View all news

New Director of Composites University Technology Centre

From L to R: Professor Stephen Hallett; Adam Bishop; UTC Co-ordinator at Rolls-Royce; Professor Michael Wisnom and Alan Partridge, Head of Materials Engineering at Rolls-Royce, at the recent 10-year anniversary conference of the Composites UTC

5 December 2017

Professor Stephen Hallett has been appointed as the Director of the Composites University Technology Centre (UTC), supported by Rolls-Royce, at the University of Bristol.

The Composites University Technology Centre (UTC) was established in 2007 at the University of Bristol and sits within the newly launched Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS).  The research programme provides validated analysis capability for the response of composites that can be used in the design and manufacture of components. The UTC is at the forefront of supporting Rolls-Royce in its development of the next generation of fan blades and cases for future aero-engines.

The UTC acts as a focus for composites research, providing a coordinated programme to meet the needs of Rolls-Royce and advising on appropriate technology strategy.  Rolls-Royce technical experts support the research programme, ensuring transfer of the technology back to the company whilst maintaining scientific excellence.

In the Directorship role, Professor Hallett will be responsible for leadership of the overall research programme and strategy of the UTC in collaboration with the Rolls-Royce UTC Co-ordinator. 

The Bristol UTC has been further strengthened through collaboration with the Lightweight Structures and Materials UTC at TU Dresden, creating the Rolls-Royce University Technology Partnership (UTP).  Research activities going forward will be collaborative between the UTP parties, allowing a wider scope for research development and application within the research programme.      

The change in Directorship coincides with the ten-year anniversary of the UTC, for which celebrations were recently held at the University of Bristol.  Key stakeholders from Rolls-Royce and academia presented a showcase of the current programme of research as well as highlights and technical advancements made since the launch of the UTC. 

Professor Hallett said: "I am delighted to take on the UTC Directorship role and to continue the work shaped by Professor Wisnom over the first ten years of the UTC.  My previous involvement as Technical Director of the UTC has provided me with a sound understanding of the composites research strategy of Rolls-Royce and I can bring expertise and leadership in composite mechanics, analysis and manufacturing to support and shape the programme going forwards.  I welcome the opportunity to lead the delivery of world-class research for Rolls-Royce and look forward to continuing collaborative working with both Rolls-Royce and TU Dresden, as a key member of the UTP."

Adam Bishop, Rolls-Royce UTC Co-ordinator, added: "I am delighted that Professor Steven Hallett has taken on the Directorship of the Composites UTC at the University of Bristol.  We have worked together for many years and I am looking forward to taking that partnership forward for many years to come.  I would also like to take this opportunity on behalf of Rolls-Royce to say thank you to Professor Michael Wisnom for all his efforts over the last ten years and helping to shape the UTC into being a centre at the forefront of composites research."

Professor Hallett replaces Professor Michael Wisnom as the UTC Director.  Professor Wisnom continues his involvement in the programme's activities as UTC Technical Fellow, maintaining an advisory role to the research programme.

Further information

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc

1.    Rolls-Royce's vision is to be the market-leader in high performance power systems where our engineering expertise, global reach and deep industry knowledge deliver outstanding customer relationships and solutions. We operate across five businesses: Civil Aerospace, Defence Aerospace, Marine, Nuclear and Power Systems.

2.    Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 4,000 marine customers including 70 navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.

3.    We have three common themes across all our businesses:

  • Investing in and developing engineering excellence
  • Driving a manufacturing and supply chain transformation which will embed operational excellence in lean, lower-cost facilities and processes
  • Leveraging our installed base, product knowledge and engineering capabilities to provide customers with outstanding service through which we can capture aftermarket value long into the future. 

4.    Annual underlying revenue was £13.8 billion in 2016, around half of which came from the provision of aftermarket services. The firm and announced order book stood at £80 billion at the end of 2016.

5.    In 2016, Rolls-Royce invested £1.3 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 31 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.

6.    Rolls-Royce employs almost 50,000 people in 50 countries. More than 16,500 of these are engineers.

7.    The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills. In 2016 we recruited 274 graduates and 327 apprentices through our worldwide training programmes

About the Composites University Technology Centre (UTC)

The Composites University Technology Centre (UTC) at the University of Bristol is a research centre supported by Rolls-Royce plc to provide a validated analysis capability for the response of composites that can be used to design and manufacture composite components. It aims to act as a focus for composites research activities, liaising with other universities to provide a coordinated programme to meet the needs of Rolls-Royce. 

The Composites UTC was established in 2007 and in 2012 entered into a partnership with the Lightweight Structures and Materials UTC at TU Dresden to form the Rolls-Royce Composites University Technology Partnership (UTP).

About Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS)

Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS) is one of seven newly created Specialist Research Institutes (SRIs) designed to reflect the University of Bristol's strength and depth in key specialisms.  We lead the way in composites education and research, combining cutting edge fundamental science with strong industrial links for technology transfer.

Advanced composite materials are critical to reducing weight, energy consumption and CO2 generation for transport applications. They also enable novel and multi-functional structural designs. They are formed by combining two or more materials to create an advanced material with significantly improved properties. Composites also enable novel and multi-functional structural designs.

As a global leader in composites research and application, the University of Bristol has the strength to make composites in the UK an exemplar of how research and industrial engagement should be done.

Edit this page