Forum on Youth and Development

How can innovation be used for sustainable human development? This week, Tunis plays host to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Forum on Youth Development, as part of the UNDP Strategy for 2014-2017 (‘Empowered Youth:  Sustainable Future’).  This initiative is one of UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon’s key priorities in order to continue to engage and empower young people.

Innovation has a big part to play in this, not just as novel ideas to address global challenges around food and energy, but also in creating an innovative, adaptable mind-set to help us achieve these goals. 


Forum on Youth and Development

Airbus launches Innovation Week at the University of Sao Paulo

Winning team recognition of Airbus’ Fly Your Ideas contest 2013

Airbus, in collaboration with UNESCO, will host a series of interactive workshops and activities at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil. The Airbus Innovation Week has been designed to lift the lid on the innovation process and provide practical guidance to students and faculty on innovating within big industries.

Airbus launches Innovation Week at the University of Sao Paulo
  • Airbus Experts UK Meeting

    The UK based Airbus Experts gathered at the hands-on science centre At-Bristol on 28 November 2013. Click on 'Read More' for further information. 

Airbus Experts UK Meeting

The UK based Airbus Experts gathered at the hands-on science centre At-Bristol on 28 November 2013 to work on how to generate business impact from their expertise, tackle some real technical challenges and network.

The meeting was an opportunity to reflect on the Experts’ first involvement in Fly Your Ideas.

The network of Airbus Experts - Airbus employees specialised in their fields - stepped up to the challenge of supporting teams in Fly Your Ideas 2013, with technical guidance at key stages of the competition.

Vicky Runcie, Fly Your Ideas 2013 Project Manager, joined the Experts at their recent UK meeting to present the success of the student competition they supported. The Experts are all familiar with the competition and around a quarter of them were actively involved in the 2013 edition. This was the first time Airbus provided this additional support to teams who also benefit from the guidance of an Airbus Mentor during the competition. Student feedback suggests that the additional technical insight brought by the Experts was of great value, with one finalist commenting that their Expert provided “a very unique insight into Airbus and a range of technical issues that we had not considered or even knew existed”.

The UK event was hosted by Ian Lane, Senior Structures Expert who took part in a Twitter question and answer session during Round Two of Fly Your Ideas 2013. Ian passed on to the group his own view of the experience highlighting how “it was extremely rewarding to be involved in the competition”.

Skills based experience helps graduates stand out from the crowd

In today’s competitive job market, projects such as the Airbus Fly Your Ideas challenge provide students with the perfect opportunity to get to know a potential employer, gain a better understanding of potential career paths and develop valuable skills to help them stand out from the crowd.

Click on 'Read More' to find out what people working at Airbus had to say about the benefits of developing these transferable skills.

Skills based experience helps graduates stand out from the crowd

Skills based experience helps graduates stand out from the crowd

In today’s competitive job market, projects such as the Airbus Fly Your Ideas challenge provide students with the perfect opportunity to get to know a potential employer, gain a better understanding of potential career paths and develop valuable skills to help them stand out from the crowd.

Here, three people working at Airbus in different entry level programmes talk about the benefits of developing these transferable skills.


Anna Radeva, Airbus Group Graduate Development Scheme, PROGRESS

My job: “Identity. Freedom. Innovation.” 

As a Business Law graduate, for Anna, an open-mind and proactive attitude is vital to ensure that you seize and make the most of any potential opportunities. Showing that you are a team player is also invaluable – “we do appreciate knowledge and skills, but when these are combined with adaptability and team-play, you bring so much more to the company”.  

From her own experience of taking part in a work placement prior to becoming part of the Airbus Employment team, Anna recommends getting involved in “initiatives like Fly Your Ideas which allow you to get to know Airbus better and really demonstrate your skills, participate in working groups and student organisations. Finally, be curious – learning is a consistent part of each career path.” 



Keltoum Ahmadi, Intern, Airbus Employment Marketing

My job: “Fascinating. Challenging. Team-work.”

For Keltoum, team-work is the most important skill in her current role and one that employers are looking for. She says: “Working at the headquarters of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer means being part of a high-performance team where every day you exchange ideas and expertise with colleagues from different countries and nationalities, disciplines and backgrounds. Nowadays, companies need to recruit graduates who are innovative, pragmatic and able to be team players in multi-national teams.” 

Projects that clearly show team-work in practice really draw the attention of potential employers. “Participating in a programme such as Fly Your Ideas helps students to strengthen their project management, critical thinking and communication skills. 

Thanks to this kind of programme students work in groups and build a team spirit while they are working on revolutionary projects.” 


Benjamin Dayde, Airbus Apprentice Scheme, Airbus Employment Marketing  

My job: “Social Media. Universities. Mobility” 

Part of the Airbus apprentice scheme, Benjamin says that he has the perfect opportunity to develop within an exciting environment, combining theory and on-the-job training. 

For Benjamin, the key for recent graduates is to show their ability to think outsid e of the box. “I would definitely recommend students to develop such skills through professional experiences like internships, apprenticeships or graduate programmes. Beyond that, a challenge like Fly Your Ideas is excellent training to improve such skills. The competition itself is based on innovation and allows the participants to express themselves and share their view of what the future of air travel could be. But it also brings people from different countries and backgrounds together to work on a project which is another ability strongly sought-after in a professional environment.”


