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13/05/2017 RMIT students make final of the prestigious international design competition Airbus’ Fly Your Ideas - Section : Article

AUSTRALIAN university students are punching above their weight, making the finals of aviation giant Airbus’s prestigious international design competition for the third time, while up against the best and brightest young innovators from around the world.

“It’s all so amazing and exciting and we genuinely believe our idea has the potential to positively affect thousands of lives across the globe,” RMIT student Kerry Phillips, 25, said.

Phillips, originally from Perth, is one of three members of an RMIT team to make Airbus’s RMIT’s “Team Aquarius” bid is a new type of pressurised, fire retardant tank that can be fixed to fast-loadable pallets to quickly transform giant Airbus A400M military transports into massive, aerial firefighters capable of attacking and suppressing all large-scale wildfires, with a retardant payload of 30,000 litres.

Charles Champion( S 1978) Airbus operations president and executive vice president of engineering, said the Fly Your Ideas competition, run in partnership with UNESCO, obviously captured the imagination, engagement and enthusiasm of students worldwide but “nowhere more so than in Australia”.

 Airbus 2017 Fly Your Ideas finalists, RMIT Team Aquarius from left Philipp Klink, 23, Anil Raj Ravindran, 26, Kerry Phillips, 25, hereby in photo.

“The inaugural competition in 2009 was won by a team from Queensland University while the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology team were runners up in 2013 and are again represented in this year’s finals.

“Australian teams have done particularly well and I’d like to congratulate students and academic staff in Australia for supporting FYI and making it such a soaring success.”

Up for grabs is a 30,000 euro first prize and 15,000 euros for the runners up.

The five finalist teams, including from Hong Kong, the UK, Nigeria and one home grown French team, will be flown by Airbus to the company’s headquarters in Toulouse, France, with the winners to be decided after a final presentation to an expert panel on May 17.

The other finalist teams’ ideas include a system to improve airport taxiing flow and efficiency and a mobile app to assign boarding status according to the size of passengers’ carry-on luggage to address current storage issues in overhead lockers.

Herald Sun. Margaret Wenham, News Corp Australia Network -May 7, 2017

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