Celebrate International Women’s Day with Fly Your Ideas!

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world on 8th March. To honour this day, we invited Fly Your Ideas participants to share with us the lessons they have learned from inspiring women about dreaming, risking, trying, failing and, ultimately, succeeding.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Almudena describes International Women’s Day as ‘‘an occasion to celebrate our successes and advances and a reminder that women’s rights are still not guaranteed in many countries and that we cannot stop campaigning until every corner of the world benefits from gender equality.’’

Luciana adds, ‘‘a day to remember that every day we should choose to reject gender-biased attitudes and instead believe in ourselves and our potential.’’

How do you plan to celebrate International Women’s Day this year?

Some of our participants will look for inspiration in the stories and achievements of successful women. Daniela plans to read about women who made history, while Julia hopes to reach out to a woman in the aerospace industry and ask her what it took to carve a career path.

Almudena finds empowerment in helping others to pursue their dreams. She plans to spend the day as usual, working on her lectures and encouraging her students (both male and female) to become great engineers. ‘‘I cannot think of a better way to contribute to our common future.’’

Luciana encourages us to push forward for change. ‘‘We should start by being bold, having difficult conversations around gender stereotyping and sharing our own experience to support and encourage others.’’

Of course, with just a few days to go until the Round 2 deadline, many Fly Your Ideas teams will spend the day working hard on their projects. Team Osprey told us that participating in the competition is ‘‘important as women in STEM to show the younger generation that engineering is for everyone.’’

Tell us about a woman who inspires you.

The inspiration for our teams? Pioneering women of the past and present. Both Juan Sebastián and Daniela name as their inspiration Marie Curie, who at the turn of the 20th century developed the theory of radioactivity and became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. Juan Sebastián describes Curie as ‘‘a revolutionary woman who literally gave her life to science, resulting in one of the best discoveries in human existence.’’ Her story encourages Daniela ‘‘to dedicate my life to science, to pursue a career dominated by men and to be great in it.’’

Our teams are also empowered by the success of leading women at Airbus. Ana Cristina Galucio, Chief of Staff at Airbus Defence and Space, is a local heroine for Team Flyby: ‘‘Born in a small northern Brazilian city, she overcame challenges and won battles in pursuit of a dream that made her one of the world’s greatest composites materials experts.’’ Sarath is inspired by Jaqueline Castle, Airbus A380 Chief Engineer, whose ‘‘strength and drive for her work’’ earned her a place amongst the Top 50 Influential Women in Engineering.

Almudena hopes to follow in the footsteps of Sally Ride, one of the first female astronauts, while Luciana names as her inspiration Constance Adams, the first Space Architect to work for NASA. Luciana explains, ‘‘when people tell you that you can’t do something, it’s motivation to prove them wrong by pursuing your dreams.’’

Reminding us that inspiration can always be found amongst our peers, Julia says, ‘‘I feel like women in STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Mathematics) are always playing in the same team – they want other women to succeed and often their attitude screams: ‘I did it, so you can do it as well!’’’

We hope you enjoyed hearing our students’ thoughts on International Women’s Day. To find out more visit https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

With thanks to our contributors
Almudena, Team Learning to Fly
Daniela, Team Move-ez
David, Volney, Lêdson and Gleidson, Team Flyby
Juan Sebastián, Team Seneka
Julia, QRevolution
Luciana, Team AirPOOL
Natasha, Pia Maria and Kieran, Team Osprey
Sarath, Team Maverick

Upgrade your Round 2 project with our checklist for success


We launched our quest in June 2018 to offer students around the world the chance to innovate for the future of aerospace. Following months of hard work and bright ideas, 51 teams were selected in December to progress to the second round of the competition. With just one week to go until the Round 2 deadline, teams are adding the finishing touches to their submissions. Keep reading for our checklist for success.

The criteria

A team of dedicated Airbus Assessors will assess the ideas based on the below criteria. This should be used as guidance but the most important aspect to keep in mind is ensuring your project stands out from the crowd as a great innovative idea!


• Does the proposal answer the question for the Challenge?
• Does the summary explain the key features of the idea in a simple and concise way?


• Are the objectives / requirements well defined, and tracked?
• Are the tasks, the results and related achievements clearly described and with a structural plan?

Description & Prototype / Visualisation

• Have all resources been identified, e.g. people, test facilities, simulation effort?
• Do the visualisations within the report give a better understanding of the idea?
• Will the prototype / visualisation demonstrate that the idea will work?
• Does the proposal show clear innovative and / or creative elements?
• Does the team’s video correspond with the theme and content of their proposal?
• Does the video show that the team can present themselves with confidence?


