Dr Tom Enders, CEO of EADS, gave this year’s Hinton Lecture with a speech about engineering innovation and skills in the aerospace industry.
Dr Enders spoke about technology outpacing demand in the case of Concorde and called for “pragmatic engineering” to ensure that the aerospace industry can continue to drive technological advances for the manufacturing sector and set the pace of economic and social development.
He was bullish on the future role of pivotal technologies such as 3D printing, which he believes could reduce waste of precious resources such as titanium, from 90% to just 5% in aerospace production.
Highlighting the need for increased investment in research and development and enhanced public and private sector cooperation, Dr Enders also talked about the importance of educating and training a new generation of engineers. He cited industry schemes designed to do just that while stressing the need for fast action as up to a third of aerospace engineers are close to retirement.
He said: “Breaking the sound barrier with Concorde was great, but breaking the barriers to education, innovation and cooperation and delivering the kind of pragmatic engineering that drives responsible growth, improves people’s lives and captures their imaginations; that would be a legacy to be proud of.”
Dr Enders delivered his lecture while merger talks between EADS and BAE systems were attracting considerable media attention. He told the audience that the proposed merger was “very fluid and very advanced.”
Notes for editors
Dr Tom Enders was appointed CEO of EADS in June 2012 after being CEO of Airbus since 2007. He has been President of BDLI (the German Aerospace Industry Association) since 2005. He studied Economics, Political Science and History at university and worked as member of the planning staff of the German Minister of Defence prior to joining the aerospace industry in 1991.
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