Rolls-Royce forms research partnership with Purdue, Carnegie Mellon

Rolls-Royce Holdings has formed a partnership with Purdue University and Carnegie Mellon University aimed at strengthening cybersecurity for the company’s products, the company and universities announced Thursday morning.

Rolls-Royce makes propulsion and power systems for a variety of uses including commercial aircraft, military aircraft and nuclear power plants. Its global operations includes about 4,000 office and production employees in Indianapolis, including a 400,000-square-foot office complex at 450 S. Meridian St.

“This new research network with Purdue and Carnegie Mellon universities puts Rolls-Royce at the cutting edge of advancements in cybersecurity protections for our products and customers,” Rolls-Royce North America CEO and Chairman Tom Bell said in a written statement.

The first research project, in which both schools are participating, focuses on the use of artificial intelligence to detect intrusions.

Traditional artificial intelligence requires significant computing resources, and this research is aimed at developing tools that can be used in the resource-constrained embedded systems that Rolls-Royce uses in its products.

Rolls-Royce will fund the schools’ research, and it’s anticipated that the partnership will result in two to three projects with each school per year.

Mike Gahn, chief of cybertechnology at Rolls-Royce, said the research will benefit a range of Rolls-Royce products, including both civilian and military applications.

Some of the research projects will be conducted as open-source efforts, meaning that they will be accessible to outside parties and could help advance cybersecurity knowledge industry-wide.

“We’re all in this together,” Gahn said.

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