Civil aerospace, besides being influenced by a plethora of engineering science disciplines and market needs, is also dependent on the weather, environment and climate. It is set to face its tryst with destiny as pressures mount to deal with climate change during a period of increasing demands from the emerging economies and concerns from the green community. By the later half of this century, as the world moves towards a zero carbon economy, the pressures to curtail the growth of civil aviation are set to become immense. However, there are possible significant disruptive technologies, particularly propulsion technologies and a possible move towards a hydrogen economy which suggest intriguing ways forward. Speculation over a long timeframe and covering many issues is naturally fraught, but it is our responsibility to seek to drive such changes.
EMERITUS PROFESSOR RITI SINGH, Cranfield University
Prof Singh headed the Department of Power, Propulsion and Aerospace Engineering at Cranfield University and was Deputy Head of School until his formal retirement in 2006, but he continued to work full-time as a Consultant until 2015. One of his principal current research interests is the very long-term future for civil aerospace, particularly in the context of climate change. Other interests include novel cycles for stationary power, combustion, gas path diagnostics and engine management. For Rolls-Royce, he was a UTC Director, member of their External Power & Propulsion Advisory Board and chaired their Panel for Advanced Cycles & New Energy Systems. He has received many accolades, including the International Aircraft Engine Technology Award for 2010, presented by ASME's International Gas Turbine Institute for sustained innovative personal contribution. Professor Singh holds numerous patents, and has published widely. He is a Board member (and Past Chair) of the Aerospace Industries Board, the IMechE and the International Society of Air Breathing Engines (ISABE) where he was previously Vice-President. Prior to joining Cranfield in 1980 he worked for 20 years for a number of gas turbine companies, including Rolls Royce and Stal Laval (now Siemens).