Last week marked the Aerospace Technology Institute’s (ATI) inaugural conference, titled ‘Realising Ambition’. As the name suggests, our aim was to help the sector realise the potential of the UK sector and explore the opportunities of how we can become even better at what we do. The event was a huge success. We would like to thank our speakers, delegates and stakeholders for their contributions and presence.

 

There was a positive buzz at the NEC. People were focused and enjoying the programme and the many networking opportunities that were made available across the two days. All the presentations and discussions were insightful and bold. They reflected the sheer talent, expertise and ambitions of our sector and the diverse background of the people in the room.

The purpose of the conference was to convene the UK aerospace sector and provide an update on the Institute’s strategy, Raising Ambition, and the £3.9 billion investment programme for aerospace research & technology (R&T). Delegates were able to hear many perspectives, visions, conversations and discussions from leaders and senior executives of the global industry.

 

Gary Elliott, ATI’s Chief Executive Officer said:

“The ATI conference was an important moment for the Institute. It was a key part of our remit to convene the sector and share insights from a wide range of organisations and individuals – not just from the UK, but internationally too. Last week demonstrated a fine example of collaboration between UK and international aerospace organisations.

The ATI is connecting stakeholders, bringing together consortia and catalysing research programmes to develop and advance new aerospace technologies. We influence the sector through our technology strategy Raising Ambition, and by leveraging our investment of £3.9 billion across the sector.

That is good. But we can do more. UK aerospace is not short of ideas. But we need to do more with those ideas. We need to convert ideas into actions.

 

Gary continued:

The ATI also has ideas and ambitions of its own. We will shape a vision of future aircraft that will catalyse the sector to respond to the challenges of 2030 and beyond. We will propose future aircraft architectures, inspire future technologies and understand and translate the market potential for hybrid-electric aircraft.

 

Hybrid-electric aircraft was one of the common themes that emerged at the conference through presentations, talks and discussions. The move to more electric aircraft is one of the key technology themes within the Raising Ambition strategy; the ATI is working on a strategy and INSIGHT paper on Electrical Power Systems (due to be published by late 2018), and we will be launching some activity around hybrid-electric conceptual modelling soon.

 

There was also a lot of interest around disruptive technologies and collaboration. Disruption can come in many forms. Through innovation, new technologies, materials or processes. We may also see disruption in aerospace coming from other sectors, such as automotive.

 

Gary Elliot, during his presentation said:

We must not wait for disruption to happen. We must be the disruptors. We must not be afraid to take the global view of aerospace and turn it upside down.

The ATI aims to create Better Aerospace through Best Technology, and we can only do that through focus, collaboration, and an ambition to be disruptive.

 

Over the coming weeks we look forward to sharing more blogs about the conference that will include summaries from individual presentations and discussions and outcomes from our breakout sessions.

 

To keep up-to-date with the latest from the Institute please visit http://www.ati.org.uk/events-and-media/blog/ or follow us on social media.

 

 

Meggitt has announced plans to build a multi-million pound facility in the West Midlands. The £130 million project at a new site at Ansty Park in Coventry, developed in conjunction with partners, will bring together a number of Meggitt’s existing operations and represents a significant investment in the long-term future of Meggitt’s UK manufacturing capability.

The 440,000ft2 facility will provide a base for up to 1,000 employees and aims to combine a range of operations ─ Aircraft Braking Systems, Control Systems, Customer Services & Support and Corporate Shared  Services ─ within a world-class aerospace engineering and technology environment. Plans for the site include an engineering and manufacturing Centre of Excellence for future aerospace thermal management technology; Meggitt’s research in this area is already supported by a grant through the ATI of £3.7 million.

James McMicking, Chief Strategy Officer at the ATI, said:

This is great news. It is another good example of how the ATI, aligned with other targeted initiatives, is bringing investment to the UK and supporting the development of advanced technologies. I wish the Meggitt team best success with this.

More information can be found here.

