Day One Recap: Aerospace Futures 2016

Three Takeaways From Day One of Aerospace Futures 2016

We dove straight in the deep end with delegates receiving perhaps an information overload. From advice about Ph.D’s, discussion about carbon fibre fixed-wing aircrafts and different career opportunities, here are our three takeaways from the first day.

1. Significant Opportunities in Aerospace

Beginning the day, Andrew Drysdale, past President of the Royal Aeronautical Society of Australia, told us the numbers. Lots of numbers.

Such as: aeroplanes carry 3.8 billion people per year, 100,000 people per day, and employ 58 million. More importantly, by 2034 the Asia-Pacific alone will be worth $1.38 trillion. This means lots of opportunity for everyone studying aerospace.

In terms of outer space, Russell Boyce (UNSW Canberra Space), recognised that launching disruptive, smart payloads into space is perfect for Australia.

But Dario Valenza (founder of Carbonix), told us of the success his Australian company is having in building and selling fixed-wing drones from advanced composites.

Whatever avenue you choose, Brett Biddington (IAC 2017) reinforced that if you have a plan, dedication and humour, you will have a career!

2. Always Keep Learning

The importance of continual learning to help you secure a job, and also while you are employed, was a common theme shared by almost all speakers.

Last night, Prof Greg Chamitoff (former NASA Astronaut) opened Aerospace Futures 2016 on the beautiful Sydney harbour. He shared that his love for learning, and learning different relevant skills was a major factor in being chosen as an astronaut.

SQNLDR Justin Diamond and Dr. Michael West reinforced the importance of learning throughout your career.

And closing out the day, Chris Butt shared that Shoal Engineering continually up-skills their employees, endeavouring to develop the best employees and company possible.

3. Strength of Australian Universities and Australian Students

We heard from Benjamin Morrell, current Ph.D candidate at the University of Sydney, studies robotics to be used on the International Space Station. He is also collaborating with Texas A&M in creating AIRUS: Aerial International Racing of Unmanned Systems.

Russell Boyce elaborated on the strengths of UNSW Canberra Space being a leader in Australian space R&D, education and Ph.D opportunities.

Finally, Launch Night sponsor the University of Sydney, top 30 in the world in engineering, offers more the $65 million in scholarships each year.

The point is, Australian universities and their students are some of the best in the world for aerospace.


An inspiring, informative day comes to a close with a round of trivia from the Royal Aeronautical Society. We will be back tomorrow night to recap Day Two.