On the 20th of February UK ARC held its inaugural one-day Research Directions conference at the Royal Aeronautical Society.

The day was attended by academics from many universities, including representatives from all the 11 founding universities of the consortium, government departments and from industry. We were pleased to share our developing knowledge; research priming work and networking activities with stakeholders and have presentations from stakeholders on external initiatives that bear upon academia. There were useful panel discussions held after overview presentations that explained the narratives and outcome from each of the six theme groups. UK-ARC’s research themes are More Energy Efficient Aircraft (MEEA), Hydrogen, Electrification, Materials and Manufacturing, Sustainable Aviation Fuels and Air Transport.

UK-ARC’s mission is to build a community that encourages aligned and impactful research. As we move towards UK-ARC2, we can see that our theme group workshops, direct ATI and sector networking and the conference are strengthening research connections between academics and the broad aerospace and aviation community.

Sir Iain Gray chaired

the Conference

Valuable connections were made           

during the networking breaks

More Energy Efficient Aircraft Panel discussion



The GW4 Alliance of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter Universities hosted delegates from the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and the UK Aerospace Research Consortium (UK-ARC) at IAAPS, a University of Bath-led £70 million R&I centre focused on propulsion technologies, situated at the Bath and Bristol Science Park.

The visit focused on showcasing our region’s hydrogen capabilities, world-class facilities and collaborative research and innovation projects in order to identify connections and develop future opportunities.

Roger Gardner, UK-ARC Network Manager spoke about how they help organisations identify and engage with the UK’s aerospace research capability, aligning research agendas with industry to support the development of collaborative research projects. UK-ARC’s consortium partners include several universities including GW4 institution University of Bristol.

Link to full report 


The University of Strathclyde’s, Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland Group and ITP Aero have co-developed a project to minimise energy use and material waste and enhance productivity throughout the lifecycle of the aerospace superplastic forming process.

The three-year, £750,000 project aims to develop a predictive tool to identify the lowest temperature possible for successful superplastic forming (SPF) across ITP’s product range.


Follow the LINK for more information



A Strathclyde researcher has been awarded a prestigious European Research Council starting grant for a five-year project to electrify aircraft using a novel superconducting machine technology.

Professor Min Zhang, from the Applied Superconductivity Laboratory, will focus on three ground-breaking technologies to enable the use of high temperature superconductors for electrical propulsion motors with high performance and reliability.

Professor Min Zhang



The University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) is teaming up with global aerospace components manufacturer, Spirit AeroSystems, to help shape the future of aircraft design and manufacture. Working together on developing innovative manufacturing technologies, the two organisations will seek to address the key challenges facing the industry to help the UK supply-chain achieve its full potential.

Joining the internationally acclaimed manufacturing and engineering research centre as its latest Tier One member, the collaboration will also see Spirit become one of the first companies to run projects out of the new Lightweight Manufacturing Centre. When the Centre officially opens later this year it will be the first new part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) which also includes the AFRC as part of a wider, global-scale, manufacturing centre of excellence and skills academy.





Rolls-Royce and Strathclyde staff standing together. Left to right: Lindsay Gardner – Senior Business Partner, Rolls-Royce; Matthew Maynard, University of Strathclyde; Nigel Bird - Executive Vice President, Rolls-Royce; Jacqueline Redmond, Executive Director, PNDC, University of Strathclyde; Gillian Docherty, Chief Commercial Officer, University of Strathclyde; Rob Watson, Head of Civil Aerospace, Rolls-Royce; Gordon Hutcheson, Manufacturing Executive, Rolls-Royce; and Derek Boyd, Project Director, University of Strathclyde.

The University of Strathclyde is to establish a new innovation hub within the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland. This will support the journey to deliver a sustainable net-zero economy by accelerating the development and deployment of technology supporting decarbonisation.

An agreement has been signed with Rolls-Royce which will see Strathclyde develop the new facility within the company’s Inchinnan plant to enable the University to scale-up its wide-ranging collaboration activities with industry partners across sectors such as heat, transport and power electronics.



Registration is open for the first NWTF Corrections Workshop titled Wind Tunnel Corrections for Facility Operators and Customers.

Date: 13th December 2023

Location: City, University of London

Hosts: Prof Andrew Rae, Prof Simon Prince, Dr Doug Greenwell and Dr Chetan Jagadeesh


To ensure that small wind tunnel facilities and customers have full awareness of the capabilities and limitations of the existing and possible correction processes. This workshop will describe the NATO work, which has UK participation, and provide an overview of current activity at the major UK facilities.

Target Audience:

The target audience includes those who are involved in the application and development of correction methods, and those who use the data which they generate, from internal ‘customers’ to third-party facility users.

Why this is important:

The detailed knowledge of wind-tunnel data-correction methods, including the implications of the various approaches and the use of supplementary numerical methods, is important if those data are to be exploited appropriately.  While the major of major facilities have maintained an interest in, and development of, correction methods, there is increasing evidence that some smaller facilities, and many customers, do not have full awareness of the capabilities and limitations of the existing and possible processes.

Work on the topic has been taking place within NATO and was focussed originally on the updating AGARDograph 336 ‘Wind Tunnel Wall Corrections’ given that it is now 25 years since its original publication and the advent of more capable and prevalent methods and the increasing use of CFD to increase complexity and fidelity.  This has expanded to include 2 international conferences that have identified areas for further work, and assembled CFD community and experimentalists to the benefit of both.

Registration: To apply for this workshop, email admin@nwtf.ac.uk with your name, job title, institution and reasons for attending this training event. The event is free but attendees are expected to fund their own travel, accommodation and subsistence.




Bringing together over 500 global players from industry, academia, government, investors and NGOs from across the supply chain.

Sustainable aviation fuel is part of the solution to deliver cleaner aviation and this conference aims to consolidate all the elements to drive production and commercialisation.

The focus of this conference is sustainable alternatives to Jet A/A1 and JP8 and the technologies and drivers to enable their development, including:

  • ASTM Technical Pathways
  • Carbon Capture
  • Policy developments
  • Jet Zero Council
  • Department for Transport funded projects showcase
  • Commercialisation and Investment
  • Feedstocks and securing long term supply
  • Industry & Government initiatives






World-first transatlantic flight using sustainable aviation fuel takes off | News | The University of Sheffield


A historic transatlantic flight using 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel has taken off on 28th November 2023 with the help of engineers from the University of Sheffield. See the link for more details.



‘UK-ARC member the University of Sheffield is a key player in the quest to identify and scale UK Sustainable Aviation Fuels. As the UK’s SAF Clearing House is hosted by the university’s Translational Energy Research Centre (TERC), it is centre stage in helping to remove barriers to new fuels coming to market. TERC’s director, Prof Mohamed Pourkashanian envisages accelerated scaling of SAF production, but there is a need for significantly greater investment to realise and then exceed the UK’s 2030 goal – see LINK.