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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited
The pioneering achievements of engineers at Rolls-Royce plc, in the civil aerospace, defence and energy groups, have been recognised by a new series of awards for technical innovation. Prizewinners from the company's UK and US facilities are rewarded in four main categories - engineering travel scholarships, technical innovations, patents and newly created Rolls-Royce Engineering Fellowships. Engineering Travel Scholarships were recently awarded to Kevin Chin and Dr Shahrokh Sharpah from Derby, Bristol's Gareth Jones, and Dennis Podlak, who works for Rolls-Royce subsidiary Syncrolift. All will use their scholarships to expand their knowledge and experience of customer or external research operations through overseas secondments. The Individual Award for Technical Innovation was split between Tony Rowlands and Mike Adams in recognition of their roles in developing the swept fan blade, now being used in the latest version of the Trent engine. Tony conceived the idea and undertook initial research, while Mike continued the development programme and took it through to implementation in the Trent 8104. To meet the need for higher fan airflow to achieve higher thrust levels, while achieving improved efficiency and birdstrike capability as well as overcoming a longstanding difficulty in enhancing stall and flutter margins, novel and innovative design features were developed using state-of-the-art 3-D aerodynamic tools. The Team Award for Technical Innovation went to Rob Brailey, Peter Hill, Nick Orchard, Dave Pugh and Don Reinhart, who developed a highly flexible machining system that could save 60 per cent of machining costs on most Rolls-Royce components. Third-stage patents awards went to Ian Stewart for his improved fan blade containment system that proved critical in the Trent's on-time certification, to Joe Jaeger and Matt Weimer for their system for detecting and accommodating gas turbine fan damage used to ensure timely AE 3007 certification, and to Dave Knott, Czeslaw Paluszkiewicz and Sivasubramaniam Sathianathan for their shear-key retention system used in latest fan blade assemblies.