The Advanced Engineering Show took place at the NEC on 1st – 2nd November, showcasing a large collection of supply chain opportunities, technology case studies and innovation partnerships under one roof. The Aerospace Technology Institute’s (ATI) Head of Technology Mark Summers, and Lead Technologist Paul Clarke, attended and presented at the event.


Mark Summers presented an overview of the Institute’s technology strategy Raising Ambition and spoke about the challenges and opportunities of composites in aerospace.


Mark Summers said:

The ATI’s technology strategy supports a wide-range of applications for composite development in aerospace. We have taken a lead in facilitating discussions and workshops with stakeholders to understand the current composite capabilities in the sector, and the drive to explore future technology innovations around composite materials.


Working in collaboration with Composites UK and other stakeholders, we are helping to shape and develop a UK Composites Strategy by developing composite technology roadmaps.


The joint strategy, due to be launched next year, will enable the UK composites community to grow their businesses and succeed in the competitive global market.


The event hosted a number of keynote speeches, including a presentation delivered by Paul Clarke around industry 4.0 and the ATI’s perspective on digital. Paul spoke about the opportunities of digital technology and how it has the potential to shake up the aerospace industry.


Paul said:

Our technology strategy Raising Ambition highlights digital transformation as a priority technology investment. It is a specific enabling capability that can significantly impact the whole sector.


The sector has full order books and forecasts growth of more than 90 per cent over the next twenty years. We have to learn how to seize that growth, not only today, but also in the long term. The adoption of digital technology can enable the UK sector to benefit from growth and development opportunities, capturing a greater share of the global market.


The Institute continues to provide international leadership on digital transformation in the aerospace sector. In February we published an INSIGHT paper on Digital Transformation, where we set the scene and explored the current digital landscape, identifying key technologies and capabilities of digital in aerospace.  The paper includes a Digital Framework developed by the Institute to help organisations understand where they are currently on the digital journey today, and what steps need to be taken to embrace and adopt digital processes.


Paul went on to identify the aerospace priorities as referenced in the Government’s newly published Made Smarter review led by Professor Juergen Maier. The ATI led the input from an aerospace perspective into the report (please see appendix 1, page 134 of the report).