His Majesty The King Charles III visited the University of Cambridge earlier this week in his first public engagement following the Coronation, to the New Whittle Laboratory where he also met with staff and researchers, leaders from the aviation industry and senior government representatives.
The mission of the £58 million facility is to halve the time to develop key technologies to support a sustainable aviation industry. The New Lab will also host the Aviation Impact Accelerator (AIA).
Alongside the ground-breaking, senior figures from government and industry gathered for an international roundtable as part of an initiative led by Cambridge University and MIT. This presented insights based on global aviation systems modelling capabilities the AIA has developed.
The roundtable discussion, moderated by Dame Polly Courtice, founder of the Cambridge Institute for Sustinability Leadership, was attended by His Majesty The King, the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, and George Freeman MP, Minister of State in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
Participating organisations in the roundtable included the UK Aerospace Technology Institute, the US Federal Aviation Administration, US Department of Transportation, NASA, EU Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking, Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, and the Sustainable Markets Initiative and other representatives from the UK government.
Professor Rob Miller, Director of the Whittle Laboratory, said: “The Lab is designed to work at the intersection of cutting-edge science and emerging engineering applications, providing fast feedback between the two, and dramatically cutting the time to deliver zero-emission technologies.”
Grant Shapps, the UK Government’s Energy Security Secretary, added: “The UK is leading a revolution in aviation, looking to new technologies to cut emissions. Having established the Jet Zero Council three years ago, this will further help the best minds from the fields of energy and aviation with the latest innovations.”
Mark Harper, the UK Government’s Transport Secretary, continued: “Having already invested £165 million into the production of sustainable aviation fuels, this Government is determined to harness the economic benefits of flying while supporting industry and academia to create cleaner skies for the future.”
Grazia Vittadini, Chief Technology Officer at Rolls-Royce, concluded: “The Whittle Laboratory and Rolls-Royce have worked together for 50 years, over which time the partnership has delivered hundreds of technologies into Rolls-Royce products.”