Find out what finalists from Fly Your Ideas had to say about their experience in the competition:

Finalist testimonials:

Team Coz:http://www.airbus-fyi.com/article/190?back=Site.about

Team Solaire:http://www.airbus-fyi.com/article/191?back=Site.about

Team Ecolution: http://www.airbus-fyi.com/article/192?back=Site.about

Team Msia: http://www.airbus-fyi.com/article/193?back=Site.about

Team SSE: http://www.airbus-fyi.com/article/194?back=Site.about

Team Wings of Phoenix: http://www.airbus-fyi.com/article/195?back=Site.about


To find out more about employment within Airbus, visit: www.airbus.com/work

International Day of People with Disability

Fly Your Ideas is celebrating the International Day of People with Disability by introducing three teams from Fly Your Ideas 2013, whose projects focused on improving the air travel experience for people with disabilities; Team Disaero, Travelers in Disguise and Dream Sailing.

Learn more about the International Day of People with Disability and about what motivated these three teams to work on such an important issue.

International Day of People with Disability

International Day of People with Disability

International Day of People with Disability is promoted by the United Nations with the aim of supporting the dignity, rights and well being of people with disabilities.

In this years’ edition of Airbus Fly Your Ideas, three teams - Disaero, Travelers in Disguise and Dream Sailing - chose to develop innovative ideas to improve the experience of passengers with disabilities. “Fly Your Ideas is a great opportunity for students to work on issues they feel strongly about. The diversity of issues which were addressed by the projects we received this year was inspiring.” Explains Lauren O’Neill Fly Your Ideas project manager.

Find out more about the International Day of People with Disability here.

Do you have an idea already for the next competition? Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest news about the next edition. 


Team Disaero from Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain submitted an idea for an Eco-kit for passengers with reduced mobility. Team Disaero’s idea focused on creating an accessible kit facilitating movement onto and off an aircraft. The team proposed using the most sustainable materials available to reduce the ecological footprint.

Team Disaero explained: “This kit is meant to help passengers with reduced mobility and try to eliminate some of the barriers they have to overcome when travelling by plane. We often forget how difficult it can be for passengers with reduced mobility to do something as simple as boarding a plane or even sitting comfortably in an airplane seat”.


Indonesian team, Travelers in Disguise from the University of Gadjah Mada’s put forward a project, which aims to minimise the dependency of passengers with disabilities through new wheelchair technology.

This technology would provide a solution for the growing number of passengers with reduced mobility who face difficulties when travelling by air.

Through this project, the team believes they can improve the independence and convenience for disabled passengers.

Overall, Travelers in Disguise described their wish to “help passengers with reduced mobility to experience the same joys of flying as other passengers”.


Team Dream Sailing from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China aimed to improve the experience of air travel for passengers with disabilities with a Comfortable High-speed Service.

The High-speed Service aims to create a tailored approach enabling passengers with disabilities to fly with more convenience, comfort and safety.

“We wanted to look at as many aspects of the travellers’ experience as possible to understand what could be improved. We studied the check-in system, the cabin design, and the emergency treatment” said Team Dream Sailing.

TWITTER CHAT WITH FLY YOUR IDEAS FINALIST!

Mark Spiteri, Fly Your Ideas 2013 finalist from Team CLiMA, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia talked about his Fly Your Ideas experience live on Twitter earlier this month.

To check out the highlights, click on 'Read More'

TWITTER CHAT WITH FLY YOUR IDEAS FINALIST!

TWITTER Q&A: MARK SPITERI - FLY YOUR IDEAS FINALIST

Mark Spiteri, Fly Your Ideas 2013 finalist from Team CLiMA, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia is now completing an internship at Airbus in Customer Services in Toulouse, France. Mark joined the Fly Your Ideas project manager at Airbus to talk about his experience in the competition live on Twitter earlier this month. 

Check out some of the highlights below.


Q: What was your favourite part of Fly Your Ideas?

A: It was all great, but my favourite part was presenting together with my team mates live at Airbus in the final - take a look at Fly Your Ideas 2013 best moments video, you may catch a glimpse of our team CLiMA in action.


Q: What did you feel you gained most after the Fly Your Ideas experience?

A: Fly Your Ideas taught me how to function in a team, understand project management & interact with like-minded people around the globe.


Q: What did you do after the Fly Your Ideas Final?

A: Since Fly Your Ideas final I've moved to France from Australia for an internship in Customer Services, its giving a new angle on engineering.


Q: Did moving from Australia to France have a big cultural impact?

A: In addition to enjoying my internship, I'm meeting people from around the world, learning French, experiencing the culture.


Q: What are the employment opportunities at Airbus for FYI contestants like? Is this a good way to get into Airbus?

A: Fly Your Ideas is not connected to recruitment at Airbus, but about the experience of working closely with industry.


Q: Please tell us 3 main reasons why a student should enter the Fly Your Ideas competition.

A: 3 reasons to participate in Fly Your Ideas: connects you with industry, develops skills & gives you a chance to be innovative.


Q: Why would you recommend students to be part of the competition?

A: I really recommend taking part in Fly Your Ideas. You understand power of teamwork, practical engineering & connect to industry.


Q:  Is the competition running in 2014 and how do we get involved?

A: The next Fly Your Ideas competition will be launched in early 2014. Sign up for our newsletter.


To find out more about employment within Airbus, visit: www.airbus.com/work

For more information about Airbus Fly Your Ideas and the launch of the next competition, subscribe to our newsletter here.