• Has the team understood and explained further challenges in realising the idea?
• Does the proposal highlight any feedback collected or how feedback will be collected at a later stage
• Is the idea feasible or practical?
• Are the benefits well quantified and realistic? (Most important benefit to be highlighted)


• Does the proposal add value for the customer/company/industry?
• Does the idea answer to the real needs of the aerospace industry?

The guidelines

The written report

• No more than 2,000 words long
• PDF format
• Written in English
• Includes 1-5 visualisations – this may include sketches, diagrams, infographics and photos
• Reference your work using an internationally recognised referencing system

The video

• MP4 format with H.264 compression for video and AAC compression for audio.
• Maximum file size 400 MB
• Maximum length 2 minutes
• Any 3rd party footage, images or soundtracks are from royalty-free sources and comply with their terms and conditions of usage


The Team Leader should submit the project via the competition platform by 12:00 noon CET on Monday 11 March 2019.


Our destination is in sight: a spectacular live final at Airbus HQ, Toulouse! Airbus assessors will evaluate the Round 2 projects and select up to 6 teams to spend a week bringing their ideas to life at some of Airbus’ most cutting-edge innovation facilities. Results to be announced on 17th April! Until then, keep an eye on our social wall and join our vibrant Facebook community to stay updated on the latest Fly Your Ideas news.

Bring your ideas to life with video

Lights, camera, action! In the digital age, video is one of the most accessible and entertaining ways to learn, discover, and share your story with the world in an instant. This article will help you get started.

Learn from the experts

Take inspiration from Fly Your Ideas alumni! Visit our Facebook page as we look back on the highlights from the 2017 video competition. You can also gain insight from Airbus’ official YouTube channel. See how Airbus’ audio-visual, marketing and communications teams explain Airbus’ projects through video.

Tell your story

Create a storyboard to help you to visualise how the video will flow. Make sure to introduce yourself, your team and explain why your ideas is great. Fly Your Ideas is all about teamwork so ensure that all members get involved, perhaps explaining their individual contribution.

Set the scene

Good lighting will make a huge difference in the video quality. Use a tripod or set your camera on a sturdy surface. Record in landscape mode. This will make your footage look good on all devices.

Connect with your audience

Make eye contact, speak clearly and smile! Use calm, open body language. Consider how you want your video to play on the audience’s emotions – you may choose to incorporate humour or demonstrate compassion and empathy when discussing your idea.

Keep it simple

You only have two minutes, so be concise! Stick to your script. You may use subtitles to help the audience follow your key points. Use a simple, clean editing style without too many effects or transitions. This will make your video look professional.

Edit like a pro

Good video editing software can help you turn your raw footage into something great. Check out some of the Best Video Editing Software available for free. Ranked in the top three, Blender, Lightworks and Shotcut are all available on Windows, Mac and Linux.

With digital skills as the focus of this year’s competition, we hope these tips inspired you to bring your ideas to life through video. For Fly Your Ideas teams, this is your opportunity to explain in two minutes or less why YOU should be selected for Round 3! Our favourite videos will enter a public vote with a special prize for the winner.

Write a brilliant report with Fly Your Ideas!

With one month to go until the Round 2 deadline on the 11th March, our teams are working hard to develop their ideas! Whether you’re working on your #flyyourideas project or a university assignment, keep reading for our simple tips to writing a great report.

Plan ahead

Read carefully the Round 2 student brief to understand what to discuss within your report. Planning is essential – before you begin to write, think about the structure of your report and map out a list of key points to cover. A clear and logical structure will serve as the framework for your answer, helping you to address the questions.

Be succinct

Write clearly and concisely to help convey a powerful message. A good piece of advice is ‘don’t use a long word where a short word will do.’ Write with a formal style, limiting ‘I’ or ‘we’. Avoid the passive voice: use strong, direct language.

Make it visual

Bring your idea to life with 1-5 visualisations! A detailed illustration, a photograph of an initial prototype, an infographic, a flow diagram or a simple hand drawn sketch are all impactful ways to demonstrate how your concept will look and work. Assessors should be able to understand the idea by looking at the visualisations.


Set the report aside for a day or two, then read it again.  Make sure to print it out on paper before you read it.   This will help you to catch any errors. You can miss a lot of errors if you only read it on the screen. Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation. Pay attention to whether the report is easy to follow and whether your points are clear. We recommend asking a native English speaker to proofread your work – your university communications team may be able to help.

