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NUS team makes it to Finals of Airbus' global aviation competition

08 May 2009


NUS team makes it to Finals of Airbus' global aviation competition
The Solaire Voyagers: (From left) Second year Engineering students Vignesh Subramaniam, Muhammad Adil and team leader Louis Lee Wee Boon, a first year Masters student in Materials Science and Engineering.
An NUS engineering team has reached the finals of an international aviation competition - the only Asian team to do so. It will compete for the top prize of 30,000 together with four other teams from Stanford University (United States), University of Queensland (Australia), Valencia Polytechnic (Spain) and Brno University (Czech Republic). The inaugural Fly Your Ideas competition, organised by Airbus, challenges university students worldwide to come up with novel ideas to shape the future of aviation. A total of 225 teams from 82 countries qualified for the three-round competition when it was launched last October.

The team was chosen for its innovative project to use solar cell technology to power aircraft as an eco-efficient alternative to jet fuel.

The NUS team, Solaire Voyager, was under the supervision of Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) CEO Prof Joachim Luther and SERIS Deputy CEO Prof Armin Aberle. The team comprises team leader Louis Lee Wee Boon, a first year Masters student in Materials Science and Engineering, and team members Muhammad Adil and Vignesh Subramaniam, who are both second year Engineering students.

Prof Luther said "We are very proud and excited that we could help the team with this promising project and the students did a great job. Once more, the project shows the importance of solar cell technology as a clean energy source."

The five teams will make their final presentations before a jury of five Airbus representatives and five independent industry experts at the world famous Paris Air Show on 19 June. The respective teams are currently putting in their finishing touches to their projects with the help of an Airbus coach.

"We are extremely encouraged to know that the NUS Engineering team is the only team in Asia to have made it to the finals," said Professor Victor Shim, Vice Dean (External Relations), Faculty of Engineering. "Their effort exemplifies our Engineering students' ability to work across disciplines and combine their strengths to solve complex challenges."

According to Prof Shim, the project integrates the use of solar energy with aspects of aeronautical engineering - an area which is not quite well explored. "This spirit of exploration is what we seek to nurture in our students as they learn to solve real world problems," he added.
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