Grainger CEME Seminars

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Turbo-electric Propulsion at Rolls-Royce

Event Type
Grainger CEME
3017 ECEB
Sep 18, 2017   4:00 - 5:00 pm  
David Loder & Michael Armstrong


Transportation electrification has become an increasingly important trend within the past two decades. Recently, electrified aviation is emerging as the latest component of this thrust. Electrification in the aerospace industry shares similar goals (e.g. improved efficiency and performance, reduced emissions, etc.) with automotive and other industries. However, the benefits of electrified propulsion are coupled with substantially different mechanisms relating to the underlying technologies of gas turbine energy conversion, and aerodynamic lift. These differences produce unique demands on the advancement of electrical power systems and components. For instance, many specific fuel consumption (SFC) benefits are gained at the aircraft level at the expense of increased weight and complexity of the propulsion system. This talk will begin with an introduction on general concepts in aircraft propulsion, and the benefits associated with TeP. We will discuss several current and past projects at Rolls-Royce related to the demonstration and study of TeP systems. Finally, we will cover challenges posed to the electrical system by TeP, and the technology advancements being pursued to make these concepts a reality.



David Loder, Electrical Design Engineer, LibertyWorks
B.S. Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
M.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

David Loder graduated with a BSEE from Purdue University in 2014, and a MSEE from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016. His graduate research was centered on the holistic design of high-field superconducting electrical machines, targeting high power density applications. He has published related work in IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, and has presented at several conferences including International Electric Machines and Drives (IEMDC) and Applied Superconductivity Conference (ASC). Currently he resides in the Electrical Capability Group at Rolls-Royce North American Technologies in Indianapolis, and is engaged in various turbo-electric propulsion (TeP) projects spanning a broad spectrum of hardware prototyping and technology demonstration, to high-level concept and architecture studies. Recently this past year he has been a guest speaker at Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC).

Michael Armstrong, Ph.D., Vision Systems Lead, LibertyWorks
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University
M.S. Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Armstrong’s current role is the Vision Systems Lead for LibertyWorks. In this position, he provides strategic and technical leadership in the areas future propulsion and power systems, including hybrid and distributed propulsion systems development. Prior to this role he served as technical lead and primary responsible individual (PRI) for multiple NASA Research and Technologies for Aerospace Propulsion Systems (RTAPS) task orders designing microgrid systems for turboelectric distributed propulsion. He also currently leads parallel hybrid propulsion system development studies. His internal research efforts have included the design of multishaft electrical power generation concepts for engine cycle and aircraft performance improvements, the development of enabling optimization techniques for advanced controls, and the demonstration of innovative propulsion system concepts through rapid design, build, test activities. His work has been recognized by the SAE with the Charles M. Manly memorial award in 2013 and the 2015 Sir Henry Royce Award. Dr. Armstrong received his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech and is a member of the SAE Electric Aircraft Steering Group and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Electrical Propulsion Innovation Committee (EPIC).

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