Using sources

Reference any parts of your work taken from other sources and ensure those sources are reputable and authoritative. Referencing also avoids any potential issues that could arise concerning plagiarism. You may choose to go the extra mile by collecting your own unique research; conducting interviews with relevant people or even approaching airports or airlines to support with data collection.

Stick to the guidelines

Is your report in PDF format? Is it no longer than 2,000 words? Is it in English? Have you followed the brief and answered all the questions, including the challenge question?

We hope these tips were helpful – good luck to all our Round 2 teams and our Fly Your Ideas community from around the world who are also working on report-writing projects. Keep an eye on the social wall for the latest updates from our teams!

Fly high with our tips for Round 2 triumph!

We hope our Round 2 teams are having a fun and productive Fly Your Ideas journey! The destination is now in sight, so read on for our top tips to put you on the flight path to Round 3.

Need motivation? Join our social media community

Our vibrant social media community will give you an instant motivational boost! See what the teams are posting on our social wall and get involved – you might even star on our official Facebook page. Some teams have even created special profiles to showcase their projects: Asporia, Move-EZ, Flyby, QRevolution, Brainblowers, Osprey and Aerovators!

Looking for inspiration? Think outside of the box

Be creative! An interesting example comes from 2017 finalists Team SkyVision who, after the competition, pre-sold their idea to two airlines and used the data collected to mature their business model. Go the extra mile to develop a project that is both innovative and useful.

Need advice? Ask the experts

There are many people here to support you during your Fly Your Ideas adventure. We encourage you to make regular contact with your Airbus Mentor for project management support. You can also ask for your questions to be forwarded to an Airbus Expert. Take advantage of their technical know-how! Here is an example of what can be accomplished by seeking the right support: Team Move-EZ recently met with an aircraft captain to know more about the challenges addressed by their idea and how it can improve air travel.

Want recognition? Shout about your success

Being selected for Round 2 is a huge achievement and we hope that sharing the exciting news with your university will encourage you to keep striving for success. Some universities are already sharing Fly Your Ideas success stories on social media. Team FlyBy’s university were one of the first to share the exciting news!

Feeling overwhelmed? Set goals, organise tasks

Plan your project by breaking down the components into smaller steps. Team Brainblowers show us how: set objectives and assign tasks to each member of the team. This will help you to manage your time and will ensure you are always ten steps ahead. Meet regularly to develop your idea and ensure everyone is focused on the end goal.

Have a question? Contact us

We hope you found these tips useful for your team. And don’t forget, we are always happy to help – there is no problem too big or too small! Email us at info@airbus-fyi.com or message us on Facebook. We aim to reply within 24 hours.

Airbus Fly Your Ideas: A Career Launch for Luke

Luke Spiteri is a Fatigue and Damage Tolerance Engineer based in the UK, working on the wings of A320-Family aircraft. Luke reached the final of Fly Your Ideas in 2013 with Team CLiMA as a student at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, and is now mentoring a team in the 2019 competition. Keep reading to learn how Fly Your Ideas helped Luke’s career soar to new heights!

You were a runner-up in 2013 for your idea to develop aircraft fueled by a blend of sustainably produced liquefied biomethane and liquefied natural gas (Bio-LNG). Tell us about your experience of the competition!

Looking back at it a few years on, the experience still feels surreal and remains a highlight of my time at university! I am still staggered by the support from my university and our local industry. To develop our idea, we 3D printed and tested it in the Wind Tunnel, completed structural and aerodynamic computational simulation, performed hands-on testing with cryogenic liquids and attended the Australian International Air Show to gauge interest and seek feedback. We were fortunately selected to present our ideas in Round 3 to a panel of Airbus and airline representatives including Charles Champion, former Head of Engineering. The competition opened my eyes to the opportunities presented by the aerospace industry. The experience of walking through the A380 Final Assembly Line and seeing six A380s wingtip to wingtip was something I will never forget!

Did having Airbus Fly Your Ideas on your CV help you when you began looking for a career?

The competition was a big help when starting my career because it provided an opportunity to demonstrate and develop essential career skills – both technical and interpersonal. I was able to regularly refer to or reflect on these experiences and provide an interesting point of discussion during interviews.

Tell us about your work as a Wing Fatigue and Damage Tolerance Engineer. Do you incorporate the skills you learnt with Fly Your Ideas into your work?

My role, developing ideas for aircraft modifications specific to A320-Family aircraft, closely reflects the process undertaken as part of Fly Your Ideas from concept generation through to feasibility testing and product delivery. A self-driven mindset, communication skills, stakeholder engagement and the development of agreed requirements into achievable objectives, as practiced through Fly Your Ideas, have given me a good foundation from which to continue to develop.

