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‘This experience can’t be taught’: An Academic Mentor’s perspective on Fly Your Ideas

Oct 09, 2019

Did you know – each Fly Your Ideas team is supported by an academic from one of the student’s institutions? We caught up with Dr. Venkatesha Prasad (VP) of TU Delft, the enthusiastic Academic Mentor of the 2019 winning team ‘Zero’ Heroes, to discuss why taking part in Fly Your Ideas is beneficial for academics too.

VP says that bringing the team together was very important to him. ‘As a professor, I would like to encourage my students. Students are the next generation of innovators and leaders. They just need encouragement and motivation!’

Fly Your Ideas was also an unmissable chance for VP to work with an aerospace leader on a subject that he has been researching for more than ten years. The idea developed by his students, a batteryless wireless switch for aircraft systems, ‘was the first step towards making my thought heard to a wider audience, especially companies like Airbus. This made me much more involved.’

The support from Airbus employees from Round 2 until the final day of the competition was invaluable for both the students and VP. He says, ‘This was really one of my best experiences. Adolfo, our Airbus Mentor, was always on our side. He taught me so many things in the process. Bastiaan, our Airbus Expert, also flew to Toulouse to help us. This shows how serious Airbus was about this competition. It was truly amazing teamwork from Airbus and my team.’

VP asserts that the benefits of participation in this Airbus campaign, for academics like himself, are numerous. ‘I am grounded now. I know the limitations and processes involved in a manufacturing company. I learnt a lot. I realised that the sky is the limit. This experience can’t be taught!’

Thanks to Dr. Venkatesha Prasad for the interview. Make sure to check out our previous article about his team, ‘Zero’ Heroes – Fly Your Ideas 2019: The Winner’s Story.

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