2022 Programme

We are still confirming our expert speaker line-up for this year's programme, so keep checking back for programme updates!

08:30 - 09:15

Registration & Welcome Coffee

09:30 - 10:00

Future Challenges of Aero Engine Testing - Testing Capabilities for Sustainable Aviation

Adam Harris, Global Head of Test Facilities Engineering, Rolls-Royce

10:00 - 10:30

Hydrogen and zero emissions: the structural test challenges

Pete Smith, Head of Structural Test & Laboratories (IACMT), Airbus

Linden Harris, Structures test expert, Airbus

Airbus has stated intent to fly a flight test demonstrator in 2026. This will support entry into service of a hydrogen fuelled product in 2035. The session will highlight what challenges are to be overcome in the test world and progress made to date, with specific focus on the cryogenic testing challenges to support flight and certification of hydrogen fuelled aircraft.

10:30 - 11:00

Morning Networking Break

11:00 - 11:30

Future of MRO: Hangar and UAV inspections for automated damage assessment

Prof Nico Avdelidis, Head of the IVHM Centre, Cranfield University

Delivering insights into the use of advanced - UAV NDT inspection systems, the use of AI and ML for damage assessment and decision making, digital MRO and improving operational efficiency by eliminating unplanned maintenance and reduced time in hangar.

11:30 - 12:00

Advanced materials testing

Frédéric Laurin, Research Scientist, ONERA

Florent Mathieu, CEO, Eikosim

More complex material models, especially for composites, create a need for more sophisticated testing and post-processing (identification) techniques. In the case of anisotropic damage models, some of them need tens of parameters to be identified in order for the numerical model to be credible, and engineers have to rely on in-house development of adapted specimens since test standards don't cover them. The use of more recent testing techniques (optical fibers, DIC, acoustic emission) is also often mandatory to pull more information from these tests than traditional instrumentation. Moreover, test and simulation engineers have to work hand-in-hand to make sure the model can be validated. Learn more about recent advances in experiment design, acquisition techniques (notably DIC), and test/simulation data management for material model identification.

12:00 - 12:45

The Spirit of Innovation: the journey from conception to ground and flight test, and on to all-electric world records

Phil O'Dell, Director of Flight Operations (formerly the Chief Test Pilot), Rolls-Royce

Andy Roberts, Lead Flight Test Engineer, Rolls-Royce

Highlights from the project's aims and objectives, describing its design and build, and focus on the ground and flight testing. Sharing highs and lows, the principle lessons identified and the future of electric aviation.

12:45 - 13:45

Lunch Break

13:45 - 14:15

Track 1: Measuring Performance, Durability, and Faults for eVTOL and Electric Aircraft

Sönke Treinies, Product manager - eDrive, Hottinger Brüel & Kjær

Electric aircraft propulsion systems have many configurations and are new from a regulatory and testing perspective. These propulsion systems involve several high efficiency motors which can create electrical stability and resonance issues, particularly during faults. To get these aircraft flying, engineers will need to characterize the component and system performance, evaluate the durability, and understand the different fault conditions of these aircraft. All three of these topics will drive the range, maintenance schedule, and airworthiness of a vehicle. This session will cover the measurement of many signals at a high level of accuracy to release flightworthy electric propulsion.

Track 2: Challenges of integrated measurement systems for large scale testing

Paul Richardson, Expert in Metrology, Airbus

Eszter Szigeti, Expert in Advanced Data Capture and Correlation, Airbus

One of the biggest challenges in the context of Large Scale Testing is the difference in scales and granularity of the measurements required. The results are typically used for the validation of finite element modelling and this can appear at different scales. The physical logistics of a large scale test rig can also present challenges of access to physically install measurement devices, and block lines of sight for optical measurement techniques. Furthermore the measurement of different parameters also require different metrology technologies to be used and these are typically stand-alone measurement systems and not all linked together into one central system. The final challenge is to integrate the end-to-end process in this single data platform, from definition of the measurement requirements through to post-processing and comparison of the data.

