Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Leveraging University Research at Rolls Royce: Ric Parker: As Director of Research and Technology at Rolls Royce, Ric Parker Oversees an R&D Program That Includes 29 University Technology Centers

Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

Leveraging University Research at Rolls Royce: Ric Parker: As Director of Research and Technology at Rolls Royce, Ric Parker Oversees an R&D Program That Includes 29 University Technology Centers

Article excerpt

I graduated from Imperial College with a degree in physics in 1975, then did a joint research program between Imperial College and the National Physics Laboratory in the UK until 1978. What took me into Roils Royce was applying lasers to measurement. I joined the Advanced Research Laboratory, in a very small group of people studying advanced measurement techniques.

You get so far as a technical specialist where people respect you because you're the guy in the company who knows everything about a particular technology. But I felt ill-equipped to go into more general management. So I signed up for an MBA, which the company was good enough to sponsor me for, and after I finished, I became head of advanced materials for Rolls Royce. It was the first time I'd taken on a job where I didn't feel technically the most knowledgeable person on the team, by a long way. It prepared me for later roles.

In 2001, after several years in the company's compressor business, I was appointed Director of Research and Technology, and that's the job I hold today. It's a job with a global span, in a company with some 14,000 engineers. We spent last year 920 million [pounds sterling] (~$1.5 billion) on R&D.

We think about our technology program along three time horizons. In most of the businesses we're in, five years is a pretty short time frame, so what we call "Vision 5" is about applying the best proven technology to products. We also talk about "Vision 10," which is technology to support products that are going to be entering service within the next 10 years. Vision 10 is really about pulling technology together, integrated system demonstrations.

And then we have a longer-term horizon, "Vision 20." This is where we look at technology that is emerging. For example, I kicked off a project at Birmingham University in 1992 around metal matrix composites, and we still haven't got those applied in a real product. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.