TWITTER Q&A: MARK SPITERI - FLY YOUR IDEAS FINALIST
  • Live at UNESCO Youth Forum

    Lauren O’Neill, Airbus Fly Your Ideas Project Manager and Ben Dayde from Airbus Employment Marketing joined the UNESCO Youth Forum on 29 October 2013.

Live at UNESCO Youth Forum

Lauren O’Neill, Airbus Fly Your Ideas Project Manager and Ben Dayde from Airbus Employment Marketing joined the UNESCO Youth Forum this week at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The Forum’s theme was “Youth and Social Inclusion: Civic Engagement, Dialogue and Skills Development”. Lauren and Ben presented Fly Your Ideas to Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, as well as to hundreds of young people from around the world.

Benjamin Lindenberger, member of the winning team from Fly Your Ideas 2009 and now Airbus Technical Assistant, Materials & Processes, shared his experience from Fly Your Ideas during a “15 Minutes of Fame” session. These sessions are designed to inspire delegates at the Youth Forum with stories from innovative and successful young people from around the world, in many different fields.

Follow the Airbus activity at this exciting international event on the Airbus Careers Facebook page and Airbus Twitter.

Find out more about UNESCO Youth Forum here

Live at UNESCO Youth Forum

Fly Your Ideas Best of the Rest

The Fly Your Ideas 2013 competition received so many great ideas from teams all over the world. We would like to share with you some of the innovative projects from some of our round 2 contestants.


  • Novel Electric Taxi

    Novel Electric Taxi

    Hailing from Imam Reza University in Iran, Team Phönix.

  • Community Friendliness

    Community Friendliness

    Team Manchester from the University of Manchester.

  • Thin-film solar cells

    Thin-film solar cells

    ‘Thin-film solar cells’ is a project from Dragonfly, France.

  • Vending Machines

    Vending Machines

    Team UEM’eros based at Universidad Europea in Spain. 

  • VLC - FBW

    VLC - FBW

     (VLC)-FBW system, project by Stormhawks from South Africa.

  • Piezoelectric Effect

    Piezoelectric Effect

    Team BoAir’s project from Germany

Novel Electric Taxi System

Hailing from Imam Reza University in Iran, Team Phönix is comprised of students Sorush Salahshour, Sadegh Ghofrani and Mohsen Neshati.

Team Phönix’s project, the ‘Novel Electric Taxi System’, aims to solve the problem of hundreds of tons of fuel being consumed daily while aircraft taxi before and after take-off.

The Novel Electric Taxi System would introduce a new mechanism enabling aircraft to be electrically towed to the runway with the engine turned off. Consisting of a tow car connected to the aircraft nose gear and the electric feeding system, the aircraft’s movement would be fully controlled by the pilot.

To make the system more cost-effective, it would be installed in airports rather than on-board as advocated by similar projects.

To power the system, electrical energy is provided by renewable sources such as solar and wind energy with further resources possibly generated from the landing aircraft.  The Novel Electric Taxi System would therefore reduce the aviation industry’s carbon footprint, whilst providing a more cost-effective solution than other similar projects aligning with the Fly Your Ideas initiative. 

Find out more about the project and the team from their teamline 


Community Friendliness

Team Manchester is made up of Lavishal Gya, Asad Hussain, Hitesh Premjani, Mohammad Ibrahim and Hammad Akbar from the University of Manchester.

Their ‘Community Friendliness’ project aims to solve the problem of aircraft and engine manufacturers being forced to reduce noise following regulations from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Global expansion of air traffic and the proximity of airports in cities means aircraft noise has become a major public issue with much of the noise being caused by the aircraft’s gas turbine engine.

The ‘Community Friendliness’ solution proposes a multiple fan element gas turbine engine to meet the toughened noise targets. The aim is to inhibit the blade tip speed from becoming supersonic, reducing the core jet speed (the major cause of engine noise). The project could potentially provide higher thrusts as well as reduce mass by using fewer engines, making the aircraft both quieter and more sustainable.

The ‘Community Friendliness’ project not only offers the opportunity for aircrafts of the future to cause significantly less noise disruption to communities living near airports, it has the added bonus of potentially improving the sustainability of air travel, both through reduced emissions and decreased flight time. It therefore benefits communities in general, as well as air passengers and the planet as a whole, complying with Fly Your Idea’s criteria.

Find out more about the project and the team from their teamline 


Thin-film solar cells

‘Thin-film solar cells’ is a project from Dragonfly, a collective comprised of Ning Wang, Suichen Wang, Jun Zhou, Lei Jiang and Haoxian Wang from Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ENAC) in France.

 ‘Thin-film solar cells’ is an environmentally friendly solution, tackling the high levels of fuel consumption and rising costs associated with storage for the aviation industry.

Dragonfly’s solution replaces existing fuels on aircrafts with laser energy produced through solar-powered satellites. The GEO Solar Power Satellite would provide clean, inexhaustible, intensive and unlimited energy which could be transmitted via laser directly and steadily to the aircraft.

Aircraft design could also be modified to receive the energy by adding thin-film solar cells. The cells are safe, lightweight, robust, flexible, easy to handle and install and are also impact resistant. Furthermore, the solar cells are more effective at receiving solar energy than solar panels.

The proposed cells would cover two wings and half of the fuselage, with the aircraft itself being modified to be powered by a gas turbine / electric hybrid engine. This reduces fuel consumption, creating fewer emissions and producing less noise.

