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‘Aeronautics Days’ gets young people on board

The Fifth Community Aeronautics Days was a key event for European research and technology in aeronautics and air transport. The Student Participation Programme, sponsored by the European Commission, offered the unique opportunity for young scientists and engineers to take an active part in this most important of events.

Carsten Holze (left)
Carsten Holze (left)

Held under the auspices of the Austrian Presidency of the European Union. ‘Aeronautics Days 2006’ highlighted the development and application of advanced aeronautics technologies in Europe. Its nearly 900 participants included industry CEOs, project coordinators, academic researchers, government officials and journalists from all over Europe and the world. Importantly, the conference also provided a forum for European students to present projects, papers and posters.

“The fundamental objective of the student programme is to provide prospective researchers with an experience that prepares them for their future in the aerospace industry,” explained Carsten Holze of DGLR. “Students have been attending the conference and presenting technical work as they would at a professional meeting. In addition, we hope they will establish professional relationships, learn from others, and improve their communication skills.”

Rewarding excellence

Sönke Carow accepts the grand prize
Sönke Carow accepts the grand prize

The work of student entrants, both written and oral, was evaluated by professional delegates, with the primary intent of providing substantive feedback on the quality of their work. At the conference closing session, the Confederation of European Aerospace Societies (CEAS) awarded prizes to the best projects in different categories.

Winner of the top-level prize for their innovative full-scale glider were Sönke Carow and Stephan Sattler of the Technical University of Braunschweig. “This is a working aircraft,” explained Carow. “It has an 18-metre wingspan and we have incorporated a number of aerodynamic features to improve its range and performance. I have personally tested it in flight.” Incredibly, Carow and Sattler built the new glider in their spare time, outside of their regular University classes and research projects.

“All of the entries were excellent,” said Holze, “and they all deserved prizes.”

Presenting students were offered free access to all congress sessions, free accommodation and a travel expense allowance. They also took part in the technical and social programme organised for congress participants.