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A Multi-Component and Multi-Disciplinary Student Design Project Within an International Academic and Industrial Collaboration

[+] Author Affiliations
Friederike C. Mund, Anestis I. Kalfas, Reza S. Abhari

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland

Yasemin Turcan, Jean Hourmouziadis

Berlin University of Technology, Berlin, Germany

Isabelle Trébinjac, André Vouillarmet

École Centrale de Lyon, Ecully Cedex, France

Paper No. GT2003-38163, pp. 723-732; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2003, collocated with the 2003 International Joint Power Generation Conference
  • Volume 1: Turbo Expo 2003
  • Atlanta, Georgia, USA, June 16–19, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3684-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3671-1
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


The design of modern aircraft engines increasingly involves highly sophisticated methodologies to match the current development pace. International company relations affect the collaboration between design offices all around the world. An important part of academic mission of modern engineering education is to produce graduates with skills compatible with industrial needs. Education may readjust accordingly to meet the higher requirements. However, a realistic scenario of the design process of an aircraft engine cannot possibly be transferred one-to-one into the student education process. A unique attempt to overcome this discrepancy was the International Gas Turbine Project. Within this project, undergraduate students have designed the cooling system of the HPT blades for a 30,000 lb thrust two-spool turbofan aeroengine. This project was collaboration between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of TU Berlin, the Turbomachinery Group of EC Lyon and the Turbomachinery Laboratory of ETH Zurich. It also involved mentoring industry professionals from Rolls-Royce Deutschland, MTU, SNECMA and Alstom Power. Similar to modern aeroengine company structures, the design tasks included multi-component, multi-disciplinary and international interfaces of different educational systems. The student teams considered various aerothermodynamic and mechanical integrity aspects of the design. Particular attention was paid to design of the compressor, the secondary air system and the HP turbine including blade cooling. The three Universities integrated the project differently into their education curriculum and approached the tasks with different levels of software involvement. In this paper, the technical details of the design process, and the different approaches adopted are presented. Besides the application of turbomachinery-related knowledge, the impact of student interactions on the technical aspects of the project is discussed. The interfaces, including information management and the involvement of industrial partners are also addressed. Team spirit developed between the students from an initial competitive behavior to a final feeling of sitting in the same boat. It was observed that increased effort was required from academic staff in comparison to the conventional academic instruction. Nevertheless, students greatly benefited from the social interaction and an early training-on-the-job tuned to current industrial needs.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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