Taking to the skies with Martin from Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2013

Since the finals of Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2013, Martin Burston, Team CliMA member, has finished his studies and started his career, but also has been taking to the skies himself! He explains how he takes the creativity skills that he developed with Team CliMA into work with him every day.

Taking to the skies with Martin from Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2013

In 2013, Team CliMA won the runner up prize of Airbus Fly Your Ideas with an innovative idea for the development of aircraft fuelled by a blend of sustainably produced liquefied biomethane and liquefied natural gas (Bio-LNG). We’ve been finding out the latest news from team member Martin Burston, including the revelation that he has been taking to the skies himself!

“Quite a bit has happened for me since competing in the final of Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2013. First of all, I have continued to pursue my studies. As well as the excitement of Fly Your Ideas, in 2013 I also completed my bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, after which I began my masters in Engineering in Aerospace and Aviation – which I’ll be finishing later this year. In 2014, I got my first job as an Aeronautical Engineer at Mahindra Aerospace where I’ve been working on the development of the Airvan 10, a 10-seat turboprop based on the popular Airvan 8 aircraft.”


Demonstrating his love for aviation is clearly something that Martin has taken to heart: “I’ve been undertaking flying training and am working towards my private pilot’s licence. This is something I think all aeronautical engineers should do, given the opportunity, as it provides a practical grounding as well as just being fun!”, explains Martin.

Reflecting on the experience of making it to the final stages of Airbus Fly Your Ideas, Martin believes that one skill is paramount – and it’s all about making sure that your ideas are presented in the best possible light: “My advice for future Airbus Fly Your Ideas participants is to ensure that you communicate your ideas as effectively as you can. It’s one thing to have a great idea and have the analysis to support it, but you also have to convince others that it’s worthwhile before you can implement it.” Remembering the video element of the challenge and the experience of presenting their project to the distinguished Airbus Fly Your Ideas jury, he adds that, “videos, animations and images of your concept at work are a far more effective means of communication than death by bullet points.”

So what long-term benefits has he seen, from his experience with Team CliMA? “I think participating in Airbus Fly Your Ideas was most beneficial to me because I was encouraged to entertain creative solutions to today’s problems in aviation.”  He adds that, “I take this creativity into work with me every day and although sometimes the simplest solution is the best, I can always be satisfied that I have explored all of the options available to me.”

Great advice and useful insight for any student teams gearing up for the 2017 edition – coming soon!

Further success for Mohit, Team Multifun member

We caught up with Mohit Gupta, member of Team Multifun, our Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2015 winners. He has recently led the Georgia Tech team to victory in the Airbus American Innovation Showdown Challenge.

“As team leader for this challenge, I was able to use my experience from Airbus Fly Your Ideas to help manage tasks and plan our time…”

Further success for Mohit, Team Multifun member

We caught up with Mohit Gupta, member of Team Multifun, our Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2015 winners. Mohit’s now working as a Graduate Research Assistant and PhD student at Georgia Tech, in Atlanta, USA and has some big news to share with us.

“I’m delighted to say that I have led the Georgia Tech team to victory at the Airbus America Innovation Showdown Challenge 2016! As team leader for this competition, I was able to use my experience from Airbus Fly Your Ideas to help manage tasks and plan our time", explains Mohit.

‘’The Showdown Challenge was to come up with new ideas related to aircraft waste management and luggage handling. I called on my network of senior Airbus experts and supporters from Airbus Fly Your Ideas to help us develop our technology and the business case for our proposal: the implementation of a gasification process on board aircraft, which would help reduce waste as well as powering subsystems.”


Taking part in a global student competition like Airbus Fly Your Ideas offers long-term benefits as well as the immediate reward of innovating alongside Airbus experts. “Thanks to our success in Airbus Fly Your Ideas, I have gained in confidence in my work”, explains Mohit. “Seeing our achievements win recognition around the world, I feel rewarded and it has motivated me to go even further. As a team, we have decided to take the idea to the next stage by registering patents and incorporating as a startup”. Here again, the team has been recognised globally - Team Multifun won the best startup of the year at the annual ITMA Future Materials awards and were awarded the top spot in the Clean Tech and Environment category at the University Startup World Cup in Denmark.

Reflecting on the experience of taking part in Airbus Fly Your Ideas, Mohit says that, “A competition like Airbus Fly Your Ideas can demand a time investment of nearly 7 months if the team is dedicated to reaching the finals. For graduate students juggling their workload, it’s definitely a big commitment. But our hard work has really paid off and I recommend the experience to all students.”

We’re certain that Mohit’s story will be an inspiration to students around the world considering taking part in the next edition of Airbus Fly Your Ideas!


  • 2013 Finalist Giorgio: “I owe a lot to Fly Your Ideas!”

    Find out the latest from Giorgio from 2013 finalists Team Flybrid, and see what he’s been up to since his days as an Airbus Fly Your Ideas team leader, plus how the experience has helped him identify his current career path.

2013 Finalist Giorgio: “I owe a lot to Fly Your Ideas!”

We caught up with Giorgio Enrico Bona now a researcher at DLR (German Aerospace Research Centre) and the former leader of Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2013 finalists, Team Flybrid (from right to left).

Team Flybrid’s idea consisted of an electric/turboprop combination for hybrid propulsion in regional aircraft, using batteries pre-charged on ground and not in-flight. Inspired by the Preliminary Aircraft Design work on this project, Giorgio then decided to pursue a voluntary internship in this area: “I was accepted by Airbus Germany in the Bremen Future Project Office. This was exactly the experience that I was hoping for, as this team deals with preliminary aircraft studies. My internship then evolved into a Master’s thesis.”

Giorgio’s career continues at DLR, the German Aerospace Research Centre, but he remains in touch with his former colleagues in Bremen.