However, the end result would be difficult to design and heavier aircraft would have to overcome regulatory laws. Initial calculations suggest there would be a reduction of 1200kg of fuel per hour per flight if the proposed laser provided 50% of the cruising power.

Whilst not a feasible concept in the current aviation environment, the trend towards  adapting engines into hybrids, as well as a crucial need to find alternative fuel sources, ensures the ‘Thin-film solar cells’ project aligns with Fly Your Idea ethos of inspiring a vision for the aviation industry of the future. 

Find out more about the project and the team from their teamline


On-Board Vending Machines

Jorge Funes, Ana Segura, Juan Carlos Sanchez and Gonxalo Delgado are team UEM’eros based at Universidad Europea in Spain.

The ‘On-Board Vending Machines (OVM)’ project helps simplify a very complex and often criticised flight catering industry.

OVM has the potential to eliminate the galley and traditional in-flight catering services by introducing vending machines for flights of four hours or less. The project also prevents the wide variation in quality levels of on-board services between routes and airlines.

The vending machines would be able to cater for all passenger tastes and requirements, ranging from different dietary needs to the seasonality of the food itself. The solution would also reduce any food odours penetrating the cabin and the time needed to clear dirty plates, allowing flight attendants to attend to other passenger needs.

OVM also saves money by reducing the time needed for ground operations, allowing extra seats to be fitted in the space saved and removing the extra weight of galleys.

Passenger comfort overall would be improved. Not only through the accessibility of the food being offered, but also by removing disruptive catering trolleys from the cabin.

OVM aligns with the Fly Your Ideas initiative as it offers an improved passenger experience, through ease of accessibility to a tailored food range, lack of trolley disturbance and functioning rules controlling passenger flow. The prevention of queuing or inconvenience through the use of automatic availability signs also added to passenger comfort. 

Find out more about the project and the team from their teamline

Visible Light Communication FBW system

‘Visible Light Communication (VLC)-FBW system’ is a project by Stormhawks comprising of Pitso Mangoro, Azhar Cassim, Sambharthan Cooppan, Muhammed Dangor and Tshireletso Mango from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

VLC solves the complex problem of commercial aircrafts requiring masses of routed, sometimes inaccessible wiring, which contributes to the weight and degradation of the aircraft and can sometimes result in electrical failure.

The current need for separate power and electrical signal cables complicates this matter further. For example, the A380 has over 300 miles of cables consisting of approximately 98,000 wires and 40,000 connectors. A recent study suggests that moving to a wireless system would also reduce weight by 41kg on a Cessna 310R aircraft.

VLC moves from a complex wired system to a wireless approach that improves safety, reduces weight and makes the system much simpler. It also allows multiple signals to be sent to various control surfaces using a single transmission line, saving 13.5% of weight. Rather than thousands of wires, the VLC would be installed below the passenger cabin, allowing for easy inspection.

Formed from only four components, with only two of these requiring installation, the VLC has very few elements to install. This makes it easier for other aircraft components and systems to be installed first.

VLC is suited to the FYI initiative as it focuses on improving safety within the aircraft and on making the jobs of aircraft technicians easier, both when installing the electrical systems, as well as when maintaining them. The solution also takes into account environmental aspects, by helping to reduce weight on the aircraft, potentially leading to a decrease in fuel emissions.

Find out more about the project and the team from their teamline

Piezoelectric Effect

Controlling flying shape for design point and stabilising the aircraft wing vibrations using piezoelectric composite material made from natural fibres

Team BoAir’s project aims to utilise principles of the “Piezoelectric Effect” using biodegradable material to control flying shape and reduce vibration in aircraft wings.

The team’s proposal employs a closed loop feedback control technique using Lead zirconium titanate which is widely used as piezoelectric material.

The material is subjected to an electrical field which draws energy from an external conventional power source. A tunable vibration absorber system is achieved by embedding pies ceramic elements into a GFRP leaf-spring which represents the core elements of a force generator, amenable to direct electrical control. So far, no significant research in controlling flying shape has been carried out.

Team BoAir’s idea is an automated device mechanism that controls the flight shape and the undesirable wing vibrations due to manoeuvring and some aero elastic effects.

The proposed mechanism stabilises the wings by sensing vibrations and counter acts them using the principle of piezoelectric effect possessed by naturally available fibres.

Find out more about the project and the team from their teamline

Team Levar go global

The winners of Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2013, Team Levar, together with their professor Dr. Fausto L. Mascia, are at the 9th Global Student Forum and at the World Engineering Education Forum this week in Cartagena, Colombia. These events are unique in gathering organisations, academics and students dedicated to improving engineering education for students worldwide.

Team Levar go global

Team Levar go global

The winners of Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2013, Team Levar, together with their professor Dr. Fausto L. Mascia, are at the 9th Global Student Forum and at the World Engineering Education Forum this week in Cartagena, Colombia. 

These events are unique in gathering organisations, academics and students dedicated to improving engineering education for students worldwide.

The University of Sao Paulo students aim to inspire the delegates with their innovative idea and share their unique Fly Your Ideas experience of working with Airbus Mentors and Experts all the way through to the Final. 

Team Levar’s design background provides a new perspective on innovating for sustainability and they will host an exhibition for one day to explain their approach.