14:15 - 14:45

Track 1: Overcoming the challenges in the transition to electric aircraft

Martin Dowson, Chief Engineer, Head of Battery Systems Engineering and Research, WMG, The University of Warwick

Most battery technology has been developed for the automotive industry and the test standards used to-date are not really fit for purpose, especially given that aerospace standards are still evolving. Predicting how lithium-ion batteries will age and degrade is very difficult and currently not well understood, and even worse, lithium-ion batteries fail in ways which are difficult to predict and model and present new hazards which need to be understood in far greater detail. Can these challenges be overcome within a reasonable time scale and budget?

Track 2: Model-based testing to safely test embedded electronics

Javier Gutierrez, Principal Business Development Manager, National Instruments

How test workflows intersect with model based systems engineering (MBSE) development processes. An introduction to the trend of MBSE adoption by the aerospace industry, highlighting how test can interface with this workflow to develop highly optimized design patterns. This allows teams to develop test capability concurrently with the product, and effectively handle design changes throughout the development process.

14:45 - 15:15

Track 1: Flexible Testing of an Electric Aircraft: tools and methods used to construct a flexible testing platform

Christopher Hyde, System Architect, Aliaro

Creating test solutions for the R&D or production environment is becoming increasingly difficult. Equipment shortages have led to rising costs and lead times, which has driven the need for flexible, re-usable test systems that can be deployed across entire product development lifecycles. In addition, developments in R&D test systems (the push to Hardware-In-the-Loop technology) and the new requirements for battery powered aircraft (EV systems testing) increase the complexity of the test systems. As the specifications are often unknown early in the development cycle or are being continually redefined as suppliers are chosen, how can you best plan for the un-plannable? Creating a standardised flexible test platform is proven to reduce overall system cost and reserve hardware in advance before all component suppliers are chosen. This is done whilst targeting the needs of multiple Devices Under Test. This presentation will provide an overview of some of the technology and methods used to achieve these flexible solutions, referencing real solutions used at Heart Aerospace in Sweden (delivered by ALIARO). Planning for the un-plannable may be tough, but being unprepared would be tougher!

Track 2: Use of simulation to minimize aircraft level testing and mitigate risk

John Allan, Manager Systems & Liaison Engineering, Bombardier Flight Test

Case study of Bombardier’s use of various simulation tools and test rigs (SITS, ESIM etc.) to minimize the scope of aircraft level testing. This will outline the overall benefits of this approach including cost reduction, early discovery of issues, reduction in both program and flight safety risk and overall test program optimization.

15:15 - 15:45

Track 1: Control and monitoring of cryogenic and gaseous hydrogen for use in aerospace fuel systems

Ben Richardson, Commercial Director, Filton Systems Engineering

Nathan Nims, Business Manager, Digitalisation for Aerospace and Defence, National Instruments

Unlike traditional aviation fuels there are many new considerations when handling, storing and transferring Hydrogen for both fuel cell charging or direct H2 combustions. This session will discuss the new challenges, where they are seen in similar industries and our approach to develop a scalable control and monitoring solution.

Track 2: Integrating test with product definition and lifecycle data.

Neil Loftus, Test Designer, Airbus

Tony Goff, Senior Solution Consultant, Dassault Systemes

The session will describe and demonstrate a web-based data driven platform which integrates all forms of test data with the product definition data. The Dassault systemes 3DX platform has been developed under the Smarter testing programme provides a single point of access to all test data, both physical and virtual. It enables digital continuity by linking test data with product 3D design, stress tools and manufacturing data and also enables collaboration between customers and test engineers.

