More in

C2I 2021: Aerospace & Defence Shortlist

Runners up in our Aerospace & Defence category included an exciting new concept for urban air mobility and a technology-led effort to boost the maths skills of military students.

C2I 2021

Category: Aerospace & Defence

Project: MASTRO

Partners: University of Sheffield AMRC with Acciona, ALKE, Applynano, ARKEMA, AXIA, BSRIA, CETMA. CENTI, CITEVE, DIAGROUP, Embraer, Universidad De Alicante, Superior Graphite and PINOUT

Composite researchers at the University of Sheffield’s AMRC are at the heart of the MASTRO project, a European-wide initiative aimed at developing intelligent bulk materials for a smart transport sector.

AMRC is leading the project’s focus on aerospace applications, and has been exploring the integration of carbon nanotubes to create electrically conductive composite structures for future aircraft.

As part of the project the team is developing three main smart material technologies - self-cure, self-anti-icing and self-sensing – which have been demonstrated on a section of a composite leading-edge wing.



Category: Aerospace & Defence

Project: Skybus

Partners: GKN Aerospace with Swanson Aviation Consultancy, Pascall+Watson and Connected Places Catapult

Although the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market has seen significant traction and investment over the past couple of years, most of the focus has been on aerial ridesharing or “air taxis” with Uber leading the way through their Uber Elevate initiative, and there is a current unaddressed gap within the UAM market for larger VTOL vehicles transporting more people over longer routes.

The Skybus project looks beyond just aircraft development and considers the wider “system of systems” to not only identify an environmentally sustainable transport concept but also an economically viable business model. The results of the project will help position the UK at the forefront of defining this growing global market and aid the advancement of such concepts.

London in under 15 minutes.



Category: Aerospace & Defence


Project: Adaptive Learning

Partners: Babcock International with Area 9 Lyceum and the Defence School of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering.

Having identified that some military students were struggling to understand engineering principles due to a lack of foundation knowledge in maths, Babcock - in partnership with Area 9 Lyceum and the Defence School of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering - embarked on a project to address this using adaptive learning.

The team evolved an existing “one size fits all” approach to foundation delivery into a blended solution, where data and insights are used to provide a 1 to 1 experience that enables tutors to target interventions exactly where and when they were needed for both individual and groups.

The project has delivered the maths pilot to approximately 160 learners and has led to reduction in overall failures, a 50% reduction in time to proficiency, and increased engagement from learners.

At the time of the pilot phase of the project, Covid-19 had become a driving factor in reducing the face to face exposure between cohorts and tutors. This accelerated the pilot phase and deepened the collaboration between Babcock and the School. As well as effectively delivering Maths through adaptive learning, with Area 9 making the necessary live tweaks to the platform, the school became more engaged as they were seeking to leverage every opportunity available to deliver remotely while maintaining duty of care of the learners.