Follow their activity in Colombia on the Airbus Careers Facebook page

Find out more about the two events:

Global Student Forum

World Engineering Education Forum


  • Most memorable moments

    Watch Fly Your Ideas 2013 most memorable moments and see what the finalists got up to in France.

Fly Your Ideas winners at Le Bourget Air Show

Team Levar, winners of Fly Your Ideas 2013, opened the Express Yourself graffiti wall at the International Paris Air Show Le Bourget. The Brazilien students enjoyed the Airbus A380 flight from the balcony of the Airbus Group Chalet and were hailed throughout the day by the other finalists, who also made the most of their stay in Paris to visit the airshow.

Stay in touch with Airbus at Le Bourget by following Airbus Careers on Facebook.

Fly Your Ideas winners 
at Le Bourget Air Show

Airbus Fly Your Ideas Final

June 10th to the 14th 2013 was inspiring and action packed for the Fly Your Ideas finalists. From visiting the Airbus and UNESCO headquarters to meeting Airbus Group executives, the students have had an amazing experience!

  • Day 1

    Day 1

    The finalists arrive in Toulouse and meet their Fly Your Ideas hosts.

  • Day 2

    Day 2

    Meeting Airbus engineers, visiting the A400M and getting ready for the final.

  • Day 3

    Day 3

    Everything happens around the A380 Final Assembly Line in the build up to the big event.

  • Day 4

    Day 4

    The day starts with an Innovation workshop in Toulouse, and ends with dinner in Paris.

  • Day 5

    Day 5

    Participants and guests gather at UNESCO for the result of Fly Your Ideas 2013.

Airbus Fly Your Ideas Final - Day 1

Finalists arrive in Toulouse and meet their Fly Your Ideas hosts for a welcome reception and briefing on the action packed week ahead.


Team Levar arriving at the airport in Toulouse Airbus hosts greet the students at the welcome reception


next day >

Airbus Fly Your Ideas Final - Day 2

The teams meet Airbus engineers, visit the A400M and perfect their presentations for the final. This is followed by a first dinner together with the Airbus Mentors in the centre of Toulouse. Having worked together at a distance for several months, everyone is delighted to be able to meet in person at last.

Students visiting the A400M military aircraft Team Embarker visiting the A400M
Team Flybrid visiting the A400M
Team Levar visiting the A400M
Team CLiMA visiting the A400M
Team AVAS and their Airbus hosts visiting the A400M


< previous day | next day >

Airbus Fly Your Ideas Final - Day 3

Preparations continue with a dry run for each team, and coaching from some of the Airbus Experts who supported during the competition. The teams and mentors go on to visit the A380 Final Assembly Line, an amazing venue for the evening. Then it’s time for the big event with each team delivering their Presentation to the Fly Your Ideas Jury and over 100 Airbus staff. After that, time to relax and enjoy the reception while the Jury convene to make a very difficult decision.

Students visit the Final Assembly Line of the A380
Everyone together in the A380 FAL Symposium, just before the presentations
Team AVAS – now relaxed following their presentation
Team CLiMA just outside the Auditorium
Team Embarker – still smiling after their final presentations
Team Flybrid show off their team spirit
Team Levar – they look confident but nothing has been decided yet!


< previous day | next day >

Airbus Fly Your Ideas Final - Day 4

Fun, relaxation and a new look at innovation are the plan for today, starting with an Innovation workshop with Gregor Dirks, Airbus Innovation Cell Chief Innovator and Gary Wicks, Airbus Innovation Cell Manager. The teams then get to visit the Airbus mock-up center and enjoy lunch with a surprise visit from Thierry Baril, Chief Human Resources Officer of Airbus Group.

Tore Prang and some of the Finalists at the Airbus mock-up center
Team Flybrid outside Airbus Headquarters
Teams visiting the Airbus mock-up center
Lunch with Thierry Baril, Chief Human Resources Officer of Airbus Group


< previous day | next day >

Airbus Fly Your Ideas Final - Day 5

Our finalists enjoy watching the A350 first flight from Paris, then take a boat trip on the Seine to relax before the evening. At 15h the teams and distinguished guests gather at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris where Gretchen Kalonji (Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO) gives a warm welcome. Charles Champion (Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering, Fly Your Ideas Patron) and Lidia Brito (Director for Science Policy and Capacity Building in the Natural Science Sector, UNESCO) announce the results of Fly Your Ideas 2013 followed by an exclusive reception overlooking the Eiffel Tower, where the teams and their mentors all celebrate what they have achieved. Well done to all the finalists and especially to winners Team Levar and runners up Team CLiMA.

Levar, the Fly Your Ideas 2013 winners, with Lidia Brito and Gretchen Kalonji
CLiMA, the runners up of Fly Your Ideas 2013
Team AVAS with Lidia Brito, Gretchen Kalonji and Charles Champion
Team Embarker with Charles Champion, Gretchen Kalonji and Lidia Brito
Team Flybrid with Gretchen Kalonji, Lidia Brito and Charles Champion


< previous day
  • And the winner is...

    ... a team of students from the University of São Paulo, Brazil who have claimed the top prize of €30,000 as winners of Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2013 for their air powered baggage handling concept. 

Students from the University of São Paulo in Brazil win Airbus Fly Your Ideas global competition.

