The Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy

The Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in Netherlands welcomed the first ever Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy.


Meet the ‘Airnovators’! The Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy, took place from 3 to 8  July 2016 at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The first edition of this exciting initiative was one of the flagship events of the Airbus University Partner Programme (AGUPP), and was launched in partnership with Airbus Corporate Innovations and Airbus Employment Marketing, and in cooperation with TU Delft, one of the 20 AGUPP partner universities (read press release here).

Over the week, student teams worked with mentors and experts to innovate on aerospace concepts, building their technical and professional skills at the same time.

Airnovation Summer Academy

‘Airnovating’ for the future of aviation

Students at the kick-off event of the TU Delft and Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy

The first ever Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy was an international, challenging and fun event for international students, who were invited to innovate on a real-world aerospace problem. 

The Academy was designed to mirror a technology accelerator, offering participants a unique opportunity to experience how innovation works within the ecosystem of a major aerospace company.

Global Selection Process

40 students were selected from shortlists proposed by AGUPP universities to attend this pilot Summer Academy.  Students were chosen based on their academic profile, CVs and a short video demonstrating the unique contribution the candidate expected to bring to the Academy, including their enthusiasm for innovation and their vision for the future of the aerospace sector.   

The students comprised 17 nationalities, nearly half were female, and all were from AGUPP universities around the world including Georgia Institute of Technology (USA), ISAE SUPAERO Toulouse (France), Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (India), National University of Singapore (Singapore), University of Bristol (UK) and the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain).   

A new generation of engineers with a passion for aerospace

Faculty of Aerospace Engineering TU Delft

By innovating on a real-world problem, working in teams and developed their technical and professional skills, students will develop both personally and professionally. Their unique experience at the Summer Academy enabled AGUPP universities to better understand the needs of industry for graduates with the skills that future employers, including Airbus, will require.

Airbus benefited from interaction with, and the development of a pipeline of future talent, as well as the interaction between senior faculty, engineers of the future and their own community of experts.

Speakers included:

Teamwork, innovation and inspiration

Working in 5 highly diverse teams with mentors and experts, students innovated on aerospace concepts and worked on a specific project challenge over the course of the week. The teams developed their innovation skills on a typical ‘open-ended’ aerospace industry problem, experiencing some of the same constraints and scope as their counterparts in industry. 

The Summer Academy programme was a dynamic mix of inspiration sessions plus opportunities to learn new skills and develop ideas with guidance from Airbus mentors and experts.  There were also be opportunities for students to network with senior company leaders, and to form their own community of international engineers with an interest in innovation.  

Please follow the Airbus Career Facebook page for more daily updates of the summer academy. 


Following the jury’s intense deliberations, the winners were announced at the Awards & Closing Ceremony on Friday, July 8. The winning team, made up of 8 students from different AGUPP universities, was Sky Walker Solutions, awarded the top prize for developing, refining and pitching their innovative idea.  The team members were:

  • Csaba Jéger – KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Christopher McIsaac – University of Bristol
  • Salil Luesutthiviboon – Delft University of Technology
  • Antonin Montiels Nait-Rabah - Ecole Centrale de Nantes
  • Lauren Rebecca Howell – University of Alabama
  • Matthew Hogg – University of Manchester
  • Blanca Martínez Gallar - Carlos III University of Madrid
  • Li Xiang - Institute Mines Telecom

Other prizes

Awards Ceremony

Team AirForce 1 won the Best Pitch Award:

  • Sergio Peña Miñano – Cranfield University
  • Jesse Jan Hagenaars - Delft University of Technology
  • Jason Corman - Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Pauline Jakob – ISAE SUPAERO
  • Laura Jane Powis – University of Bristol
  • Inmaculada Soldado Serrano – University of Seville
  • Kaiwen Deng - Tsinghua University
  • Jessica Ina Maria Arvidsson - Royal Institute of Technology

6 more awards were given to remarkable students in the following order:

  • Agility Award – Nina David – Hamburg University of Technology
  • Scrum Master Award – Lauren Rebecca Howell – University of Alabama
  • Most Prepared Award – Anamika Singh Pratiyush – Indian Institute of Science Bangalore
  • Visionary Award – Laura Sotillos Puerto & Tessa Spaan – ISAE SUPAERO & Delft University of Technology
  • Rapid Prototype Award – Miguel Angel Martinez Lopez - Polytechnic University of Madrid
  • Perseverance Award – Zi Qin Leow – National University of Singapore

All in all, the first Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy @TU Delft proved to be a great success. The students can be all proud of their tremendous accomplishments.

You can find all our live coverage on twitter at #airnovation @AirbusGroup @AETUDelft.


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