15:45 - 16:15

Track 1: Addressing the engineering challenges of hydrogen infrastructures

Mark Eldridge, Market Director for Renewables, Element

The challenges of the transition to renewable fuels across our energy systems is stark. Hydrogen offers an elegant solution across the whole energy supply chain from production, infrastructure, storage and end use – aligned with its ability to couple many hard to decarbonise energy users. However, the material science for making the transition needs careful scrutiny and expertise to support the transition in the most rapid and cost effective manner. Element Materials Technology has operated across the whole energy supply chain and many of the key end users in the supply chain, such as aerospace for many years with its material science expertise. This talk presents how Element is leading the transition to hydrogen with its clients, taking its historical knowledge and expertise of Oil and Gas, and end user materials challenges to allow infrastructures to make the necessary transition to hydrogen in coming years in the shortest possible timescale.

Track 2: A modular approach to data acquisition, simulation, and analysis

Hamdan Al-Buhaisi, DAS Product Manager, MDS Aero

This session will explore the increasingly complex space of Aerospace Testing Software with a focus on bringing together an extremely diverse set of instruments, simulation tools, calibration tools, etc. With obsolescence as yesterday’s issue, and future proofing as tomorrow’s issue, this talk will attempt to describe MDSs approach to handling both, while remaining ready to incorporate and scale into future technologies and workflows such as those required for emerging hybrid/electric testing needs.

16:15 - 16:45

Afternoon Networking Break

16:45 - 17:30

Panel Discussion - Validation and measurement of sustainable aircraft developments

Adam Harris, Global Head of Test Facilities Engineering, Rolls-Royce

Pete Smith, Head of Structural Test & Laboratories (IACMT), Airbus

Mark Eldridge, Market Director for Renewables, Element

Nathan Nims, Business Manager, Digitalisation for Aerospace and Defence, National Instruments

With the goal of zero emissions aircraft now clear for aviation, this expert panel will discuss how the industry – and test engineers – can best measure and validate advances towards zero carbon. What traceability and standards exist and need to be devised? How do testing methods and programs need to change to incorporate environmental sustainability goals?

17:30 - 17:35

Closing Remarks

17:35 - 18:30

Drinks Reception

08:30 - 09:15

Welcome Coffee

09:30 - 10:00

Meeting the test challenges for certifying a body borne Water Activated Release System

Stuart Driver, Chief Environmental Test Engineer, Martin-Baker Aircraft Company

The session will focus on the broad development and test verification activities demanded during the certification process of a Water Activated Release System, as integrated into the occupant restraint system of a modern ejection seat assembly. Take away practical insights into test design when demonstrating resilience to novel environmental factors and operational scenarios.

10:00 - 10:30

Rapid EF Enablers: less lead and cycling time, no down time

Sandro Di Natale, Product and Application Manager Test & Measurement, Hottinger Bruel & Kjaer Inc.

In the context of PDP 5 years (Product Development Plan), the time from project start to certification of an aircraft shall be reduced from 8 to 5 years. Therefore, a significant acceleration of the full-scale fatigue test (EF, essais de fatigue) is crucial. The goal is a Rapid EF performing the first life of an aircraft with minimized lead time, increased testing speed and no down time. This includes novel measurement technology and digital methods as well as AI algorithms: virtual sensors, automated monitoring during testing, early identification of damage and handling bid data amounts. Learn how a team of HBK, GOM Metrology, Airbus, and others transform the aspiration into reality.

10:30 - 11:00

Tip to tail testing of an urban air mobility airframe

Frank Heidemann, CEO, SET GmbH

Whilst there are a number of new UAM craft being developed test challenges are fairly common across these platforms. Test needs to be agile and adapt to changing requirements as the design and supply chain is being defined during the development of the platform. As many of the OEMs are emergent companies, cost sensitivity is high, meaning that capital assets have to be far more versatile to ensure value for money across the whole product lifecycle. In this session SET will discuss how test challenges can be overcome to ensure that test assets can be effectively leveraged and matured across the development cycle to maximize utilisation and value for money.

