Nuclear power experts Rolls-Royce will develop their unique expertise in energy solutions from a new base at Space Park Leicester.
Staff with a pedigree in nuclear power have been deployed to the £100 million Midlands facility to expand their work on nuclear power in space.
Rolls-Royce is said to be the only company in the UK with a singular focus on creating mechanical, electrical and nuclear power solutions that will be essential in tackling the challenges of the future. Space is one such challenging and growing sector in which Rolls-Royce believe power, propulsion and thermal management will play a significant role.
The company intends to progress and expand these developments by collaborating closely with Professor Richard Ambrosi, Professor of Space Instrumentation and Space Nuclear Power Systems at University of Leicester and other experts, making use of their capabilities in the space arena.
Abi Clayton, Director for Future Programmes at Rolls-Royce, said: “Having the opportunity to have a presence at Space Park Leicester allows us to be close to the action. It’s also incredibly inspiring to work among scientists from the University of Leicester and representatives from space-related companies.”
Last January, Rolls-Royce signed an innovative contract with the UK Space Agency for a study into future nuclear power options for space exploration. This represents an opportunity to define and shape the nuclear power solutions required in space in the decades to come.
Abi added: “Our innovative integrated electric power and thermal management solutions will work alongside our novel nuclear technologies, digital capabilities and engineering excellence to realise our customers’ ambitions for exploratory space missions to become a reality.”
Gary Jones, Head of Manufacturing Innovation at Rolls-Royce, said: “Our presence at Space Park Leicester is a really good opportunity for our people that are specifically working on the Space Programme to immerse themselves in all things space.
“Rolls-Royce is the UK’s nuclear thought leader and what we bring is unique. The expertise and just sheer innovation and brain power of some of our people is incredible and its tremendously exciting to surround ourselves with like-minded people.”
Space Park Leicester has been designed to enable collaboration between The University of Leicester’s researchers and the private sector, creating high quality knowledge-based jobs, building the skills base, and contributing to economic growth and resilience of the economy.
The project is being led by The University of Leicester in partnership with Leicester City Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).
Professor Richard Ambrosi, Executive Director of Space Park Leicester and Professor of Space Instrumentation and Space Nuclear Power Systems at University of Leicester, said: “The presence of Rolls-Royce at Space Park Leicester and their work in leading the development of space reactor systems will enable Leicester researchers to collaborate with Rolls-Royce on a range of space mission concepts and technology solutions that will transform access to space for scientific and human exploration endeavours.
“We welcome the opportunity to grow our portfolio of research in space nuclear power technologies, built on our heritage in radioisotope power systems.”