High-flying judges check-in for global Airbus student challenge

UNESCO, Air France and Stanford University representatives to join Airbus executives in selecting the Fly Your Ideas 2013 winners

30 May 2013 Press Release

The leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus has today unveiled a high calibre international panel to judge the final of the 2013 Fly Your Ideas student challenge. The six member jury is led by Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering. The jury will be looking for the most innovative idea for a more sustainable aviation industry from among five finalist student teams.

Charles will sit alongside colleagues Ardhendu Pathak, responsible for developing disruptive technologies as Head of Airbus Innovation Cell in India, and Nicolas Tschechne, Trend Research & Market Intelligence Specialist at the Airbus Cabin Innovation & Design Centre in Hamburg. UNESCO has given its patronage to the global competition and is represented by Lidia Brito, UNESCO Director of Science Policy and Capacity Building on the panel. Bruno Delile, Senior Vice President New Aircraft and Corporate Fleet Planning for the Air France Group and Charbel Farhat, the Vivian Church Hoff Professor of Aircraft Structures and Chairman of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, recently elected to the US National Academy of Engineering, complete the line up.

The jury will convene at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse on 12th June where the teams will present their projects for a chance to win the top prize of €30,000 and runner up prize of €15,000. The results will be announced at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters on 14th June. The 2013 competition inspired over 6,000 students from 82 countries to register with 618 teams submitting a proposal. Having made it through two rigorous rounds of evaluation by 60 Airbus assessors, the five finalist teams now face their toughest challenge yet. 

“I am thrilled to welcome this prestigious jury to Toulouse for what promises to be an exciting final,” said Charles Champion. “With Fly Your Ideas we want to inspire the next generation of innovators to push their skills to the limits and accelerate the search for sustainable solutions for the future. The presence of such internationally acclaimed experts is testament to the importance of what we aim to achieve.”

“UNESCO’s patronage of Fly Your Ideas reflects the urgent, growing need to attract and nurture future talent,” said Lidia Brito. “Finding sustainable solutions depends on our capacity to work together and innovate, and Fly Your Ideas gives young people the opportunity to do just this.”

Over 200 Airbus employees are involved in Fly Your Ideas as assessors, experts and mentors for the teams, enabling the students to develop key skills such as team work and project management. This interaction with Airbus staff also gives students valuable insight into the global aviation industry which currently supports 33 million jobs worldwide and is a substantial contributor to global commerce.

More details at:  http://www.airbus-fyi.com

Fly Your Ideas 2013 – Jury

Guest Jury Members

Dr. Lidia Brito

Lidia Brito is UNESCO’s Director for Science Policy and Capacity Building in the Natural Science Sector. She was born in Mozambique and is professor for Wood Science at Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique. A forest engineer by training, Lidia holds a doctorate in Forest and Wood Science from Colorado State University. She was previously Mozambique’s Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology, and Advisor for Strategic Planning and External Relations for the Mayor of Maputo City. Her areas of expertise range from forestry and development to science, technology and innovation policies. Lidia recently co-chaired the Scientific Organizing Committee for the Planet Under Pressure Conference in London.

Bruno Delile

Bruno Delile has been acting Senior Vice President New Aircraft and Corporate Fleet Planning for the Air France Group since 2010. He has more than 25 years’ experience in aircraft and component maintenance and has held several positions in the Air France KLM MRO branch. Bruno spent four years as SVP Industrial and Business Development, tasked with management of AFKLM Engineering Marketing and Sales which last year achieved 

€1billion revenues. He also implemented international partnerships and joint ventures in Asia, MEA and the USA. Prior to this, he acted as VP Materials and Services, where his duties covered supply chain management for the AFKLM fleets and 150 other operators. Bruno has a background in mechanical engineering and an MBA from ESSEC Business School in France.

Dr. Charbel Farhat

Charbel Farhat is the Vivian Church Hoff Professor of Aircraft Structures and Chairman of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He is a Fellow of six international professional societies including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a designated ISI Highly Cited Author in Engineering. He is also the recipient of many academic and professional distinctions including the Lifetime Achievement Award from ASME, the Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Award from AIAA and the John von Neumann Medal from USACM. In 2011 he was knighted in France and decorated with the Chevalier Medal in the Order of Academic Palms. He was recently elected to the US National Academy of Engineering.

