GE Aviation and Czech Technical University in Prague have signed a collaborative agreement which aims to help the University’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering program (CVUT) build a preventative health and maintenance monitoring system for modern turboprop engines.

It will also be focused on investigating future aerospace manufacturing technologies and enabling the growth of the aviation industry in the Czech Republic by developing more expertise.

On top of the agreement, GE Aviation will provide CVUT with access to its PREDIX software to analyse big data and analytics generated through the field and engine tests. GE Aviation will also share its technical experience related to turboprop engine design and performance modelling. CVUT will then develop the methodology and convert the modelling into a health monitoring system using real data.

The information obtained through PREDIX will be used to identify potential engine issues before they occur and optimise the maintenance and overall costs of engine operation. CVUT, which will be the first university in Europe to receive PREDIX software, will provide feedback to GE on its functionality and ideas for future development.

Connecting graduates with industry

“This is a great project that connects graduate education with the industry,” said Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

He added: “The partnership will support development of aerospace technologies while applying Industry 4.0 approaches. I am glad that sustainability of the project is guaranteed from the very beginning by GE Aviation. Financing is a crucial aspect.”

“We are excited about the collaborative agreement with CVUT,” said Milan Slapak, Advanced Turboprop manager for GE Aviation Czech. “It is rare for GE to have cooperation with a university at such a scale. This is an excellent opportunity for an entire aviation ecosystem in the Czech Republic.”

Research results

To further support this programme, CVUT is building new infrastructure, including test cells. The University has already signed a partnership to locate and operate ground test cells in Prague and Hradec Kralove with the Czech Aviation Research Institute; VZLU, a research and technology organization in Prague; and Czech aviation manufacturer Orbis Avia.

“The joined collaboration between CVUT and GE Aviation will materialise in the research results,” said CVUT rector Vojtech Petracek. “I am certain it will also create opportunities for our students to get actively engaged in exciting activities which will take their studying experiences to a whole new level.”

“This is a very important milestone for us,” CVUT Dean Michael Valasek said. “We are merging top class industry expertise with our university environment to truly build global competitive capacity and capability. This will drive the future growth of the aviation industry in Czech Republic.”

CVUT, which is opening a new studying programme dedicated to Aviation and Space, expects to generate about 50 graduates a year.