Image: © Meggitt plc

Dr Ruth Mallors-Ray OBE was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) in September 2014, assuming responsibility for the day to day operations and Stakeholder Engagement. Prior to this, Ruth was the Director of the Aerospace, Aviation and Defence Knowledge Transfer Network, an Innovate UK Programme. During her tenure Ruth established a UK R&D network across Aerospace and made a significant contribution to securing and setting up the Aerospace Technology Institute.

Previously Ruth held many senior level positions within Ernst and Young, Sainsbury’s and AMEC. Ruth holds a PhD in Chemistry from Edinburgh University and a BSc in Chemistry from University College, London. Ruth is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and STEM Advisor to a Girls Science and Maths School in London. Ruth received an OBE in 2015 for services to science and innovation.

In difficult moments always be respectful.

 

What attracted you to the aerospace sector?

Coming from a scientific background, I have always been curious, science leads to products and the journey of development is what fascinates me. My journey in aerospace began in 2008, and my inspiration was close to home – my sister-in-law Lindsey. Lindsey pointed me to the job posted in the Sunday Times for a Director of the Aerospace and Defence at the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). I instantly knew this was for me, and I was privileged to be selected and lead an excellent team of people working across the sector. What is there not to love about these ingenious people and their flying machines.

 

What is your vision for the UK aerospace sector in the next 15 – 20 years?

My vision for the sector is for it to become once more the industry of wonder and delight for those looking at careers. And, what I’m most excited about it the prospect of aircraft electrification, the discussions we are party to currently is showing a significant shift in momentum and will secure smarter, greener, safer aircraft; as set out in the ATI’s technology strategy, Raising Ambition.

 

If you could change one element of technology, or a particular type of technology in the sector, what would that be?

The use of graphene.  The ‘wonder material’ has masses of potential, and can solve enduring challenges within the aerospace sector. There is a real opportunity for the material to become disruptive, and a key enabler in future aircraft technology. How truly amazing would it be for the UK to manufacture an aircraft made mostly of graphene. If you don’t dare to dream, then the possibility won’t become the reality. The ATI has been working with the Institute of Graphene in developing a Graphene Exploitation Strategy for the UK Aerospace Sector, which we will be publishing shortly.

 

 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

To never be intimidated, and to remember that everyone around you is just as human as you are. My dad gave me this advice a long time ago. He was an amazing man with lots to offer, he would say “Ruth in difficult moments be respectful, always remember that no one is more, or less, special than you”.

 

What are your key successes to date?

Pursuing my career in aerospace with no initial aeronautics or engineering background. I am most proud to have been part of the team that shaped the business case for the Aerospace Technology Institute, and formed the Institute that helps the UK be the best it can be through technology exploitation.

My most proud moment, and a real sense of achievement, was when I was honoured with an OBE for my services to the sector, during my time at the KTN.

I have led the industry wide framework agreement that sits between the ATI and every organisation we work with – the agreement really reflects our rigour, transparency, professionalism and consistency in how we work with industry.

Writing my PhD thesis (over 30 years ago now), and those who have written one will truly understand the toil.

 

Describe your ideal day away from work?

A session at the gym followed by a guilt-free breakfast at Roast, in Borough Market. And then if I could, a trip to the garden centre for some plant buying!

 

Who inspires you the most?

The list is long, but it all started with Judith Hann, a broadcaster and writer specialising in science, food and the environment. Judith, for over 20 years, presented the BBC’s science programme, Tomorrow’s World – this was my dream job! I always wanted to be like Judith Hann (I even had her perm during the 80s!). And she’s the reason I decided to study chemistry.

 

What is your golden rule?

Treat people as you wish to be treated, and when you get it wrong, just remember we are all human, and it’s okay to say sorry.

Peter Hoffman is Vice President of Intellectual Property Management for The Boeing Company, the world’s largest aerospace company. Hoffman is responsible for strategies that protect and generate the highest possible value from this significant corporate asset. Hoffman specifically manages the company’s patent portfolio; protection of trade secrets; and licensing of technical data, images, consumer products, trademarks and patents. Hoffman, 57, reports to Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop.