You’re mentoring an Electrification team this year. What excites you about the Electrification category?

With increasing demands for sustainable, connected and personalised travel, Electrification is a rapidly growing segment in the aerospace industry. In addition to industry leaders including Airbus investing in electric aircraft development programmes such as E-Fan X, start-ups are developing new electric regional aircraft of their own. This makes the entire industry an exciting place to be, on the cusp of a step change in technology and commercial air travel.

What advice would you give to Round 2 teams hoping to mirror your success?

Keep going, talk to people, talk to more people and keep going! The ideas, feedback and support that you can get from your peers, colleagues and industry are limitless. Use the resources around you and don’t be afraid of suggesting ideas and asking questions.

Airbus Mentor shares secrets for success

Alvery Grazebrook is a Fuel System Modelling Specialist at Airbus and Fly Your Ideas 2019 marks his fifth year as an Airbus Mentor. In this exclusive interview, Alvery tells us about his experience mentoring a team all the way to the final – and offers advice to Round 2 teams on how to get there.

Why did you get involved in Fly Your Ideas?

Fly Your Ideas brought dreams of co-operation with academic organisations and new research possibilities. Being involved with new ideas and the enthusiasm of the teams gets me out of my shell after the New Year.

What are the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of mentoring a team?

When they do well! I’m so proud of the way my teams have connected with other people when developing their ideas – whether it was the Stuttgart students who worked with the local airport management to gather data about usage-patterns, or the Surrey University team who pre-sold their idea to two separate airlines and used the information gathered to develop their business model. This raises the bar for what can be achieved.

How can Round 2 teams make the most of their Airbus Mentor?

As an Airbus Mentor, I have usually had to support the team with basic project management. When the students have done this for themselves, it allows the Mentor relationship to dive into the more technical and creative aspects of the project.

Any other advice you would give to Round 2 teams?

Be clear about the novelty and added value in your idea, and do something specific to support this. Some examples (not just from my teams) – when making composites from new materials, the team performed billet testing to provide standardised data on the material properties of the result. When designing a downward pointing camera mount, the team performed an analysis to assess how many aircraft needed to carry the device to achieve varying levels of coverage over Europe. Decide what you are going to do to provide the evidence to prove your point.

You mentored Team SkyVision from the University of Surrey, UK, who were selected as finalists in 2017. Tell us about your experience of the final event.

We arrived in Toulouse, and spent an intense week preparing. Each of the teams went into their corners and worked extremely hard. What was amazing is how much the teams supported each other emotionally. I don’t mean group hugs – although there were plenty of those at the end when we were all parting – I mean by challenging each other, and supporting each other through the stressful moments of the final round.

Have you remained in touch with your mentees?

I’ve remained in touch with some of them. Particularly with the SkyVision team that made it through to Round 3, we were so much more involved because of the time spent together in Toulouse ProtoSpace Lab. It was lovely to be invited to give a reference, and I’ve had several other exchanges with members of the team about careers and about developing their idea further.

Airbus shortlists 51 teams for Round 2 of Fly Your Ideas

Airbus has selected 51 international student teams to go into round two of its sixth Fly Your Ideas global challenge. Students were invited to innovate in six key areas covering Electrification, Data Services, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality.

The teams involving 179 students representing 47 nationalities from 66 universities developed ideas which included solutions for surveillance drones, alternative power generation, groundbreaking in-flight entertainment systems and many others. The shortlisted teams have three months to mature their ideas with the support of Airbus mentors and aerospace experts before up to six finalists are chosen. Finalist teams will compete for a share of the €45,000 prize and the chance to take their idea forward within the aerospace industry. Teams will share project updates, photos, sketches and stories using #flyyourideas and will be captured on the social wall.

The competition is an offer from Airbus to students worldwide to bring their ideas to life together with a leading global company on real industry challenges. Airbus is looking for ideas that change the future of aerospace and create a safer, cleaner and better-connected world.

The majority of participants come from engineering, digital and technology disciplines with 90% studying subjects such as Engineering, Information Technology, Nanotechnology or Telecommunications. Seven out of ten teams include mixed nationalities, genders, profiles or disciplines. Airbus sees diversity as an essential driver for innovation and success. With regards to the region, Europe and Asia-Pacific lead the field. Countries which are represented for the first time in Round 2 include Ghana, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

You can also find out more about Airbus Fly Your Ideas and the unique partnership enjoyed with UNESCO on the competition website. Please also join the Facebook community.