View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
  2. Emerging Technology
June 29, 2020updated 30 Jun 2020 12:32pm

Airbus CTO: Aviation Needs to Tap Emerging Technologies, Diverse Talent to Get Climate-Neutral

“There is no industry profit without climate protection"

By claudia glover

Airbus Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Grazia Vittadini has urged the aviation world to explore new fields including AI and quantum computing in a bid to create a climate-neutral industry.

Speaking at the International Aviation Women’s Association, Vittadini said: “As aerospace professionals we all know there is no one single solution to the climate change problem.

“We need to push aerodynamic structures and smart materials. We need alternative fuels and alternative propulsion using hydrogen in the equation or hydro-electric configuration. We need to push for automated air traffic management and explore new fields like AI and quantum computing, which are enablers for these very ambitious targets.”

And to get to this point, the industry needs to become much more diverse she said, adding that her dream of becoming a pilot in the Italian air force took a hit when “I was rejected on the grounds that I am a woman”. She added that she then paid for a pilot’s licence with her first salary as an engineer.

“It is no secret that the aerospace sector is not exactly diverse when it comes to gender. It is a systemic issue in all engineering-based companies and it will be a long-term effort (to address it),” said the CTO, who sits on the Airbus executive leadership.

Returning to a theme of climate change, Vittadini said that sustainability was good business. “There is no profit without climate protection,” she said. “Preserving our planet is not a nice add-on cherry on the cake, that we may choose if we can afford, this is the prerequisite to the future of aviation, ecologically and economically.

Content from our partners
The growing cybersecurity threats facing retailers
How to integrate security into IT operations
How Kodak evolved to tackle seismic changes in the print industry and embrace digital revolution

“The coronavirus crisis has undoubtedly increased this global awareness of how dependent we are on a healthy environment, this is also why in Europe, economic stimulus plans are coming with a lot of green strings attached.”

She added that the European aerospace giant was working on a range of emerging technologies to improve safety, including “self-disinfecting” coatings for plane interiors.

Grazia Vittadini became the CTO of Airbus in 2017, having been with the company since 2002, bringing with her engineering and industrial expertise having worked for the Italian side on the Eurofighter project. Among other roles, Vittadini, an experienced engineer, headed up airframe design at the multinational before being appointed CTO.

Join Our CIO Town Hall Live on July 13, featuring: British Army CIO Jonathan Cole & Parliamentary Digital Service CIO Tracey Jessup <<Register Now>>

 

Websites in our network
NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED
THANK YOU