Eleanor O’Connell, GECAS; Callum Winship; and John Ludden, GECAS

UL student wins Aerovate aviation innovation competition

Callum Winship scoops €5,000 for green energy submission AeroZero
Eleanor O’Connell, GECAS; Callum Winship; and John Ludden, GECAS

26 November 2019

A University of Limerick student was named the winner of the first ever Aerovate aviation innovation competition. Callum Winship, a third year aeronautical engineering student, won €5,000 for his project AeroZero.

Winship’s prize-winning entry proposed to lower the net carbon emissions produced by aviation through offsets generated by a non-profit organisation, AeroZero. In turn, this organisation would produce and invest in green energy technology that could be returned to the grid.

Aerovate was launched by GECAS to challenge third-level university students to foster ideas to revolutionise the world of aviation.




Speaking at the final, Eleanor O’Connell, GECAS’ Innovation leader said: “Aviation is ever more conscious of its responsibility towards the environment. At GECAS, we are investing in new technology aircraft and engines that produce significantly fewer emissions. Many of us now use carbon offsetting programmes when buying travel. What is interesting about Callum’s idea with AeroZero is that he has taken this concept one step further – seeking to ensure that funds generated are directly reinvested into the development of green energy technologies.

“Although we are still a considerable way from reasonable and scalable all-electric flight, AeroZero contributes to renewable electricity generation, thus laying the groundwork for the powering of a future all-electric aircraft fleet.”

“It’s a privilege to be invited to share new concepts with the likes of GECAS,” said Winship.”Having been selected as the winner gives me confidence not only is AeroZero a credible concept, but one that lessors might be able to put into effect, promoting carbon efficiencies and green technologies.”

Two runner-up proposals received €1,000 each; Pádraig Cronin from University of Limerick for his project Tiltrotor – a potential future aircraft leasing vehicle; and student pilots at IT Carlow, Tommaso Chiodi Brisinello, Emanuele Forcellini and Andrea Bonanno, for their innovative bird strike prevention concept, Avion.

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