The University of Birmingham has been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its longstanding partnership with Rolls-Royce.

Announced at a reception at St James’s Palace today (16 November), the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are the highest national honour awarded in UK further and higher education. They celebrate excellence and innovation and recognise work that delivers benefit to the wider world and public. 

Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Birmingham said: “The University and Rolls-Royce have worked together for more than 30 years – a relationship that has produced high-quality research, more than 100 doctoral students and made a vital contribution to the UK’s manufacturing infrastructure and capability. We are proud to receive this prestigious award in recognition of our unique and successful collaboration.”

Sir Damon Buffini, Chair of The Royal Anniversary Trust said: “The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education are an integral part of our national Honours system, shining a light on the groundbreaking work taking place in universities and colleges across the UK. All 22 Prize-winners demonstrate excellence, innovation and impact, with many tackling some of the toughest problems we as a society face today.” 

I am exceptionally proud of the highly collaborative partnership between Rolls-Royce and the University of Birmingham. It has continually evolved, training many highly skilled people and delivering exceptional research at a scale that has a direct impact on our global business. 

Mark Jefferies, Chief of University Research Liaison at Rolls-Royce and Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham. 

The University’s partnership with Rolls-Royce centres on the science of advanced metallic alloys and is anchored by a University Technology Centre (UTC) and the High Temperature Research Centre (HTRC). The two organisations have collaborated strongly since 1989 on advances that address environmental concerns, as well as enabling savings of billions of pounds over three decades of innovation. The research is central to delivering new engine technologies to help achieve 2050 net-zero emissions targets.

Mark Jefferies, Chief of University Research Liaison at Rolls-Royce and Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham, said: “I am exceptionally proud of the highly collaborative partnership between Rolls-Royce and the University of Birmingham. It has continually evolved, training many highly skilled people and delivering exceptional research at a scale that has a direct impact on our global business.”

The expertise developed within and through the partnership helps advance UK materials and manufacturing to be resource-efficient, resilient and responsive. It has generated more than 100 patents and supports the education of undergraduate and postgraduate students through placements, secondments, prizes and doctoral research.