Air powered baggage handling concept claims top prize

A team of students from the University of São Paulo in Brazil have claimed the top prize of €30,000 as winners of Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2013. Team Levar won with their proposal 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. Supported by UNESCO, Airbus Fly Your Ideas is a biennial competition which challenges students worldwide to develop ideas for a more sustainable aviation industry.

The winning team is comprised of Marcos Philipson, Leonardo Akamatsu, Adriano Furtado and Caio Reis, all studying design at the University of São Paulo, and Henrique Corazza studying at Loughborough University in the UK.

The runner-up prize of €15,000 went to Team CLiMA from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, for their proposal to develop aircraft fuelled by a blend of sustainably produced liquefied biomethane and liquefied natural gas (Bio-LNG).

This third edition of the competition saw over 600 teams from around the world submit a proposal responding to one of six challenges set out by Airbus for aviation in the 21st century. Over 60 Airbus assessors evaluated the submissions for quality, environmental benefits, and for the level of innovation demonstrated by the team.

The final was held earlier this week at the A380 Final Assembly Line in Toulouse where just five remaining teams presented their disruptive concepts to a prestigious jury led by Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering. Team Levar convinced the jury with a powerful presentation which brought their idea to life.

Charles Champion said: “Team Levar’s response to the competition has been fantastic, with a truly innovative proposal for an air cushion solution inspired by hockey tables. They have taken a really broad view of how to improve the aviation industry as a whole, not limiting their ideas to aircraft alone but also considering ground operations and they are deserving winners. According to the students, passengers could collect their luggage 30% faster, start their holidays sooner, and luggage handlers would be put under less physical strain. This kind of idea is fundamental in ensuring the aviation industry continues to drive forward to a more sustainable future.”

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, said "The diversity of these students’ ideas is a huge source of inspiration. Their talent also serves to remind us of the urgent need to train more engineers, to develop the skills and competences needed to translate ideas into reality and put science into practice. This is UNESCO’s ambition and one of the objectives of this partnership with Airbus is to inspire more innovative ideas for our future, in sustainable transportation and even further"

In addition to the prize money the students now look forward to welcoming experts from Airbus’ innovation cell onto their campus for a week of workshops and training later this year.

The winning team will be at the Le Bourget Paris Airshow Monday 17th June at 15:00 in the Airbus Group Pavillon.

Follow each team's story from January 2013 to the Final on their teamlines.

  • It's time to fly your ideas

    UNESCO welcomes the Fly Your Ideas finalists.
    The winners were announced at an exclusive ceremony at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris on Friday the 14th of June 2013. 

  • Fly Your Ideas Best Video Announced

    After a lively contest, Team Alma from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, has triumphed as the Fly Your Ideas 2013 Video Competition champions.

FLY YOUR IDEAS 2013 – JURY MEMBERS

  • Dr. Lidia Brito

    Dr. Lidia Brito

    Lidia Brito is UNESCO’s Director for Science Policy and Capacity Building in the Natural Science Sector

  • Bruno Delile

    Bruno Delile

    Bruno Delile has been acting Senior Vice President New Aircraft and Corporate Fleet Planning 

  • Dr. Charbel Farhat

    Dr. Charbel Farhat

    Charbel Farhat is the Vivian Church Hoff Professor of Aircraft Structures 

  • Charles Champion

    Charles Champion

    Appointed in 2010 Executive Vice President of Engineering at Airbus

  • Ardhendu G. Pathak

    Ardhendu G. Pathak

    Ardhendu is responsible for developing disruptive technologies as Head of Airbus Innovation Cell - India

  • Nicolas Tschechne

    Nicolas Tschechne

    Nicolas is a core member of the Trend Research & Market Intelligence team at the Airbus Cabin Innovation & Design Centre in Hamburg

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.

“UNESCO’s patronage of Fly Your Ideas reflects the urgent, growing need to attract and nurture future talent. 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.”


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.


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 Jury  in Toulouse and holds a Master of Science from Stanford University, California.

“I am thrilled to welcome this prestigious jury to Toulouse for what promises to be an exciting final. 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 are trying to achieve.”


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).

I am thrilled to join the Jury and be part of the world-wide excitement, energy and creativity unleashed by Airbus Fly Your Ideas.”


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.

“The Fly Your Ideas competition has proven to be a great platform for ideation and inspiration for both students around the world as well as active engagement of Airbus employees when it comes to tackling the future challenges of aviation. I feel delighted to be part of this competition again!”


Meet the 2013 Fly Your Ideas Finalists

Find out more about the five student teams selected for the 2013 final: 

  • Team CLiMA, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
  • Team Levar, University of  São Paulo, Brazil
  • Team AVAS, SRM University, India
  • Team Flybrid,Technical University of Milan, Italy
  • Team Embarker, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Meet the 2013 Fly Your Ideas Finalists


Find out more about each of the five finalist teams:

Team CLiMA - Teamline

From the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. CLiMA's project focuses on the development of aircraft fuelled by a blend of sustainably produced liquefied biomethane and liquefied natural gas (Bio-LNG).

Team Levar - Teamline

Team Levar, University of São Paulo, Brazil, whose idea looks at 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.

Team AVAS - Teamline

From the SRM University, India, looking at 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.

Team Flybrid - Teamline

Studying at the Technical University of Milan, Italy, Flybrid propose an electric/turboprop combination for hybrid propulsion in regional aircraft. This system uses batteries pre-charged on ground and not in-flight.

Team Embarker - Teamline

Coming from the Universiti Putra Malaysia, Team Embarker propose 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.

