Airbus names finalists for its student greener aviation competition and waves a green flag for biodiversity
Young students take part in The Green Wave (photo: CBD)
Tue 24 May 2011 – Five finalist teams have been announced for the second Airbus ‘Fly Your Ideas’ competition that challenges students from around the world to develop projects to deliver a greener future for aviation. The shortlisted teams are from Chile, China, India, Malaysia and Sweden, and the winner will be announced by Airbus at a ceremony to be held during the Paris Air Show next month. The theme for the 2011 competition is ‘The Environmental Life Cycle’ and students were encouraged to propose an idea related to one stage of the aircraft’s life: design, supply chain, manufacturing, aircraft operations or aircraft end-of-life. Meanwhile, Airbus marked the United Nations International Day for Biodiversity on May 22 with a number of initiatives as part of its participation in the UN’s The Green Wave, a global campaign to educate children and youth about biodiversity.
The Airbus ‘Fly Your Ideas’ global challenge attracted entries from 315 teams comprising more than 2,600 students from 75 countries. The first prize of €30,000 ($42,000) will be shared by the winning team and the runners up will receive €15,000. Additionally, the Spanish team ‘Ecolution’, from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid, has already been announced the winner of the Best Video Prize for their creative and original project presentation.
The finalist teams are made up of a wide range of study disciplines including mechanical, chemical, materials and mineral, and aerospace engineering as well as the fields of business and management, art and design and economics. A number of teams which entered the competition come from a cross-section of nationalities. The Swedish finalist team includes students from Sweden, Turkey, USA, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.
The five finalists are:
Team Condor, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (Chile) – for their novel alternative design for an aerodynamic speed brake that would recover energy for on-board reuse.
Team Wings of Phoenix, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (China) – for their suggestion of a ground-based wind power generation system derived from aircraft wakes.
Team O3, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (India) – for their proposed approach to prevent aircraft icing by the use of water-repelling polymer coatings.
Team Msia on Mars, Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology (Malaysia) – for their idea to use biodegradable materials from Kapok tree fibres for aircraft thermal and acoustic insulation blankets used for aircraft cabins.
Team SSE, Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden) – for their formulation of an ECO points scheme to promote environmentally-friendly flying.
‘Fly Your Ideas’ Patron and Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering Charles Champion commented: “At Airbus, research and innovation are long-term priorities and it is through innovation that Airbus keeps delivering the best in aviation and improving environmental performance of its aircraft. The ‘Fly Your Ideas’ competition enables us to engage with the aviation industry experts of tomorrow by providing a forum to inspire and motivate future talent.”
Airbus is partnering with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in working to support young people in engaging with biodiversity through participation in The Green Wave initiative. On the International Day of Biodiversity (May 22), students were encouraged to plant a tree or join in other related activities. The idea was to create a Green Wave of action passing through time zones around the world from east to west.
Airbus mobilised its global network of 52,500 employees to help celebrate The Green Wave, including a day of celebrations at the company’s Family Day taking place at its Madrid site. In China, Airbus employees worked together with local children in Yunnan Province to build a school garden, and in the UK, in support of the UN’s International Year of Forests this year, employees took part in an activity that provides mini-orchards to local schools.
In addition, Airbus encouraged airlines from around the world to take part in the initiative, with support coming from Aegean Air, AeroUnion, Amsterdam Airlines, Emirates, EVA Airways, JAT Airways, Korean Air, Olympic Air, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways.
The Airbus Corporate Foundation is also supporting a number of localised biodiversity projects. In Germany, a schools project focusing on renewable energy generation; in Spain, an initiative to promote environmental education for sustainable development in schools; in the UK, a community project giving school children access to nature projects located near one of Airbus UK’s sites; and in the US, the Foundation is supporting a children’s education project at the Gulf Coast Exploreum.
“Throughout history engineers have been inspired by nature, and still today it continues to help create modern solutions to improve efficient flight,” said Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders. “Airbus commits 80% of its R&D investment into pioneering innovative solutions for greener flight and sustainable aviation, and we are proud to give our ongoing support to the CBD and The Green Wave initiative to help preserve this natural source of inspiration.”