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Rocketry
Research
Teaching
Training

Rocketry
Research
Teaching
Training

Rocketry
Research
Teaching
Training

A centre for doctoral training producing the highest calibre of rocket propulsion engineers

The Next
Step in
Propulsion
Education

The R2T2 consortium seeks to support skills development for the space launch industry. This will be achieved through a mixture of formal taught courses at Westcott, and hands-on training as our doctoral students develop rocket technologies in furtherance of their individual research programmes. Each programme is aligned with an industrial partner, and the engine and/or rig designs will be taken through an industry-standard review process with an independent professional team as part of our project supervision process.

 

The students will be responsible for procurement, supply chain, and interface control as they move towards their individual hot-fire campaigns at Machrihanish Airbase, near Campbeltown (or one of our other facilities), as may be required by their projects. The research programmes have been aligned to the needs of our industrial partners and will, in themselves, provide ‘anchor tenants’ for the maturation of propulsion test facilities, while our innovation training and route to chartership will enable our students to move forward as they graduate from our centre.

The UK was an early leader in space launch, with the successful Black Arrow programme launching the Prospero spacecraft in the early 1970s. However, this capability was not sustained and, for many decades, there was no significant space launch activity led from within the UK itself.

However, the increasing number of small satellites built here, and the increased value of the near-polar orbits that can easily be attained from the UK, have driven renewed interest in space launch. Numerous sites, particularly but not exclusively in Scotland, are now being developed as potential spaceports.

Against this background the R2T2 consortium formed in 2019, with the Universities of Glasgow, Sheffield, and Kingston initially proposing the concept in a White Paper to the Space Academic Network. With early support from Cranfield, industry buy-in, and increasing numbers of academic partners, work began to make a case for funding to the UK Government. In 2022, a call to deliver the R2T2 vision was published, and the R2T2 consortium made a proposal on behalf of all possible partners. A total of eight studentships have been made available to our team, with one being based at each of our partner institutions.

The goal of each studentship is to provide a route to a doctoral degree in chemical space propulsion, allied with a technical skills development and training programme that will address the needs of industry as the UK steps up its commercial space launch operation. We recognise that we are, essentially, building a capability from the ground up. This explains our focus on experimental work, ensuring that our graduates will be able to make things happen. To that end, we will be learning-by-doing, with students being responsible for industry-standard project management of their own campaigns, with these campaigns addressing both industrial needs and the requirements of a high-end research project in a leading academic setting.

We invite potential students to read through the projects we will be running in Cohort 1. Information on each project, deadlines, and how to apply can be found on the Projects page. All projects will be underway by January 2025, with some beginning slightly earlier.

A
Proud
History

We Take Pride in Our Numbers

8

Universities

8

Industry 

Partners

20+

Academic Supervisors 

£50k

Experimental Consumables Budget Per Student

4

Facilities

Join the Growing Network

Do you see yourself as a future PhD candidate within the R2T2 consortium? Or perhaps you represent an organisation that would be interested in becoming an industrial partner?

The consortium encourages everyone to get in touch for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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