Before his current appointment, Hoffman served as director of global research and development strategy for Boeing Research & Technology, the company’s advanced research organization. In that role, he was responsible for developing technology collaboration relationships with companies, universities and national laboratories around the world.

Hoffman played a leadership role in the expansion of Boeing’s global technology engagement, and he was instrumental in the establishment of research centres in Australia, India and China and numerous technology relationships in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas.

Hoffman earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering technology and a master’s of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee, a master’s of manufacturing engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and a master’s of international business from St. Louis University. Hoffman is a board member of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Group at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, an Advisory Board member at the University of Tennessee College of Engineering, and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

 

I’m inspired by the people and teams at Boeing that make it look easy, when I know it is very difficult.

 

What attracted you to the aerospace sector?

I was mechanically inclined as a child and enjoyed drawing and have always been amazed by flying machines.  Seeing an aircraft or space ship take flight still inspires me to this day.

 

What is your vision for Boeing’s future in the UK?

Boeing already has a strong presence in the UK; Boeing and its legacy companies have supported the Royal Air Force and commercial customers in the United Kingdom for 80 years.  We’ve also doubled our own workforce in the UK since 2011, and our spending with the UK supply chain–about £2.1 billion last year alone–has since tripled.

We are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to meet our customers’ needs.  I am excited that we’re building our first European manufacturing facility in South Yorkshire. Boeing Sheffield will open up a range of new opportunities for local employees, suppliers and partners and will expand our long-term relationship with UK industry, academia and government.

  

If you could change one element of technology, or a particular type of technology in the sector, what would that be?

Streamlining the path to certification.  The rate of change and ability to leverage new innovations is often inhibited by the cost and time required to gain certification for new technologies.

 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

When asking a trusted mentor many years ago about a full-time career move to international sales, he advised that I stay on my current path of keeping one foot in the technical world and one in the business world.  I took that advice and the white space between these worlds has made for very interesting work.

 

What are your key successes to date?

My most rewarding professional moment to date has been seeing Boeing break ground for Boeing Sheffield in September of this year.  Boeing Sheffield will be a 6,200-square metre building located adjacent to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), a world-class research campus that Boeing co-founded with the University of Sheffield in 2001 and a partnership that I have been a part of since its inception.  It feels like 16 years ago we had a vision and a dream, and that dream has come true.  Boeing Sheffield for me symbolises how brave and open-minded Boeing is, and I’m honoured to work with inspirational visionary colleagues every day.

 

Describe your ideal day away from work?

A strong cup of coffee in the morning catching up on the news and pottering around my kitchen followed by getting some exercise and spending time with my family in the evening enjoying a good meal and a movie.

 

Who inspires you the most?

My Boeing teammates.  It is truly amazing the level of expertise and innovation it takes to be a leader in the aerospace industry and I’m inspired by the people and teams at Boeing that make it look easy when I know it is very difficult.

 

What is your golden rule?

Treat others as you wish to be treated

Gary was appointed Chief Executive of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) in April 2014, assuming responsibility for the strategic direction of the institute and its operational performance. Prior to this, Gary was the Chief Executive of Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd a private equity backed aerospace OEM. During his tenure Gary led the business from its start-up phase into a mature business, winning and delivering a $600m contract for the US Army.

Previously Gary held a number of senior level positions within BAE SYSTEMS, NG Bailey and HBOS, working across a number of international markets. Gary holds a first class honours in Aeronautical Engineering from the Queens University of Belfast and an MBA from the Cranfield School of Management.

Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done!

 

What attracted you to the aerospace sector?

It’s quite simple really. As a young boy I was obsessed by aeroplanes which led me to study Aeronautical Engineering at University and subsequently take a career in it!

 

What is your vision for the UK aerospace sector in the next 15 – 20 years?

For it to grow in depth and breadth, building on its current industry and academic strengths whilst bringing in new disruptive technologies and ideas.

 

If you could change one element of technology, or a particular type of technology in the sector, what would that be?

Modularisation- the build process in my view is not as efficient as it should be and there are still too many parts!

 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Stay focused on your goals!

 

What are your key successes to date?

