An innovative programme set to deliver the blueprint for net zero regional aviation in the UK has picked up a major industry accolade.
The Sustainable Aviation Test Environment (SATE) programme secured the Aerospace & Defence award at the seventh annual Collaborate to Innovate (C2I) awards which are led by The Engineer magazine.
UK-led engineering projects ranging from SATE to the world’s largest commercial electric vehicle development, as well as a revolutionary device for diagnosing prostate cancer were amongst the winners at the prestigious awards ceremony.
Professor Andrew Rae, from the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), a SATE partner, who led the award entry, puts the project’s success down to the way in which it has enabled collaboration between a truly wide range of stakeholders.
“One of the key benefits of this type of collaboration is that businesses (airports and airlines) often don’t have the headroom to engage in fundamental research, and academia often lacks the harsh evaluation of the ‘coal face’, but they can provide mutual benefit in this kind of endeavour,” he added.
“Add to this the involvement of national and local government and their various agencies, and you have the ‘triple helix’ necessary to both drive innovation and temper it against the anvil of real-world use.
“Having a consortium of this size and variety could have been troublesome in understanding each other’s imperatives, but the focus on the potential to address climate change and make a tangible difference to communities and people’s lives has overcome all of those potential barriers.”
HIAL managing director, Inglis Lyon, welcomed the award and added: “SATE plays a key role in supporting HIAL’s environmental objective to decarbonise our airport operations, as well as our long-term vision to become a net-zero carbon regional airport group.
“We are delighted that the project has picked up this prestigious award and the significant input from partners, including the UHI which places SATE at the forefront of those working in this area in the UK and much further afield.”
Speaking at the awards ceremony, The Engineer’s editor, Jon Excell said: “Once more the C2I awards has uncovered a treasure trove of inspiring collaborative engineering projects and provided a compelling reminder of how engineers are working together to address some of the biggest challenges society faces.”