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Team of Indian students emerge finalists for Airbus’ Fly Your Ideas challenge

A student team from SRM University is one of the five teams selected by Airbus to compete in the third edition of the Fly Your Ideas (FYI) challenge. The other teams making the final are from Australia, Brazil, Italy and Malaysia. Team AVAS will now travel to France on June 12, 2013, to present their ideas to a jury of Airbus and industry experts at airframer’s headquarters in Toulouse, France. The winning team will receive a prize of €30,000 and the runners up €15,000.

The winners will be announced at an exclusive ceremony at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris on 14th June 2013. UNESCO has given its patronage to the global competition which challenges students worldwide to develop innovative ideas for a more sustainable aviation industry for the future.

The finalists were chosen out of 618 teams from 82 countries and over 6,000 students. The proposals had to cover one of six themes identified by Airbus as key 21st century challenges for a greener aviation industry.

Team AVAS successfully passed through the eliminating rounds to get to the final with their proposal for reduced propulsion noise thanks to jet exhaust shape modification using intelligent materials, specifically, shape memory alloys. These alloys are energized by harvested electricity generated by advanced thermoelectric materials using engine heat source. The team is composed of three Indian students, Michael Thomas, Anita Mohil, and team leader Balakrishnan Solaraju Murali, all studying for a bachelors degree in Aerospace Engineering at SRM University.

The five finalists are:

  • Australia – Team CLiMA, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, for the development of aircraft fuelled by a blend of sustainably produced liquefied biomethane and liquefied natural gas (Bio-LNG).
  • Brazil – Team Levar, University of São Paulo, for a luggage loading and unloading system for airplane cargo compartments to reduce the workload of airport baggage handlers with an air cushion solution inspired by air hockey tables.
  • India – Team AVAS, SRM University, for reduced propulsion noise thanks to jet exhaust shape modification using intelligent materials (shape memory alloys). These alloys are energized by harvested electricity generated by advanced thermoelectric materials using engine heat source.
  • Italy – Team Flybrid, Technical University of Milan, for an electric/turboprop combination for hybrid propulsion in regional aircraft. This system uses batteries pre-charged on ground and not in-flight.
  • Malaysia – Team Embarker, Universiti Putra Malaysia, for a self-sustaining aircraft cabin concept in which the excess body heat from seated passengers is used as an alternative source of energy to power small electronics in the cabin.

Throughout the competition, Airbus Mentors and Experts have worked with the teams to provide guidance and support with their projects in addition to a member of staff from their university. The teams are multinational and multicultural and the students are studying a wide range of subjects from mechanical and aerospace engineering to business and design.

In addition to the main challenge, there is a competition for the best Fly Your Ideas video which the public can vote for online at www.airbus-fyi.com. The shortlisted video teams are from Australia, China, Germany, Kenya and Spain.

For further details on the competition and the finalists, and to vote for the best video please visit: www.airbus-fyi.com

All the best to team AVAS.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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