ATI unveils leadership team for FlyZero project

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) has announced a raft of senior appointments to the FlyZero programme marking a significant milestone in the inception of the project.

Backed by the UK…


The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) has announced a raft of senior appointments to the FlyZero programme marking a significant milestone in the inception of the project.

Backed by the UK Government, FlyZero aims to revolutionise the future of commercial air travel by making zero carbon aviation possible by the end of the decade. The senior roles announced today will lead a team of around 100 experts on an initial 12 month strategic research project investigating the design challenges, manufacturing demands and market opportunity of potential zero-emission aircraft concepts.

The senior appointments are:

  • Dr Katy Milne, Head of Industrial Strategy
  • Mark Howard, Head of Commercial Strategy
  • Naresh Kumar, Head of Sustainability
  • Steve Newbury, Academic Coordinator
  • Chris Hughes, Head of Project Management
  • Simon Webb, Chief Engineer – Propulsion
  • Tim Galsworthy, Chief Engineer – Airframe
  • Mark Whillier, Chief Engineer – Airframe
  • David Debney, Chief Engineer – Whole Aircraft Integration

Dr Katy Milne brings 15 years’ experience in manufacturing research and supply chain engagement from her time at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (a part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult), Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace and Imperial College. Most recently, she was Chief Engineer for DRAMA – a £14m programme led by the National Centre For Additive Manufacturing. As Head of Industrial Strategy Katy will identify further capability needs in the UK supply chain working with government and industry partners to develop the roadmap and the technologies required in future.

Mark Howard joins as Head of Commercial Strategy bringing 35 years’ aerospace industry experience including from Engineering and Commercial roles with Airbus most recently as Head of Business Development and Partnerships. Mark will take on responsibility for all market, commercial and economic recommendations within the project.

Naresh Kumar is a Visiting Professor in Aeronautics and Automotive at Loughborough University having spent 10 years with Rolls-Royce as Chief of Environmental Technology which followed earlier roles in Process, Quality and Business Improvement. As Head of Sustainability Naresh will lead the development of sustainability and environmental requirements ensuring that sustainability is at the heart of the solutions identified by the project.

Chris Hughes joins with 24 years’ experience in the aerospace industry including as Head of Engineering for the Airbus A350 Wing and Wing of Tomorrow programmes at Spirit Aerosystems UK more recently becoming Head of Advanced Product Development. In his role as Head of Project Management, Chris will lead the delivery of the FlyZero project ensuring the project remains true to brief and governance.

Together, the project’s chief engineers will lead on all technical aspects of the FlyZero project to drive robust and objective conclusions to the critical technical questions ensuring outputs align with both market and sustainability requirements.

Appointments reflect “strength and depth of the team”

Chris Gear, Project Director, FlyZero said: “These outstanding appointments reflect the strength and depth of the team we’re building to shape the future of aviation. Our mission to help make zero-carbon emission commercial flight a reality will bring together some the best talent available to share ideas and revolutionise global aviation with the intention of gearing up the UK to stand at the forefront of sustainable flight in design, manufacture, technology and skills.”

Gary Elliot, Chief Executive Officer, Aerospace Technology Institute added: “Since announcing the FlyZero project in July 2020 we’ve been working hard to build the team and today’s announcement shows this idea is quickly becoming a reality. Together with the government’s visionary Jet Zero Council, our industry is addressing the pressing issues of the moment putting aerospace on the path to zero-carbon emission flight.”

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