Airbus Jury Members

Charles Champion

Appointed in 2010 Executive Vice President of Engineering at Airbus, Charles Champion is responsible for research and technology, overall product architecture and concept development, the design office, integration, flight-testing and continued airworthiness. He is also a member of the Airbus Executive Committee and the patron of the 2013 Airbus Fly Your Ideas challenge. Charles held various management positions from manufacturing to commercial activities within Airbus, including head of Customer Services and of the A380 programme. He has more than 30 years of experience in aeronautics. Charles graduated from- Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - in Toulouse and holds a Master of Science from Stanford University, California.

Ardhendu G. Pathak

Ardhendu is responsible for developing disruptive technologies as Head of Airbus Innovation Cell - India. Before joining Airbus, he spent 11 years with General Electric (GE), leading research and engineering teams for various GE businesses. In his last role at GE, he was Technology Leader for Electrical Systems & Technologies. Prior to that, Ardhendu worked in academic and R&D institutions in India and the US in the field of ocean energy exploitation, underwater sensing and structural acoustics. He holds international patents, has authored several journal articles and has a PhD from the University of Rhode Island, and a Masters from IIT-Madras. He is an alumnus of the College of Engineering, Pune (COEP).

Nicolas Tschechne 

Nicolas is a core member of the Trend Research & Market Intelligence team at the Airbus Cabin Innovation & Design Centre in Hamburg. He is responsible for aircraft-cabin-focused trend and scenario analysis for Fuselage & Cabin and his role is to anticipate future passenger and airline developments by investigating on-ground macro developments and their potential impact on air travel. His current trend research is focused on analysing cabin-related airline business models and linking the future passenger landscape to airline (non-ticket) revenue generation service models. Nicolas is a guest lecturer at the Technical University of Hamburg. He studied Economics & Business Administration at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands and the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Notes to Editors

About Fly Your Ideas - Fly Your Ideas is a biennial international student competition held by Airbus, the world's leading aircraft manufacturer. The first competition was launched in 2008 challenging teams of students from around the world to develop innovative ideas to shape the future of aviation. Since its launch, the challenge has been a great success, drawing together thousands of students from around the world. 

About the 2013 Challenge: Airbus has placed the focus on innovation, and asked students to propose an idea addressing one of six themes: Energy, Efficiency, Affordable Growth, Traffic Growth, Passenger Experience, and Community Friendliness.  The themes have been identified by Airbus as key 21st century challenges for a greener aviation industry. 

Fly Your Ideas 2013 Competition Calendar:

- Round One - September 2012 to December 2012 (One page proposal)

- Round Two - January 2013 to April 2013 (102 teams chosen to deliver a 5,000 word report and a short video)

- Round Three - May 2013 to June 2013 (5 teams chosen to present to a Jury of Airbus and industry experts and 5 additional teams chosen for online video competition)

- Video Competition - from 13th May 2013 to 3rd June 2013 - decided by online voting

- Final Presentations - 12th June 2013, Airbus, Toulouse

- Awards Ceremony - 14th June 2013, UNESCO HQ, Paris

The Finalist Teams

Australia - Team CLiMA, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, for the development of aircraft fuelled by a blend of sustainably produced liquefied biomethane and liquefied natural gas (Bio-LNG). The team is made up of 5 students (4 male, 1 female); 1 South African, 1 Maltese, 1 Canadian, 2 Australian; studying Aerospace Engineering in Australia; 1 PhD Level, 4 Bachelors Level.

Brazil - Team Levar, University of São Paulo, for a luggage loading and unloading system for airplane cargo compartments to reduce the workload of airport baggage handlers with an air cushion solution inspired by air hockey tables. The team is made up of 5 students (all male); all Brazilians; studying Design - 1 student is studying Design in UK, at Loughborough University; Bachelors Level.

India - Team AVAS, SRM University, for reduced propulsion noise thanks to jet exhaust shape modification using intelligent materials (shape memory alloys). These alloys are energized by harvested electricity generated by advanced thermoelectric materials using engine heat source. The team is made up of 3 students (2 male, 1 female); all Indians; studying Aerospace Engineering; Bachelors Level.

Italy - Team Flybrid, Technical University of Milan, for an electric/turboprop combination for hybrid propulsion in regional aircraft. This system uses batteries pre-charged on ground and not in-flight. The team is made up of 5 students (all male); 2 Spanish, 3 Italians; studying Aeronautical Engineering in Italy (the home university of one of the Spanish students is the University of Seville, Spain); 3 Masters Level, 2 Bachelors Level.

Malaysia - Team Embarker, Universiti Putra Malaysia, for a self-sustaining aircraft cabin concept in which the excess body heat from seated passengers is used as an alternative source of energy to power small electronics in the cabin. The team is made up of 4 students (all male); all Malaysians; studying Aerospace Engineering; Bachelors Level.