Reflecting on his achievements since the competition, Giorgio feels that he owes a lot to Airbus Fly Your Ideas: “First of all, the Airbus mentor (Steven Hallett) that guided us during the competition was amazing! He showed us the importance of setting priorities, focusing on what adds value to the work, and how to manage the tasks. My team always looked forward to our weekly meetings. As we progressed in the competition, we had the chance to interface with an Airbus technical expert as well (Chris Lynas), who inspired us to look beyond our system to understand the ‘bigger picture’, whilst paying attention to the details at every stage.”

Giorgio believes that Airbus Fly Your Ideas is both a very fun challenge and also a huge growth opportunity for all students interested in a high quality ‘learning by doing’ experience. He also recommends that future participants should bring together a team of people with diverse backgrounds (for example, area of study, culture, gender) but with a similar mentality (open-minded, flexible and collaborative spirit).

As we get ready to launch the new competition, we hope that Giorgio’s progress will inspire many more students to get ready for Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2017!


Prestigious Award for Team Birdport

Well done to Team Birdport, recipients of the University of Tokyo’s President's Award for 2015. This prestigious award was presented to the team in recognition of their achievement in reaching the final 5 teams in the 2015 edition of Airbus Fly Your Ideas.

Prestigious Award for Team Birdport

Well done to Team Birdport, recipients of the University of Tokyo’s President's Award for 2015. This extremely well regarded award is for students who have achieved great success in research or extracurricular activities.

The President’s Award was presented to the team in recognition of their achievement in reaching the final 5 teams in the 2015 edition of Airbus Fly Your Ideas. Team Birdport were judged to have made a major contribution to aerospace innovation in Japan, especially in the area of drones, and have also motivated millions of students in Japan.


The team’s Airbus mentor, Production Quality Manager Danny Antons said: “I’m really glad to see the team honored with this impressive award, reflecting their excellence performance throughout the Airbus Fly Your Ideas competition. They had a creative and interdisciplinary approach to their project, which combined the programming of drone simulations, familiarity with bird behavior (ornithology), air traffic rules, etc. Their very innovative idea used drones to direct the birds away from the airport runway - real out of the box thinking!”

The team believe being a finalist in Airbus Fly Your Ideas has proven to be beneficial for their careers and their studies in engineering. Satoshi, is studying flight test engineering at ISAE-SUPAERO, one of the best Grandes Ecoles in France and is doing an internship at Airbus, Toulouse. Motoki is also doing an internship at Airbus Defence and Space in Germany. Sukrit is continuing his studies at the University of Cambridge to learn technology management. Tomo and Tomoya will continue their studies with a master in technology management for innovation at the University of Tokyo.

Reflecting on this recognition, team member Motoki said: “I’m really honored to get the award with my best teammates. It feels fantastic! Winning this award reminds me of the days of the final round. I will never forget our great Airbus Fly Your Ideas experience, and we will advance to the next challenges with confidence.”

Congratulations Team Birdport – we look forward to hearing about your next success. 

Airbus BizLab: revealing the latest start-up stars

10 start-ups selected from the latest call for proposals will join Airbus BizLab, the global aerospace business accelerators, in Hamburg, Germany and Bangalore, India in order to develop their innovative ideas into valuable businesses.

Airbus BizLab: revealing the latest start-up stars

Airbus BizLab has selected 10 start-ups from the latest call for proposals, for the business accelerators in Hamburg, Germany and Bangalore, India.

Airbus BizLab is a global aerospace business accelerator, bringing together start-ups with Airbus ‘intrapreneurs’ (internal entrepreneurs) to develop their innovative ideas into valuable businesses. Through the 6-month programme, selected start-ups transform and rapidly progress their ideas to a business-ready state..

During their BizLab experience, start-ups interact with Airbus experts from across the business, from different areas including technology, legal, finance and marketing. They have a dedicated mentor, office space and access to prototyping and test facilities too. Teams also have the chance to showcase their work at a dedicated demonstration day with Airbus decision makers, partners, subsidiaries, customers, and venture capital investors.


In Hamburg, 100 applicants from 29 countries applied, and the top 6 selected for the BizLab are:

·  ZinkCloud from Spain - The project is about developing software to improve quality production by using machine learning and natural language processing.

·  Jetlite from Germany - “jetlite – light to lighten your jetlag". The proposal is about increasing passenger comfort and decreasing jetlag by an innovative use of the existing cabin lighting LED- system.

·  Synergeticon from Germany - Offers a digital platform with connected smart tools to provide optimal support for manual work processes in production and maintenance

·  Velmenni from Estonia/India:  The idea is about creating a new wireless technology for high speed data transmission using visible light.

·  Teraki from Germany: The project consists of making Big Data Small. Software solutions are provided to reduce data from any Internet of Things sensors in a significant and smart way

·  Nebaqua from Spain: The proposal is about a water separation systems based on ultrasonic nebulization that helps reduce weight and the related management costs

In Bangalore, 80 applicants from 7 countries applied for a spot, and the selected top 4 are:

·  Blue Morfo from India – This start-up is developing a mobile application to detect and prevent specific corporate health related issues, like exposure of airline crew to jetlag, cabin pressurisation, etc.,

·  Shoonya Games from India – It is proposing interactive gaming solutions for training and marketing purposes through the use of Virtual Reality and 3D technologies embedded in a mobile device.

·  Open Turf from India – The project is about providing Wireless in-flight entertainment using passenger personal devices

·  Qualitas from USA - Offers automated quality inspection systems for manufacturing, specializing in 2D and 3D machine vision.

Congratulations to all 10 start-ups! We’re looking forward to hearing more about your experience of Bizlab as well as your exciting projects. 

Finally, Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2017 teams, take note – could these teams inspire your own innovative ideas for the future of aviation?

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