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Class Gift Day on December 9, 2022

Published on

19 Dec 2022

Six months after the launch of the Class Gift for the classes of 1982, 1992, 2002 and 2012, the alumni were invited to the ISAE-SUPAERO campus for a day of meetings around the Défi Mermoz project. This was an opportunity for the graduating classes to organize a Round Table focused on the decarbonization of aviation and to meet with students on campus.


Visit of the campus, conferences and festive evening

The alumni of the “en 2” classes were invited at 1:30 p.m. to attend a tour of three locations on campus by students. A tour of the renovated student residences, the brand new Marie Marvingt Aerotheque inaugurated only a few months ago, as well as the campus FabLab called InnovSpace and inaugurated at the end of 2020.

After the visit, the alumni went to the amphitheatre 2 to attend the presentation of the Mermoz Challenge by Jean-Marc Moschetta, professor of aerodynamics at ISAE-SUPAERO. A flagship project of ISAE-SUPAERO’s strategy at the forefront of research on decarbonation, the Mermoz Challenge consists of crossing the South Atlantic along the historic route of Jean Mermoz (May 1930) with an electric drone. Beyond the technical challenge of designing and building a hydrogen-powered drone weighing less than 25kg, the challenge of this adventure is to meet the environmental challenges facing the aeronautical industry in order to promote cleaner aviation.

The introduction to the conference was made by Christian Bachellerie, S 1992, VP of exploration at Daher Aerospace, with these words:

While the major companies in the sector are embarking on pharaonic R&T projects, which are essential to maintain the level of flight safety to which we are accustomed, the general aviation sector, which represents 80% of the world’s aircraft fleet, is unable to do the same for obvious reasons. These smaller companies focus on short term solutions, but for the medium and long term, they need the scientific community to develop and make available the knowledge base necessary to design and certify future aircraft with an acceptable level of expense and within controlled schedules.

And that’s exactly what ISAE-SUPAERO is doing with the Mermoz Challenge, working on this autonomous long-distance flight that uses liquid hydrogen as fuel.

Today, if no one questions the virtues of air transport, the students of the school, like most young adults of their generation, are worried about the threats to our common future, to the point that some question their vocation as aeronautical engineers. The most aggressive ones are demanding that we take an active role in the transition of the sector now, without waiting for us to give way to them over the next decade.

The Mermoz Challenge is, in my opinion, one of the best answers that the school can offer them, by inviting them to become contributors at their level and in a concrete way to the great maneuvers led by their elders.

We need them by our side, we need them to roll up their sleeves to meet the technical challenges that lie ahead, and we need them to invest in inventing the air transport of tomorrow, and it is up to us old-timers to encourage them to do so.”

Jean-Marc Moschetta, associated with Nikola Gavrilovic, a researcher at ISAE-SUPAERO, recalled that a stream of students from ISAE-SUPAERO is also working on the drone, making this project a true collective intelligence project at the Institute.

A friendly snack was organized by the students not far from the lecture hall in order to take a moment to exchange on the Class Gift project.

The Round Table, a highlight of the day

On the theme of decarbonation and collective intelligence, the Round Table was organized by the Class Gift sponsor of the class of 1992, Gil Teissier and Frédéric Barthe S1992 who was the moderator. Thanks to Stéphane AMANT S1998, Christian BACHELLERIE S1992, Bertrand Olivier DUCREUX S1992, Christian GAUTHIER S1992, Jean-Baptiste JARIN, Laurent JOLY E1994, Isabelle LACAZE S1993, Emmanuel REMY S1992 for their participation as speakers.

Round table theme: how collective intelligence contributes to the decarbonization of air transport

Divided into two separate sessions, the Round Table brought together more than 200 people in a full amphitheatre 2, as well as online and in amphitheatre 3. The assembly, composed of alumni but also students, PhD students, teachers-researchers and staff of ISAE-SUPAERO was able to exchange directly with the speakers during the questions / answers and the break between the two sessions. Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus and S 1992, invited by his colleagues, also participated in these friendly and enriching exchanges.

The Fanfare of ISAE-SUPAERO led the alumni in music to the foyer of the Maison Des Elèves to continue the exchanges in an informal way and to enjoy a festive evening organized by the students.

A big thank you to all the alumni who organized and participated in this afternoon of meetings, as well as to the students involved in the coordination and animation.

This half-day session showed that collective intelligence can bring solutions, as is the case with the Défi Mermoz project, which can still be supported via the Class Gift of the classes of 1982, 1992, 2002 and 2012, in which everyone can participate!

📷 All the photos from the event here!

I also support the Mermoz Challenge via the Class Gift

Photo credit: Louis Derigon / ISAE-SUPAERO