's School of Engineering, Design and Manufacturing Systems which focused on modelling Rolls-Royce's advanced engineering systems to provide better understanding and intelligence on key engineering systems. The KBP programme relied upon the involvement of the Associate, Maria Nicastri, who participated in the project under the careful leadership and guidance of Professor Craig Chapman with support from Ardavan Amini (University Lecturer).

The University's commercial research engagement on the SILOET project included further analysis and modelling of an architecture to assist in the development of future virtual engines development. This project allowed a Birmingham City University student, Steve Suman, to be hired directly to the project as a Research Associate under the direction of Professor Craig Chapman.

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The Client

Rolls-Royce is a global business providing integrated power systems for use on land, at sea and in the air. The Group has a balanced business portfolio with leading market positions.

“The thriving partnership with Rolls-Royce typifies how the University can engage with companies on a variety of different activities, from applied research to knowledge transfer and consultancy to bespoke training”.

Professor Craig Chapman, Senior Academic for Research, Engineering Design and Manufacturing Systems


The KBP project resulted in many positive outcomes for Rolls-Royce, with the main one being the enhancement of knowledge in the area of key systems. Maria Nicastri has also become a permanent member of Rolls-Royce staff.

As a result of the positive outcomes, substantial investment has been made at the University’s Millennium Point facility to house a dedicated Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) laboratory. The team is also delivering bespoke training for Rolls-Royce’s senior management and key engineering team.


  • Key systems knowledge enhancement
  • Maria Nicastri gained employment with Rolls-Royce as a direct result of her work on the Knowledge Based Partnership project
  • Up-skilling for Rolls-Royce's senior management and key engineering teams.