Three Indian aerospace-engineering students’ ambitious plan to help create an aircraft of the future has taken them to the finals of a global competition floated by aircraft manufacturer Airbus and Unesco. The team from SRM University, Chennai â€” consisting of Mr Balakrishnan Solaraju Murali, Mr Michael Thomas and Mrs Anita Mohil â€” is among the five teams that have made it to the finals of the ‘Fly Your Ideas’ contest that saw 6,000 students from 618 teams and 82 countries vie for the 30,000 euro top prize. The other four teams are from Australia, Brazil, Italy and Malaysia. Ideas floated by students included planes powered by body heat, luggage floating on a bed of air and an aircraft running on liquid methane. The Indian team’s top-line idea is called “Engine air cooling system for noise reduction”. Mr Murali, Mr Thomas and Mr Mohil have found a way to reduced propulsion noise by modifying the shape of the jet exhaust using intelligent materials (shape memory alloys). These alloys are powered by harvested electricity generated by advanced thermoelectric materials using engine heat source. On June 12 the students will present their ideas to a jury of Airbus and industry experts at Airbus’s headquarters in Toulouse, France. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Unesco’s headquarters in Paris two days later. The competition challenged aerospace engineers from across the globe to develop new ideas for a greener aviation industry covering one of six themes: energy, efficiency, affordable growth, traffic growth, passenger experience or community friendliness. “The entries were assessed by experienced Airbus engineers who were extremely impressed by the quality of work and innovation,” said Mr Charles Champion, Airbus’s executive vice-president, engineering, and ‘Fly Your Ideas’ patron. “These talented students from around the world represent the future of our industry and I am looking forward to welcoming them to Toulouse for the final round.” Throughout the competition, Airbus mentors have worked with the teams to provide guidance and support with their projects in addition to a member of staff from their university.
Source: Times of India