In the ATI I’m very proud to have recruited a great team and played my part in setting up a business model which delivers success for industry, academia and government.

 

Describe your ideal day away from work?

These days that would probably involve me hanging out with my children. Outside that I’m very happy playing golf in the sun.

 

Who inspires you the most?

Visionary entrepreneurs.

 

What is your golden rule?

Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done!

James was appointed as Institute’s Chief Strategy Officer in September 2014. James’ primary responsibility is to lead the development of the ATI strategy, and to develop and manage the ATI’s project approval and monitoring process. Prior to this, James was an engagement manager with Booz and Company, a leading strategy consulting firm. During his time in consulting, James helped clients across aviation, defence, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods sectors to solve a range of strategic and operational challenges. Previously, James worked for Ricardo UK Ltd, an automotive engineering consultancy as a transmission specialist and project manager.

James holds a first class honours in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bath, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a Master in Engineering Management from the McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University.

Put who before how.  People are central to achieving things.

 

What attracted you to the aerospace sector?

The products and technology.  What the industry achieves never ceases to amaze me, and most people take flying for granted now – I’m certainly not one of them! The UK has a proud history of pioneering aviation. The opportunity to play a part in ensuring it continues to be a major force for progress and shaping the future of air travel attracted me to the industry and specifically the Aerospace Technology Institute.

 

What is your vision for the UK aerospace sector in the next 15 – 20 years?

I believe the next 20 years will look and feel different to the last 20 years.  New competitors, rapidly evolving technology, radical ideas and changing public expectations being driven beyond the sector’s boundaries will lead to more disruption, in its many forms.  Navigating this will require agility, great technology and smart people.  UK be pioneer once again in this age, and be where things happen first.

 

If you could change one element of technology, or a particular type of technology in the sector, what would that be?

Batteries – 10 times the energy density, easily processed and recycled!  Going electric is essential to cracking the environmental challenge and batteries are central to this.

 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Put who before how.  People are central to achieving things.

 

What are your key successes to date?

Helping to create ATI along with my stellar colleagues.

 

Describe your ideal day away from work?

On the ski slopes, on a wind surfer or on the bike!  I love to get out doors and active.

 

Who inspires you the most?

I’d cite a group of people – entrepreneurs.  There are so many amazing stories of people who’ve gone out and solved problems with very little but their drive and its hugely impressive.

 

What is your golden rule?

Passion and perseverance matter more than ability.

 

James is one of our keynote speakers at ATI Conference 2017: Realising Ambition, and will be speaking on Day One.

 

 

In April 2017, Paul Stein was appointed to the Executive Leadership Team as Chief Technology Officer.

Paul joined Rolls-Royce in 2010 as Chief Scientific Officer and for two years acted as the Engineering and Technology Director for the Company’s Nuclear business in addition to his Chief Scientific Officer responsibilities. His most recent role was Director of Research & Technology, accountable for the company’s global investment in R&T, as well as fostering innovation and promoting and sustaining specialist engineering talent.

Paul was Director General, Science and Technology, at the UK Ministry of Defence immediately prior to joining Rolls-Royce. Before that, he was Managing Director of Roke Manor Research and in 2003 was appointed to the Siemens UK Executive Management Board, leading technology and contributing to business strategy.

Paul holds an Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree from King’s College, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

 

Never underestimate the ability of technologists to solve difficult problems, especially when they’re not told it’s difficult.

 

What attracted you to the aerospace sector?

Aerospace propulsion and the conquest of flight is one of mankind’s most interesting challenges. It beats anything else I’ve worked on.

 

What is your vision for the UK aerospace sector in the next 15 – 20 years?

That the UK aerospace industry will remain competitive on a global scale with existing technologies while rapidly preparing for the future. Whatever tomorrow brings, the industry will be ready for it. The UK has an outstanding aerospace industry and over the next 15 years it will continue to produce more sustainable, more advanced and more impressive technology, and will become the centre for key areas of global research.

 

If you could change one element of technology, or a particular type of technology in the sector, what would that be?

