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Podcast Ep. #14 – Dufour Aerospace Co-Founder Thomas Pfammatter on the aEro2 VTOL Electric Aircraft

On this episode I am speaking to Thomas Pfammatter, who is the co-founder of the Swiss electric aviation startup Dufour Aerospace. Dufour is currently designing an electric aircraft with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities for the urban and rural transport market. The promise of their current aircraft, the aEro 2, is that with VTOL capabilities it can take-off and land pretty much anywhere, which can considerably reduce travel times, especially to places that are difficult to...


Podcast Ep. #13 – Skyrora’s Lead Engineer Robin Hague on Scotland’s New Satellite Launch Capability

Robin Hague is the Lead Engineer at the rocket startup Skyrora based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The goal of Skyrora is to provide a dedicated launch vehicle for small satellites. It has never been cheaper to build small satellites that provide imaging and communication services, and this sector of the space economy is expected to grow rapidly over the coming years. The UK is a world leader in the small satellite business—with Glasgow in Scotland building more satellites than any other city in...


Podcast Ep. #12 – The Perlan Project: Soaring to the Edge of Space

This episode features an in-depth look at the Perlan Project. The mission of the Perlan Project is to fly an engineless aircraft to the edge of space, in this case, by taking advantage of an aerodynamic phenomenon known as wave lift. Not only is soaring to 90,000 feet an audacious goal, but on top of that, the Perlan Project is a worldwide collaborative project run entirely by aviation enthusiasts, scientists, engineers and adventurous pilots. No one has ever soared to the edge of space in...


Podcast Ep. #11 – Dr Priyanka Dhopade on Jet Engine Optimisation and Women in Engineering

Priyanka Dhopade received her PhD from the University of New South Wales in Canberra, Australia and was the recipient of the Zonta Amelia Earhart Fellowship award, awarded annually to the 35 most outstanding female aerospace PhD students worldwide. Since 2013 she has been researching the thermodynamics of jet engines in the Thermofluids Institute at Oxford University. Priyanka is an expert in computational fluid dynamics modelling of heat transfer, aerodynamics and aero-elasticity in jet...


Podcast Ep. #10 – Kitty Hawk Roboticist Dr Mark Cutler on UAVs, Machine Learning and Personalised Flying

Dr Mark Cutler has a PhD in Robotics and Autonomous Systems from MIT. He has researched multiple aspects of UAV technology—from designing and building his own novel quadrotor for aerobatic flight to developing machine learning algorithms for autonomous systems. Mark is currently working for the California-based startup Kitty Hawk backed by Google founder Larry Page. At Kitty Hawk, Mark is applying his expertise in rotorcraft to create the next generation of vehicles for everyday flight....


Podcast Ep. #9 – Faradair Founder Neil Cloughley on the Bio-Electric Hybrid Aircraft and Regional Aviation

Neil Cloughley is the founder and managing director of Faradair, the UK's leading hybrid aviation programme. Neil has a broad background in the aviation industry ranging from aircraft re-marketing and aircraft leasing to starting his own aircraft consultancy business, which found him working with the world's major airlines, OEMs and trailblazing companies like Virgin Galactic. Neil's father developed one of the most advanced unmanned aerial vehicles of the early 1990s, and had a flying...


Podcast Ep. #8 – Rocket Lab’s Lachlan Matchett on Democratising Access to Space and the Rutherford Rocket Engine

In this episode I am talking to Lachlan Matchett, who is the VP of Propulsion at Rocket Lab. Rocket Lab is a startup rocket company with the mission of removing barriers to commercial space by frequent launches to low-earth orbit. The current conundrum of many space technology companies that want to launch small satellites into space is that there is no dedicated launch service tailored to their needs. This is where Rocket Lab enters the picture. To provide small payloads with a flexible...


Podcast Ep. #5 – Concorde Chief Engineer John Britton on Supersonic Flight

Today I am talking to John Britton. John was the chief engineer of Concorde on the British side of the enterprise from 1994 until Concorde’s demise in 2003. In this conversation, John and I talk about: how he ended up as the Chief Engineer of Concorde what engineering feats made Concorde special why Concorde is no longer flying today and what he thinks new supersonic companies need to focus on This interview was recorded at Aerospace Bristol, which is a new aerospace museum located at...


Podcast Ep. #3 – Airbus Senior Expert Ian Lane on the A350, Innovation in Aerospace, and Diversity in Engineering

"You could say: What could we possibly do next? You look back at history and say: All the shelves must be full now! We must have the capabilities to do everything we need. And yet, we still go on...It's your generation that is going to Mars. So please, can you get on with it and do it, because I want to enjoy it from the augmented reality that other engineers are going to produce." --- Ian Lane This episode features Ian Lane, Senior Expert in Composite Analysis for Airbus UK. Ian has more...


Podcast Ep. #2 – Prof. Paul Weaver on Shape, Stiffness and Smart Aerospace Structures

"There's been a lot of good press from the science community on self-assembly of atoms. Well, I guess what I'm looking for is self-assembly and disassembly of large-scale structures...There is all sorts of exciting things we can do when [engineering] structures re-configure themselves." --- Prof. Paul Weaver This episode features Prof. Paul Weaver, who holds a Bernal Chair in Composite Structures at the University of Limerick in Ireland, and is the Professor in Lightweight Structures at...


Podcast Ep. #1 – Dr Chauncey Wu on NASA, Rocket Science and Advanced Composite Materials

"If you're trying to put these structures into orbit, every gram counts. Not just every pound but every gram...So you are making structures that are operating at their margins." --- Dr Chauncey Wu, NASA Langley Research Center Today's conversation features Dr Chauncey Wu, who is a research engineer at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Chauncey has worked at NASA for more than 30 years, predominantly in the field of structural mechanics, and has been responsible for...


Introducing the Aerospace Engineering Podcast

I am happy and excited to announce a new project on the Aerospace Engineering Blog. To go along with the usual blog posts, I will now be releasing regular podcast episodes that feature conversations with engineers and researchers in industry and academia to reveal their fascinating real-world stories of innovation, and provide a glimpse into the future of the industry by discussing cutting-edge research and promising new technologies. This episode is just a quick primer of what I have in...