11:00 - 11:30

Morning Networking Break

11:30 - 12:00

Track 1: Taking a flexible approach to rocket engine testing

Mikhail Andrievskyi, Head of Propulsion Systems, Skyrora

Mikhail will describe how even a minor test is needed to design a complex system such as a staged combustion rocket engine. In the presentation, he will show the audience how test approaches can be adjusted in small ways to achieve the key objectives while remaining cost-effective at the same time. Even the development of a complex system, such as a rocket engine, can be made a great deal simpler when it is split out into small, but carefully thought out steps.

Track 2: The NDT Operator of 2050!

Kevin Pickup, Lead Technologist - Product Verification , BAE Systems (Operations Ltd)

Since the inception of the governing standards that define the training and qualification of NDT personnel, technology has significantly moved on. As we move into the 4th industrial revolution and beyond what will the NDT inspector of the future look like? How will the evolution of technology affect the way we train our NDT operators? Are the current levels of qualification adequate? Will automation result in skill loss? So let’s take a brief look into what a future ‘NDT inspector’ may look like in the depths of the I4.0 world and what we should be thinking about now to enable effective product assessment to meet the demands of the industry we support.

12:00 - 12:30

Track 1: The path towards zero-emission aviation: retrofit for hydrogen-electric powertrains

James McMicking, VP Strategy, ZeroAvia

As hydrogen-electric solutions emerge as a frontrunner in the race to bring about zero-emission commercial aviation, ZeroAvia is at the forefront of securing deals for both retrofit and line-fit into existing airframe designs. This is a complex process and requires innovative thinking in order to adapt and fit novel powertrains into conventional airframes in certifiable configurations. James McMicking, VP Strategy at ZeroAvia, will explore this topic and discuss how ZeroAvia, the leading developer of hydrogen-electric powertrains for commercial-size aircraft, is tackling this challenge. James will detail ZeroAvia’s rollout plans for the commercial launch of its ZA600 engine in 2024, which will service aircraft up to 19 seats, and how they are working with airframe manufacturers and OEMs to ensure aircraft are appropriately retrofitted to integrate the powertrain once certified. In addition, James will also explain how the company plans to scale its engine to larger aircraft, what that process will look like for retrofitting aircraft with up to 80 seats, and how future aircraft will need to be built in order to account for larger zero-emission engines. Finally, James will overview ZeroAvia’s various partnerships with aviation industry leaders, including Otto, De Havilland Canada and MHIRJ, as it is through collaborative efforts that help make the transition to carbon-free flight seamless by developing comprehensive testing processes and engineering programs to incorporate hydrogen-electric engines into their operations.

Track 2: Automated PAUT of FSW, a case study from the space industry

Etienne Grondin, Business Development Director, Evident Scientific, Olympus IMS

The presentation will discuss what has become to be known as the best method for the inspection of friction stir weld (FSW), phased array ultrasound, and how it has been automated for various weld configurations in the space industry as a potential approach for the inspection of hydrogen tank welds in aviation.

Case studies for circumferential and longitudinal FSW inspection will be presented along with a look into the future with an example of how an autonomous, cobot-mounted inspection system combining Industry 4.0 and established ultrasonic technology could be deployed in the aviation industry.

12:30 - 13:00

Track 1: Testing and validation of UAV in an indoor free-flight test facility

Guillaume Catry, Windshape

A laboratory solution has been developed to facilitate the testing and validation of aircraft. The presented methodology allows bringing aircraft systems in free flight, indoor, in a controlled test volume where various flight scenarios can be played, such as relative wind, natural wind, atmospheric turbulence, gusts, shear layers, and other harsh environmental conditions. From the aircraft’s perspective, the test flight is immersive as the airspeed and GPS signal are synchronized. Such a representative and repeatable test environment makes it possible to validate aircraft systems, and in particular UAVs, under the eyes of all sorts of sensors.

