Four Indian students win Airbus innovation contest

Five Indian students have won the fourth edition of the Airbus Fly Your Ideas global competition organised in partnership with UNESCO to encourage the next generation of innovators.

Team Multifun, the name of the contest, comprising aerospace engineering students--Sathiskumar Anusuya Ponnusami, Shashank Agrawal, Dhamotharan Veerasamy, Mohit Gupta and Ajith Moses--have bagged the top prize of Euros 30,000 at the award ceremony held in Hamburg, Germany, on Wednesday.

The winning team met physically for the first time at the final round of the event, as they worked from four different locations. Two students were studying at Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, one at the City University, London, one at Georgia Tech in the US and the another at the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands.

These five students were selected out of 518 multi-disciplinary teams, representing 3,700 students from over 100 countries, who submitted their ideas in December 2014 for the contest.

Team Multifun's winning idea is all about good vibrations. The team's idea involved aircraft wings dressed in a composite skin that harvests energy from natural vibrations or flex in the wings.

"Piezoelectric fibres gather electrical charges from even the smallest movements during flight, storing the energy generated in battery panels integrated in the fuselage and using it to power auxiliary in-flight systems, like lighting and entertainment systems.

"This reduces the energy footprint of aircraft during flight and could even replace the entire power source for ground operations," Airbus said in a statement.

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