I think one element that needs to change is to accept we now live in multi-disciplinary world where the solution to any challenge may lie in combinations of traditional and emerging technologies. We need to be less ‘stove piped’ in our outlook on technology.

 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Never underestimate the ability of technologists to solve difficult problems, especially when they’re not told it’s difficult.

 

What are your key successes to date?

The repositioning of Rolls-Royce from a mechanical engineering company to a company which views engineering and technology on a broader landscape. It makes me very proud to guide the team of incredible and dedicated Rolls-Royce employees that are driving this change.

 

Describe your ideal day away from work?

A quiet day spent with my Raspberry-Pi projects – finishing off all the projects and ideas that I have started but never quite had the time to complete.

 

Who inspires you the most?

I draw inspiration from all of the outstanding engineers and scientists that I have worked with. Each one of them has shared or taught me something that is unique, contributing to me a little bit in their own way.

 

What is your golden rule?

The principle I try to stand by at all times is to always assume positive intent in others.

 

Paul will be one of our keynote speakers at ATI Conference 2017: Realising Ambition, and will be speaking on Day Two.

The UK Government Department for Business, Energy & Industry Strategy (BEIS) has just published an independent evaluation report on the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) R&D Programme.

The report focuses on the effectiveness and implementation of the application, assessment and monitoring process used by ATI, BEIS and Innovate UK to deliver ATI R&D Programme.

Ipsos MORI, global market and opinion research specialists, conducted a thorough and independent review of the ATI R&D programme during 2016 and 2017.  Their work involved analysis of several years’ worth of programme data, as well as completing more than 50 interviews with participating companies and research partners and with more than 20 policy stakeholders involved in the delivery process.

The report identifies that the ATI has been effective in creating a UK Technology Strategy, Raising Ambition, and engaging with the UK aerospace sector to develop ambitious technology proposals.  The application process for R&D grant funding was also shown to be appropriate, fair and proportionate – providing high-quality and constructive feedback to applicants and ensuring clear and well-defined project objectives.

Recent public announcements by Boeing, Rolls-Royce and GE Dowty Propellers have highlighted the positive impacts that the ATI R&D Programme is having on growing UK aerospace supply chain capabilities and competitiveness, boosting levels of R&D and securing inward investment.  The ATI R&D Programme is therefore considered to be on track to deliver long-term economic benefits to the UK, as set out in our recent INSIGHT paper; The Economic Impact of UK Aerospace Industrial Strategy.

The report made some constructive recommendations, including:

  • efficiency and speed of the application process
  • engagement of small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
  • investments in disruptive technologies
  • monitoring of project outcomes and subsequent exploitation

ATI welcomes the Ipsos MORI report. It has highlighted successes and provided constructive suggestions on how the ATI R&D Programme can become even more effective in securing economic value.” commented Peter Willis, Senior Economist at ATI.

ATI, BEIS and Innovate UK have already created an active working group, which is seeking to implement a number of the report’s key recommendations during 2018.  The Programme has held several lean workshops with industry, aiming to reduce the length of time to approve projects by half.

“We are on track to make improvements during 2018 that will ensure the ATI R&D programme continues to be internationally competitive and attract greater investment in UK aerospace – this will save applicants time and cost, and enhance decision making in the process”, commented Thomas Edgar, Strategic Portfolio Manager at ATI.

ATI is also seeking to engage more with SMEs through its investment in NATEP, and is currently scoping an open and collaborative competition for investments in supply chain and disruptive technologies.

Dr Simon Weeks was appointed Chief Technology Officer of the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) in September 2014, assuming responsibility for technology leadership of the ATI. Prior to joining the institute, Simon spent most of his professional career in Rolls-Royce, most recently as Head of Aerospace Research & Technology leading the global research and technology programme for future jet engines for Rolls-Royce.

Before this, Simon has held a number of other senior technical leadership roles in Rolls-Royce including Director of engineering operations for Aero Engine Controls (a RR-Goodrich Joint venture company) and Technical Director for Eurojet in Munich (leading the development of the EJ200 engine for the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft). In his time in Rolls-Royce, Simon worked over half of his career in research & technology activities.