Take a look at what happened last year in the Finals here: http://bit.ly/18wGGyu

Teamline of Round 2

We stopped the clock on Friday, 12th April, 12pm GMT and awarded the Teamline of Round 2 title to Team Aerodynamix, from Canada!

Well done guys for being visited by almost 3000 fans from Canada, India, USA, France, UK, Germany, Malaysia, China, Australia and other corners of the world. 

Find out more about the team here: http://www.airbus-fyi.com/teams/1307

Teamline of Round 2

Teamline of Round 2

Did you know it’s not Aerodynamix's first time here? Back in the first week of Round 2, Team Aerodynamix was recognized as the most active Teamline. It seems that is what kept them motivated, and got them to have a Teamline worthy of the Teamline of Round 2 title.   Find out more about the team here: http://www.airbus-fyi.com/teams/1307

Our runners up are, big surprise, another Canadian team of gents, from University of Victoria: Team AerovertTheir Team Line deserbes a notable mention, with almost just as many visits as the winners.

Check them out here: http://www.airbus-fyi.com/teams/1505


Airbus Americas Chair Meets Team Aiolos

Airbus Americas chairman Allan McArtor met the 4 members of Team Aiolos at Georgia Tech this morning. Allan is speaking at the Atlanta French American Chamber of Commerce's general assembly meeting and talking about Airbus' new final assembly line in Mobile and the company's R&T initiatives in the U.S. Team Aiolos is one of only two U.S. based teams to advance to round 2 of Airbus' FYI competition.


Airbus Americas Chair Meets Team Aiolos

Expert Insights

Read some of our experts' advice on our Challenge areas.

  • Passenger Experience: Andy Williams

    Passenger Experience: Andy Williams

    TP Leader: Long Term Air Transport Operations

  • Passenger Experience: Nicolas Tschechne

    Passenger Experience: Nicolas Tschechne

    Specialist Trend Research & Market Intelligence within the Cabin Innovation & Design Centre
  • Efficiency: Simon Weselby

    Efficiency: Simon Weselby

    Fuel and Emissions Performance Manager, Airbus Customer Services (SBO)

Andy Williams - TP Leader. Long Term Air Transport Operations

Andy studied Aeronautics at the University of Bath, which included a year’s internship with British Airways. He joined Airbus on the DEG scheme in 1995 and quickly entered the Future Projects offices exploring a number of conceptual aircraft designs. He then moved to Aircraft Operability about 3 years ago to explore new ways to operate future air transport systems.


Expert’s advice 

In order to be an innovator you must be a great listener and observer; you must absorb the complexity of problems and then untangle them. Taking a birdseye view of the problem to be solved is essential, be patient and after all of this trust your gut instinct. 

When addressing the passenger experience challenge you must assess the impact of the existing transport systems and infrastructure i.e. airports, city transport links, aircraft effects and public perception.  When conceptualising ideas ask yourself “would I or would my friends travel this way?”

This scope for this challenge is large; so try to limit to a specific problem to help focus ideas, for example rapid loading and unloading of air cargo operations could be something to consider.  The past can often unlock the future, ideas proposed decades ago could be very valuable because either technology has caught up or conditions have changed.Last of all be motivated by your idea, keep communication simple and only use facts that are relevant. Be honest and trust your team mates.

Nicolas Tschechne - Specialist Trend Research & Market Intelligence within the Cabin Innovation & Design Centre

Nicolas currently performs 360° trend scouting analysis in order to better understand and anticipate Airbus’ customers and passenger future needs that will impact cabin design. The latest project he was involved in was the “Concept Cabin”, which integrated both the future passenger perspective and experience, merged with future enabling technologies. Nicolas studied International Management at the University of Maastricht, with a focus on Innovation Management and Organisational Change.

Nicolas works in the Cabin Innnovation & Design Centre and its philosophy is “Passenger at heart, Airline in mind” which drives a consumer centric approach to understand the airline business model and future cabin needs. 

Expert’s advice 

When addressing the Passenger Experience challenge it is best to combine both technology push and market pull. There are two important perspectives to tackling this specific challenge. 

On the one hand the Future Passenger Landscape needs to be considered. More people will travel more often in the future and they demand a more entertaining as well as a more environmental friendly travel experience. On the other hand we need to look for new echnologies and consider business models from other industries. These two perspectives need to be aligned along the entire travel value chain of the passenger, looking at the complete door-to-door passenger travel experience.

Simon Weselby - Fuel and Emissions Performance Manager, Airbus Customer Services (SBO)

Simon’s long-time love of aviation is in part borne of his father’s occupation as an engineer at the local airport.  Simon’s own career started with an apprenticeship at BAE Systems.  After five years he became an Avionics Development Engineer and, later, an Avionics Research Engineer.  A company reorganisation led him to the world of technical publications and project management.  He went on to hold a number of roles in Customer Services, including marketing, aircraft reliability and maintenance cost analysis and programme management.He is now Fuel and Emissions Performance Manager.

As an A320 Family Programme Manager, Simon worked with Airbus experts in aerodynamics, engines, flight operations, aircraft maintenance and engineering to develop advice on how best to use and maintain Airbus aircraft. It recognised the importance of other stakeholders in the world of fuel efficiency – notably airport and air traffic control authorities – and now covers all Airbus aircraft programmes.

