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2-min read

Dutch University Team Comprising Indians Wins Airbus Ideas Competition

The group presented their prototype demonstrating the application of wireless systems in commercial aircraft instead of traditional wired systems.


Updated:July 2, 2019, 2:46 PM IST
Dutch University Team Comprising Indians Wins Airbus Ideas Competition
File photo of Airbus Group's official logo.

A Dutch university team of four students, including two Indians, won this year's prestigious 'Airbus Fly Your Ideas' competition for their prototype on the application of wireless systems in aircraft instead of traditional wired systems. The team 'Zero Heroes' from the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands was among seven finalists selected after several rounds of the competition, which saw the participation of more than 270 teams comprising more than 2,200 students from 72 countries.

"It was not easy. We had to cross different stages over the last 7-8 months. We worked hard to get at the top and we're very happy now," said Sujay Narayana, who along with Ashwij Narayanyan, Niels Hokke and Nikas (Dutch and German) won the 25,000 euro prize at the grand finale here Thursday evening.

The group presented their prototype demonstrating the application of wireless systems in commercial aircraft instead of traditional wired systems. Narayana, 31, who hails from Karnataka, argued that this idea solves the main limitation for IoT (Internet of Things) in aircraft by removing battery integration - a current challenge for safety and regulation. Furthermore, it reduces fuel consumption and weight while simplifying aircraft retrofit and maintenance needs, added Narayana, who is pursuing his PhD in computer science at the Delft University.

When asked if he plans to return to India after completing his studies, he told PTI, "Yes, that's always the plan." "We are already working on some projects in India," he said, without disclosing the details. His teammate Narayanyan, 24, who also hails from Karnataka, said that they now plan to implement the idea in the real aircraft. R Venkatesha Prasad, the group's academic mentor, said India is full of talent and we need to utilize them for the country's progress.

He also advocated a change in the traditional education system in India, saying learning should not be to score high marks and get jobs. "We need to change this concept," said Prasad, who also hails from Karnataka. The runner up team AirFish - comprising three Indonesian and one Japanese student - from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom presented the prototype of Airbus integrated Fisheries Information services, arguing that it can help governments combat illegal fishing, reduce, bycatch of endangered species, and decrease damages to the marine habitat.

Seven teams were qualified for the grand finale of the competition, which invited students from around the world to innovate in key areas for the industry: Electrification, Data Services, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality. The finalist teams- representing 11 countries (India, Argentina, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Moldavia, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom) and eight different universities - were selected after a three-month development phase working with support from Airbus mentors.

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus launched fly your ideas in 2008 with the aim of engaging with universities and students worldwide and from all backgrounds. The competition has run in partnership with the United Nations educational scientific and cultural organisation UNESCO since 2012. Since the competition was launched, over 22,000 students from over 700 universities and 100 countries worldwide participated in it.

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| Edited by: Anirudh SK
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