An analysis of the current strength of the academic relationship with the aerospace industry

James A Stratton, Purdue University


The objective of this research was to discover which methods of technology transfer were most commonly accessed within the Indiana manufacturing sector in an effort to best serve companies in the Hoosier State. Previous work has explored the perceived importance of various academic sources, but there has not been an investigation to identify the specific preferences of industry professionals. If these preferences can be identified, university assistance programs and other academic engagement programs will be able to predict, and hopefully influence how to grow and develop the domestic manufacturing sector, ultimately strengthening the channels of knowledge transfer between academia and industry. In order to properly assess the current preferred methods of technology transfer and the industrial interaction with academia, a survey was conducted with a highly technical company to establish the magnitude of the dependence industry has on academia, as well as the magnitude of any partnerships that may exist. A five (5) question survey was disseminated to R&D; and engineering personnel at the Rolls-Royce facility in Indianapolis, Indiana. Rolls-Royce was chosen as the focal point for this study due to their large employment population, R&D; capabilities, and the breadth of their manufacturing abilities. The data obtained from the survey contained current usage rates, as well as the hypothetical usage estimates for academic resources and found that online encyclopedias, as opposed to pure academic resources, are the most preferred source of technical information among the participants. The results of this study were then used to infer possible solutions to the shortcomings of the status quo, and to suggest what changes could be made to strengthen the academic partnerships that most positively impact industry.




French, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Library science|Higher Education Administration|Educational technology

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