A message from John H. Barnes, President of AAU

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 21 March 2008



Barnes, J.H. (2008), "A message from John H. Barnes, President of AAU", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 80 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/aeat.2008.12780bab.036



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

A message from John H. Barnes, President of AAU

Article Type: AAU President's address From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 80, Issue 2.

Dear members,

As we start the New Year, I would like to wish you all a most successful as well as happy, 2008.

We have such a range of splendid people that I apologise for any omissions in this letter which has grown larger than I expected.

It is nice to report that thanks to the faithful, it has been a mixed but overall good year!

The great pity was that even a third attempt at a National Aerospace Forum failed to attract enough support.

Despite this, great thanks are due to Alan Jocelyn and Alex Fanourakis and everyone else who tried so hard. It seems that time and money are increasingly at a premium for staff professional development and this is also true for the colleges.

Alan is now Vice President after nine years as the Founder Chairman. Our new chairman Thurai Rahulan has now embarked on the original concept of professional development which will concentrate mainly upon research and teaching and learning. An awareness of the need to comprehend and cope with considerable amounts of organisational, statistical and policy matters is also to be included. This is so as increasingly engineers need to be more politically adept and well informed. We might be serving the country well but it would be foolish to assume that we shall be better, financially rewarded and looked after in other ways for doing this.

A good return to technically-based meetings was illustrated with our visit to Professor Costas Soutas and his colleagues at Sheffield.

It helped bring back memories of past events and the very good two-day event at Birmingham organised by Mike Jacobs as well as the Faraday Advance/AAU Summer Schools in Materials Science at Oxford. We look forward to Colin Johnson and Patrick Grant continuing such valuable meetings. Also, very memorable was Gareth Padfield's superb two-day course at Liverpool some time ago. We would be delighted to have a one-day event after Thurai's new two year rolling programme has been accomplished? To discuss the details of this programme come to Leeds on 9 January.

Mike is still struggling with a loss of voice problem. As I have found, medical science has a long way to go but being strong in fluid mechanics and engineering materials and structures. Others, such as Simon Hayes have had a difficult year through health problems and I hope that he continues to make good progress. It is so nice that Alma has stood in so well in his absence.

The “Dr John Barnes Trophy” so kindly sponsored and made by, respectively, by Alan Jocelyn and Alan Keevil at AAU continues to do well. Our thanks are due to the selection panels of whom some have are already included in this news together with Reza Mokhtarzadeh, Moatamedi Mojtaba and George Barakos.

This panel has been so aptly guided by John Farley, our expert adviser who also sponsors the “AAU Aerospace Challenge” prizes for most promising first year students. We are grateful for his inclusion of this in the awards ceremony of his famous Schools Aerospace Challenge. All this has given the AAU very good publicity.

Since, 1998 Emerald has published many AAU articles in Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology (AEAT). These include papers by the Trophy winners as well as members. Thanks are due to AEAT Editor Terry Savage. I hope that we can contribute more to future editions especially as AEAT was the original journal of the RAeS. The next AAU two year rolling programme would be a good idea and perhaps this paper, albeit being a little later into the New Year.

The SBAC Farnborough International Air Show will soon be upon us again and The AAU have participated fully since 1998. Every occasion has been organised by Mike West, who as the founding Honorary Secretary to the AAU only gave up this task this year. He now has the Treasurers' job which for a time was undertaken by Peter Barrington. It is no mean task filling in' the comprehensive FI entry forms. At FI'08 in July this year, we hope to return to having a more individual arrangement as was the case for the first three stands. His will hopefully better help to emphasise our presence at his illustrious event in which we have also heavily supported the “Youth in Aerospace” SBAC/RAeS. careers initiative. We greatly value our mutual corporate membership with the long established and august Royal Aeronautical Society and also our long association with the SBAC if we include the Kingston/Hatfield and Cranfield stands of 1976 on.

The AAU web site (www.aau.ac.uk) continues to be invaluable. Apart from other things, many students ask for advice via this. Keeping it up to date is a very demanding job and special thanks are due to Alexander Fanourakis who set up the web and to Chris. Neal, Chris Toomer and others for their continuing help and advice. Kindly, Jane Neale Smith of IC has also offered to help and we send our Best Wishes to new family. Mike Graham then Head of IC aeronautics brought his department into AAU membership last year when Oliver Ahad won the trophy with the Peebles “Fan Wing Simulation” project. So, now we have IC double member ship with that of the Materials Science Department to which Jane belongs. This was headed by Prof. Harvey Flower whom we very sadly lost in a most tragic accident two years ago. A brilliant supporter of AAU, he is sorely missed and we send our very best wishes to his wife and family.

“Wide View simulators” at Coventry. Chris and his super wife Marion, have done a lot for university education particularly with their Merlin Engineering Flight Simulators and competitions. Their support for the AAU is very much appreciated.

Although most AAU members have Merlin units, our visits have encompassed very advanced simulators such as; Gareth Padfield's Bibby Helicopter Unit at Liverpool and Costas Soutas' large cue-sim system at Sheffield. Instead of John Farley, who helps judge the Merlin Flight Simulator Competition, this time Guy Gratton had a test run. Also, in out visit to Southampton were most impressed by Simon Newman's own development of a super Wide Screen Simulator. The A380 came out well!

