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Rolls-Royce marks 40 years of cutting edge marine research


Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, today celebrates 40 years of world leading research at its Hydrodynamic Research Centre in Kristinehamn, Sweden.

The Rolls-Royce Hydrodynamic Research Centre (HRC) is one of the world’s leading marine research facilities, specialising in the development of marine propulsion systems including the design and testing of propellers and water jets.

Göran Grunditz, Rolls-Royce, Manager – Hydrodynamic Research Centre said: “Rolls-Royce is the only marine propulsion company with its own specialist research centre. This centre puts us at the forefront of marine technology research and makes a significant contribution to the efficiency and environmental performance of the global maritime industry.”

“The advanced research we carry out enables our propellers and water jets to power the world’s most advanced ships including high-speed ferries, fast patrol boats, cruise ships and aircraft carriers.”

The HRC features two computer-controlled test tunnels, where water is circulated to assess the performance of a ship’s propulsion system. The tunnels simulate a wide range of sea conditions, replicating different sea temperatures, water flows and salt levels.

Since 1971, the HRC has evaluated over 1,000 different propeller blade designs, and carried out extensive tests on more than 300 complete propeller models. Engineers at the facility create scale models of propellers, which are tested in the tunnels. Profiles are altered and refined to give optimum designs suited to specific vessels and operating conditions.

1. Rolls-Royce is a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, and has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
2. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 500 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 2,500 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in nearly 120 countries, with an installed base of 54,000 gas turbines.
3. Annual underlying revenues were over £10.8 billion in 2010, of which more than half came from the provision of services. The firm and announced order book stood at £59.2 billion at 31 December 2010, providing visibility of future levels of activity.
4. Rolls-Royce employs over 39,000 skilled people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 11,000 of these employees are engineers.
5. In 2010, Rolls-Royce invested £923 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental performance of its products, in particular reducing emissions.
6. Rolls-Royce supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which connect the company’s engineers with the forefront of scientific research.
7. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills.
8. The Marine business of Rolls-Royce employs 9,000 people in 35 countries with the main manufacturing centres being in the UK, the Nordic countries, the United States and increasingly Asia.
9. Rolls-Royce is a world leader in marine solutions, providing products, service and expertise to more than 30,000 vessels in the offshore, merchant, naval surface and submarine markets. It designs ships and its product range includes propulsion systems featuring diesel engines and gas turbines, propellers, thrusters and water jets. Rolls-Royce also provides manoeuvring and stabilising systems and deck machinery.


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