Expert’s advice 

Engineers love to make things better: go further, higher, faster, doing more with less.  But the potential for innovate ideas are not only in aircraft engineering.  Everyone is an innovator – you just need to recognise challenges and opportunities. 

Airbus has and will strive to provide airlines with the most economically efficient products possible; fuel efficiency is just part of the product’s overall economic efficiency.  Of course, air traffic management is not in the hands of the aircraft manufacturers or the airlines.  And commercial aviation’s use of kerosene as its principle source of power is likely to continue for many years to come.  But if everyone has an understanding of how they can improve fuel consumption we all have the opportunity to contribute to fuel efficiency.

Assessor Interviews

Meet some of the Fly Your Ideas assessors and find out what makes a great proposal.
  • Mary Frost

    Mary Frost

    Fuel & Inerting Systems Senior Expert within the Fuel and Inerting Domain, in the Systems CoC.
  • Denis Descheemaeker

    Denis Descheemaeker

    System Design Office - Strategy

Mary Frost - Senior Expert, Fuel & Inerting Systems

A graduate in Physics with Electronics, and a chartered electronics engineer, Mary has worked in a variety of roles since joining Airbus in 2004. She is currently responsible for defining future fuel systems R&T strategy, working with industry committees to investigate the impact of sustainable and alternate fuels on aircraft fuel systems. Mary has supported Fly Your Ideas as an Assessor since 2009, and is therefore well qualified to offer some guidance to participating students!

 

What are the most important factors that students should think about when developing their ideas?

"Students should focus on how innovative their idea is, and what problem it is addressing. They need to try to understand what the real issues are with the operation of an aircraft and where a novel idea can provide a good solution".


What makes a great idea stand out from the crowd?

"The thoroughness of the research and the clarity of the way it is presented, as well as how novel the idea is. They should demonstrate that they have truly thought about the impacts and practicality of their idea. They also need to make sure the idea is novel, and not just something that already exists".

What should students NOT do when developing their ideas?

"Don't just copy existing ideas which can be found from internet research. They should also not provide a marketing proposal to sell an existing idea, product or service, no matter how appropriate they feel it might be to the competition".

Is there any additional advice that you would give to students, to help them develop new and innovative ideas? 

"Participants need to research thoroughly what is already available in the topic area and look for truly novel advances on the state of the art".

Denis Descheemaeker - Working within the System Design Office for multi-system Operations & Strategy

Denis' career with Airbus began in 1996, where he worked in an avionic repair station in Singapore gaining hands on experience of maintaining aircraft. After which, he joined the Design Office to work on the A380 Program system development. He is now dealing with NEO and other multi - system developments. He was an Assessor in Fly Your Ideas 2011, and an is an active supporter of Fly Your Ideas 2013.


What are the most important factors that students should think about when developing their ideas?

"Students should try to develop innovative ideas, think out of the box, and make it simple - as well as be aware of the current state of the art, and research perspectives".


What makes a great idea stand out from the crowd? 

"I would encourage them to find ways to make a new technology adaptable to an aircraft - or to adapt current technology in a smarter way. Importantly, they also need to take into consideration the usual aeronautical constraints (safety,certification, airport, ...)

What should students NOT do when developing their ideas?

"Students should be careful not to propose ideas that are too 'science fiction'. They must avoid being too vague or too general - they should try to be specific in their ideas. Any lack of knowledge should be compensated by comprehensive external references. This is not a writing contest, so students should use simple sentences, simple words, in every-day English. 


Is there any additional advice that you would give to students, to help them develop new and innovative ideas?

"I would just say the following...be original, be curious, simple, challenging...be clear".

UNESCO Backs Airbus Drive to Engineer Tomorrow's World

UNESCO is supporting Airbus' Fly Your Ideas challenge, a student contest designed to inspire a new generation of engineers.

UNESCO Backs Airbus Drive to Engineer Tomorrow's World

An in depth report by UNESCO about future engineering capacity highlights an engineering skills gap that threatens industry and growth. Aviation is no exception. There are not enough aviation engineers currently graduating to meet industry needs and nearly half of them switch to other careers once they qualify.

Through its Fly Your Ideas competition, Airbus is offering students an insight into the world of aviation. It is one way to boost their interest in the industry. The global contest has just opened for its third season and challenges students worldwide to develop new ideas for a more sustainable aviation industry. It involves three rounds with five teams to be chosen as finalists in the summer of 2013, with the opportunity to win a €30,000 prize. All teams are supported by an Airbus mentor during the development of their project, and new this season, an Airbus expert will offer advice at key stages of the competition.

To read more please visit the latest press release here

  • Airbus launches Fly Your Ideas at Going Global

    FYI 2013 asks students to develop ideas for the eco-efficient aviation industry of the future.

Airbus launches Fly Your Ideas at Going Global

It is part of the aircraft manufacturer’s Future by Airbus programme – a vision of sustainable air travel in 2050. The winners will share the top prize of €30,000; the runners-up €15,000.

Proposals must address the key issues facing the industry: "Energy"; "Efficiency"; "Affordable Growth"; "Traffic Growth"; "Passenger Experience"; or "Community Friendliness."

The challenge is a rare opportunity for students to work directly with industry and business leaders. In FYI 2013 students and their academic mentors will have access to both an Airbus mentor to support the overall direction of their project and - new for 2013 - an Airbus expert in their chosen field.

Follow Airbus on Facebook and Twitter for updates about the challenge.