12:30 - 13:15

Track 2: Computed Tomography (CT) Panel

Dr Jens Hanen, Sales Development Manager X-Ray, GOM UK - a Zeiss company

Carsten Rudolf, Technical Account Manager, Volume Graphics

Rahul Alreja, President, VJ Technologies (VJT)

The availability of computed tomography for non-destructive testing is increasing for the development, inspection and qualification of aerospace parts. Our expert panel will discuss a number of hot topics in the field including: imaging techniques for additively manufactured parts and products; Best practice with tools and processes; Automation and robotics; Machine learning and Artificial intelligence; The latest standards.

13:00 - 14:00

Lunch Break

14:00 - 14:30

Track 1: Aircraft Ground Vibration (GVT) Test Set-up

Carmine Salzano, International Manager, Aerospace & Defense and Test Sector, PCB

The Ground Vibration Testing (GVT) of the aircraft while it is on the ground is critical not only for the comfort of the pilot and passengers but also for the safety and structural integrity of the aircraft. Large scale modal test on full aircraft or rotorcraft helps to identify natural frequencies, damping, and mode shapes. The test data is used to adjust and validate dynamic FEA models used for flutter prediction, and once verified and updated this model can be used to understand the influence of configuration changes and modifications on the flutter flight envelope and other aerodynamic load related problems. Today’s presentation will go through many of the practical testing aspects of GVT.”

Track 2: Evolution in aircraft design, modification and testing

Malcolm Tier, Chief Engineer, Test & Evaluation Capability (TEC) IDT, QinetiQ

Simon Barnes, Combat Air IDT Chief Engineer, QinetiQ

The presentation will focus on QinetiQ’s continued approach to Test & Evaluation and the digital journey the industry is on to ensure safe, assured and innovative flight capability. QinetiQ is developing new digital systems and airborne test platforms which will accelerate the flight testing and evaluation of new and modified aircraft designs. Until recently, the only way to test a new or modified aircraft design to see how it would perform – before it was built to achieve regulatory approval – was to test models in a wind tunnel and to fly a prototype or experimental aircraft (specially built just for testing). With the development of new digital technology much of this T&E work can be done virtually or by using an airborne technology demonstrator (ATD). The ATD has been purpose built to simplify the route of getting technology under development into the airborne environment.

14:30 - 15:00

Track 1: Engine test technologies to meet modern challenges

Steve Summers, Security Lead and Chief Offering Manager, National Instruments

Gethyn Longworth, Technical Specialist for Experimental Systems, Rolls Royce

Engineers across aerospace and defence are transforming propulsion technologies to reduce emissions, optimize performance, and reach new heights. NI and Rolls Royce will share emergent jet turbine engine test challenges and share how we are working together to overcome these challenges. Topics will include large system test architectures, hardware abstraction layers, iDDS, facility monitoring.

Track 2: Outfitting a major Flight Test Vehicle

Patrice Collin eng., M. eng, Technical Expert, Bombardier Aerospace Experimental

Case study of Bombardier’s approach to incorporate all necessary experimental installations in major flight test vehicles. From conceptual design to handover to the Bombardier Flight Test Center, this will outline the important considerations, among which crew safety, data quality, test efficiency and refurbishment, that are accounted for during the development of the flight test vehicles and their impacts on the design.

15:00 - 15:30

Track 1: Test Stand Digital Twin Technology

Sam Redfern, Sales Manager - Aviation/TVA, Renk Test System

Many companies use digital representations of their products during development and design. Testing however is very much tied to the physical specimen. Renk Test System tries to close this gap and explains in this session how Digital Twin Technology can be utilized for test systems and processes. The presented use cases and applications show, how to increase efficiency in the testing process, reduce the risk for expensive prototypes and test systems or enable whole new testing capabilities by using Digital Twins in aerospace testing.

Track 2: Fiber optic sensing

Ghislain Guerrero, Innovation Lab Leader, Safran Data Systems

The challenges of miniaturisation, ruggedisation and integration to enhance flight test instrumentation capabilities

15:30 - 15:45

Closing Remarks