Guy Gratton with his impressive RAeS and other connections, has made a most valuable contribution to AAU aerodynamic-related subject areas. The same applies to Andy Lewis, John Farley and also to Dave Philpott with their EDSU and CAA contacts adding to their great expertise in flight safety, air legislation and aircraft performance.

Titus Kehinde Olyani is promoting sustainable aerospace well. His teaching background is, LSBU Farnborough COT and LSBU again. John Farley and I are naturally interested as we attended The Royal Aircraft Establishment Technical College from 1950/1955 now FCOT. I was originally an SL at The Borough Polytechnic in 1965 (which became PSB and now LSBU) before I was I/C Aerodynamics at Kingston in 1971.

It is good that our next meeting is at Leeds with Mohamed Pourkashanian and Andrew McIntosh who has been very helpful as Hon Vice Chairman with advice, AAU publicity articles in The RAeS journal and representation for us on the Engineering Professors Council. The vice chairmanship has now been taken by Michael Clee on account of Andrew's very heavy, university commitments. Mike was our constitutional “guru” and now will be able to exercise his great talents even more effectively. As well as materials science, Swansea is well known for its contribution to the aerodynamic design of Thrust SSC to which project Coventry also figured heavily.

As stated, having meeting at all kinds of venues is proving most interesting and entertaining and so we are grateful for the kind hospitality of Katie Howes and Cameron Smith at Antycip earlier in the year. Middleton Stoney is a delightful place near to Banbury.

We continue to miss the presence of Laurie Benn our airline pilot as well as academic. His departure from London Metropolitan was a sad occasion and we wish him well in his new endeavours as a freelance Hawker 800 captain and also an instructor with Flight Safety International.

Along with Alan Jocelyn (UWE), David Waide (Kingston), Mike West (Coventry), Mike Jacobs (Birmingham), David Philpott (Herts) and I (former aerospace HMI), Laurie was a Founder of The AAU. This was way back in February 1997. David did superb publicity initiatives and went on to be an adviser on space insurance. Professor Stan Harvey at Coventry, together with the now retired V.C. Mike Goldstein were also great supporters. True of this also is UWE retired V.C. Alf Morris.

The AAU Launch three years later was a great event. Its success was largely due to the efforts of such and at which there were superb inputs by:

David Marshall (Pres. RAeS.), Keith Mans (C.Ex. RAeS.) and Richard Noble OBE. Richard also made an impressive input to the Birmingham materials science meeting, mentioned earlier. AAU efforts to try and get him proper recognition for the 25 years of holding the World Car Land Speed Record with the last ten years at Supersonic, still await fruition but with the help of Philip Ransom, you will be pleased to hear that he has been awarded the I. Mech. E. James Watt International Medal.

John Steele who was originally a senior member of Barry College International School of Air Maintenance, Cardiff Airport.

Last year became the Glamorgan AAU representative only to be seconded to the Middle East earlier this year as has been the case with Andrew Self.

We were fortunate to have his clear advice over EASA/JAR/CAA connections with aerospace degree courses. Kingston and Glamorgan seem to be the only participants as regards such schemes having exemptions for ab initio certificates from subjects in foundation degree courses. Indeed, we also had John Nicholas Head of Aircraft maintenance CAA come to one of our meetings. Mike Basini has also looked it this matter for Coventry but was concerned at the bureaucracy. Our CAA member Hazel Courtney is invaluable for her continual to advice on the HE/Industry research situation. The problems of reduced time span will come to haunt PhD projects even more, as industry waits for no one.

Despite the dilemma of blending more maintenance engineering into some aero courses, what is a growing success is the provision of hybrid flight experience/aero theory degree courses, such as at Salford, Leeds and other AAU universities.

We congratulate Andrew Self and S. Raghunathan for the recent awards of an OBE for their great contribution to aerospace education.

There are many administrative staff who have very well looked after AAU meetings. To all you kind ladies we send our grateful thanks.

It is excellent that the AAU continues to have the great support of its members. We continue to be so impressed by Rolls-Royce Aero Engines and are grateful for the inputs of Colin Small and many of his colleagues. Airbus is also very much admired and Tim Slack of Airbus UK has been most loyal contributor to AAU meetings and his great wisdom is much appreciated. We wish Airbus UK all the very best if they have a new role with GKN. It is good that AAU have been invited to hold next years JB trophy at Airbus H.Q. Filton, Bristol. This was made possible by the continued generosity of UWE for the holding of AAU meetings. Iain Gray who so well looked after us when MD of Airbus UK has now taken a high position with the government. We wish him every success and again thank him for his great support and generosity.

Finally, AAU has eight Honorary Fellows; Laurie Benn, John Farley, Alexander Fanourakis, Alf Morris, Mike Jacobs, Alan Jocelyn, David Philpott and Mike West.

With no nominations since 2006 AAU would appreciate nominations in respect of those who have contributed greatly to aerospace education.

Once Again, my very best wishes for UK Aerospace and Education.

John H. Barnes

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