Simon is a chartered engineer and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He gained a MA in chemistry and a DPhil in the electro-chemistry of fuel cells at Oxford University.

 

Always do the right thing as an engineer.

 

What attracted you to the aerospace sector?

Being taken to Yeovilton Air Show as a young boy – experiencing the awe-inspiring take-off of the English electric lightnings – the power, noise and excitement and the smell of kerosene! – it has stayed with me ever since. I was then very lucky to have the opportunity to change careers to aerospace in my late 20’s and I never looked back.

 

What is your vision for the UK aerospace sector in the next 15 – 20 years?

Over that time, we’ll see new generations of aircraft that are ever more environmentally friendly – burning less fuel, making less CO2, less NOx, even quieter…Oh and more comfortable than today. I hope to be flying in an electric air taxi within the next 20 years too!

 

If you could change one element of technology, or a particular type of technology in the sector, what would that be?

Batteries that could store several times the amount of power as those that we have today – that would be revolutionary for aerospace.

 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Always do the right thing as an engineer.

 

What are your key successes to date?

Leading the development and qualification of the EJ200 engine for the Eurofighter Typhoon which has turned out really well – a tremendously powerful engine and highly reliable – pilots love it! Being one of the ‘founding fathers’ of Aero-Engine Controls joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Goodrich. Leading the Rolls-Royce global aerospace R&T programme. Last but not least, creating the ATI with my colleagues and developing the UK’s national aerospace technology strategy.

 

Describe your ideal day away from work?

A day with family and friends with great food and wine and then playing a gig with my band in the evening where I would have roadies to shift and set up my kit and a limo waiting outside!!

 

Who inspires you the most?

The great engineers and scientists that I’ve had the privilege to work with.

 

What is your golden rule?

Always do the right thing as an engineer!

 

Simon will be one of our keynote speakers at ATI Conference 2017: Realising Ambition, and will be speaking on Day Two.

Dr Fassi Kafyeke joined Bombardier in 1982. In 1996 he became Chief of Advanced Aerodynamics, responsible for the design and testing for all Business Jets, Regional jets and the CSeries airliner. In 2007 he became Director of Strategic Technology and since 2015 is a Senior Director and a member of the Bombardier Product Development Engineering Leadership team, responsible for technology innovation, products innovation and Eco-design.

Fassi Kafyeke has an Aerospace Engineering Master’s degree from Université de Liège, a Master’s degree (Air Transport Engineering) from the Cranfield Institute of Technology and a PhD (Aerodynamics) from École Polytechnique de Montréal.

Always seek excellence, even if it requires more effort upfront, because excellence is always the best choice.

 

What attracted you to the aerospace sector?

The dream of flying and the challenge of designing beautiful airplanes.

 

What is your vision for the UK aerospace sector in the next 15 – 20 years?

The UK aerospace sector has all the elements needed to succeed in the future:  A strong aviation tradition, a diversified industrial foundation, and key universities and research centres specialised in aviation. With continued strong support from the UK government for collaborative research and technology, the sector can focus its research on key technology areas that will help ensure its future competitiveness.

 

If you could change one element of technology, or a particular type of technology in the sector, what would that be?

Thermodynamic propulsion.  We still need to burn fuel to power airplanes, thus producing noise and greenhouse gases.  If we could move to electric propulsion, this would make our industry cleaner.

 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

To be always rigorous and seek excellence

 

What are your key successes to date?

The very innovative airplanes produced by Bombardier and sold worldwide in the business jet and commercial airline markets.  Innovations include the Belfast-generated composite wing technology for the C Series aircraft.

 

Describe your ideal day away from work?

A quiet day in a botanical garden with a good historical thriller book.

 

Who inspires you the most?

In my profession, Theodore Von Karman

 

What is your golden rule?

Always seek excellence, even if it requires more effort upfront, because excellence is always the best choice.

 

 

Fassi will be one of our keynote speakers at ATI Conference 2017: Realising Ambition, and will be speaking on Day One.