The inaugural Aero Engine Forum has taken place in Birmingham, bringing a major international focus to the event that was held at the International Convention Centre. The conference was chaired by the Midlands Aerospace Alliance, hosting prominent engine makers and tier one companies, showcasing supply chain opportunities, and explaining what technologies and capabilities they need from their suppliers.

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) supported the event by attending and presenting at the conference. Mark Scully, ATI’s Head of Technology for Advanced Systems and Propulsion presented the Institute’s technology strategy Raising Ambition, and in particular spoke about the ultra-high bypass ratio (UHBR) turbo fan initiative, one of the four major integration initiatives featured in the ATI strategy. These initiatives seek to stretch the sector’s resources, capabilities and ATI funding.

The ATI’s UHBR initiative aims to develop strategic research and technology projects supporting the UHBR turbofan market opportunity, and enhancing UK supply chain opportunities within a valuable market. Mark also spoke about the collaborative work the Institute is engaged in around supply chain development. The event also provided a platform for the Institute to raise awareness around the opportunities available to the supply chain community, and open up dialogue around how organisations can engage with, and access ATI support.

Mark Scully said:

“The ATI technology strategy features four major integration initiatives, including UHBR turbo fan. These initiatives are essential in positioning the sector competitively, offering the UK supply chain market-aligned opportunities.

The conference enabled the Institute to connect with organisations that would be otherwise hard to reach. It also provided an opportunity for the ATI to further engage with established stakeholders and showcase supply chain opportunities.”
There were a number of other presentations which included talks from Boeing and Leonardo. Denzil Lawrence, Supplier Management at Boeing discussed the opportunities available to the UK supply chain, and spoke about what Boeing as an organisation needs from their suppliers in the short and long term. Colin Turner, Senior Executive at Leonardo talked about the disruptive thinking in terms of Leonardo’s priorities around rotor craft and unmanned air systems.

Mike Whitehead, Chief Engineer at Rolls–Royce provided the audience with a great perspective on the technologies that are used to develop the UltraFan® engine, and the importance and integration of supply chain companies across their product portfolio and research projects. The ATI UHBR initiative aims to maximise the UK economic value through exploitation of differentiating technologies from the UK supply chain into the UltraFan® engine.