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Fly Your Ideas 2017 Jury line-up revealed!

It’s almost the moment they’ve been waiting for! On 16 May, our five finalist teams will finally get the chance to present their game-changing ideas for the future of aviation to the jury. But who will be the panel members carefully listening to the team’s pitches and asking them about their Fly Your Ideas journey? 

We’re delighted to reveal the distinguished members of the Fly Your Ideas 2017 Jury – presenting Charles Champion, Yacob Astatke, Pascal Medal and Rovani Sigamoney!


Charles Champion 

Role: President, Airbus Operations SAS & Executive Vice President Engineering

Organisation: Airbus

Biography: Charles Champion was appointed President of Airbus Operations SAS, effective March 1st, 2015 in addition to his position as Executive Vice President Engineering in April 2010. 

In his role as Executive Vice President Engineering Champion is responsible for research & technology, overall product architecture and concept development, the design office, integration & flight-testing and continued product airworthiness. Champion is a member of the Airbus Executive Committee and has been patron of Fly Your Ideas since the very first edition in 2009.


Yacob Astatke 

Role: Assistant Vice President for International Affairs Organisation: Morgan State University, Maryland, USA

Biography: Dr. Yacob Astatke was the 2016 Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) Airbus Diversity Award recipient. He has been a full-time faculty member in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at MSU since August 1994 and currently serves as the Assistant V.P. for International Affairs, and also as the Associate Dean for Education in the School of Engineering. Dr. Astatke is the winner of the ‘2016 Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) for College Level Promotion of Education’, the 2013 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) ‘National Outstanding Teaching Award’, and the 2012 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) ‘Mid-Atlantic Region Distinguished Teacher Award.’


Pascal Medal 

Role: Chief Engineer 

Organisation: European Aviation Safety Organisation (EASA)

Biography: Pascal Medal is Chief Engineer at the European Aviation Safety Organisation (EASA), the Chairperson of the EASA Internal International Standardisation Committee (IISC) and he represents EASA in the EUROCAE council and in the European ATM Standardisation Coordination Group.

Medal has been involved in the development of standardisation bodies since 2004. He joined EASA in 2004, as Large Aeroplane Section Manager, and from 2007 to 2014, he was Head of the Experts Department (C2), responsible for the management of Airworthiness experts, OSD experts and FSTD experts. 


Rovani Sigamoney 

Role: Assistant Programme Specialist

Organisation: UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) 

Biography: Rovani Sigamoney is a chemical/environmental engineer from South Africa. She joined the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) HQ in Paris, France in 2007 in the Natural Sciences Sector and later ran the Chemistry Programme and International Year of Chemistry 2011. She thereafter took over the UNESCO Engineering programme. The Engineering Programme works with UNESCO’s 195 Member States, international partners and programmme experts to strengthen engineering education through curricula development, hands-on training and capacity building.