Published on December 3rd, 2019 | by Mark Dwyer


UL student wins GECAS Aerovate 2019 Competition

Callum Winship, a student of the University of Limerick was named the winner of the first ever AEROVATE aviation innovation competition. A third-year student of Aeronautical Engineering, Callum won the top prize of €5,000 for his innovative submission, “AeroZero.”

Launched by aviation lessor and financier GECAS, the competition challenged Third-level University students to foster ideas that will help revolutionise the world of aviation, and that have the potential to develop into a real-life business opportunity.

Callum’s initiative, AeroZero, proposed to lower the net carbon emissions produced by aviation through offsets generated by a not-for-profit organisation. This organisation, AeroZero, would in turn be responsible for producing and investing in green energy technology that could then be returned to the grid.

Speaking at the final, Eleanor O’Connell, GECAS’ Innovation leader said “Aviation is ever more conscious of its responsibility towards the environment. At GECAS, we are investing in new technology aircraft and engines that produce significantly fewer emissions. Many of us now use carbon offsetting programmes when buying travel. What is interesting about Callum’s idea with AeroZero is that he has taken this concept one step further – seeking to ensure that funds generated are directly reinvested into the development of green energy technologies.

“Although we are still a considerable way from reasonable and scalable all-electric flight, AeroZero contributes to renewable electricity generation, thus laying the groundwork for the powering of a future all-electric aircraft fleet.”

“It’s a privilege to be invited to share new concepts with the likes of GECAS,” shares Callum, adding “having been selected as the winner gives me confidence not only is AeroZero a credible concept, but one that lessors might be able to put into effect, promoting carbon efficiencies and green technologies.”

There were also two runner-up ideas which received €1,000 each. The first was ‘Tiltrotor – a potential future aircraft leasing vehicle by fellow University of Limerick student, Pádraig Cronin. The second was by student pilots at IT Carlow, Tommaso Chiodi Brisinello, Emanuele Forcellini and Andrea Bonanno, for their innovative bird strike prevention concept, Avion.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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