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Interview to EASN Newsletter by Dr. Marian Lubieniecki, Managing Director and Site Leader at GE Engineering Design Center

As this year's 7th EASN International Conference is co-organized by the EASN Association and the Warsaw University of Technology, Dr. Marian Lubieniecki, Managing Director and Site Leader at GE Engineering Design Center (Institute of Aviation), gladly accepted our invitation to set the scene of the Polish Aeronautics Sector. In his interview he introduces the Engineering Design Center and talks to us about "Design & Research Philosophy in the Environment of Global Competition".  

Q1: Poland is one of the major players in European aviation. Could you please set the current scene of the Aeronautics sector in Poland?

Poland has all the elements of the aviation sector present. Starting with airlines, which are the industry's customers and thus the key group for the sector's thriving. Then there are strong R&D centers, including Poland's Institute of Aviation in Warsaw and strong aviation departments at technology universities which can boast of a broad network of international connections.
Also located in Poland are the manufactures of aviation components (airframe, engines) with a growing number of suppliers. Finally, there is the rapidly developing segment of aviation services; here we should mention the new joint investment in Poland between General Electric and Lufthansa which are currently building a state-of-the-art aircraft engine service center in the south-west of our country.
As you can see, the presence of the aviation sector in Poland is both large and broad. And the constant growth of Polish economy indicates that the aviation sector will also continue to grow.

Q2: Amongst the different entities active in aeronautical related R&D, the Institute of Aviation (ILOT) - collaborating smoothly with GE - is considered a pylon in the field, having more than 90 years of history. Taking into account the continuously evolving aeronautical sector, what are the main goals and objectives of ILOT and GE's cooperation for the near future?

In general, I would describe our approach as creative continuation. We would like to build on the 90 years of aviation technology developed in the Institute of Aviation and to tighten the connections with the aviation industry in the region. To do so we combine the tradition and expertise gathered locally with General Electric's global presence. The goal is not only to respond to or follow trends in the aviation sector but also to create new trends in some selected areas.
As aviation enters the period of ground-breaking changes in technology and products, we believe that the combination of tradition backed up by local presence and hi-tech solutions developed globally might be the right way to set new technology development directions and create trends in our sector. For us an organization developing new cutting edge technologies it is key to gather know-how and experts that will allow us to foresee future trends, as well as face and solve future problems of the sector.

Q3:  In the frame of the forthcoming 7th EASN International Conference you will give a keynote lecture on: "Design & Research Philosophy in the Environment of Global Competition". Do you believe that Europe implements the right philosophy so as to become a global leader in the aviation field?

In my opinion Europe has all the attributes to become a major center on the global aviation map. At the same time I believe that to become a major player it is crucial that Europe uses full potential of each and every aviation organization from our region, regardless off its actual location. That is, we have a lot of international companies that operate on large scale in Europe but at the same time we also have a multitude of very creative small organizations, growing and working very hard, coming up with revolutionary products and services. Our task should be to use full potential of those organizations as added up all those achievements will create a huge potential of Europe as a whole.
I believe that aviation should also be open onto other industry sectors - should look at their innovations, achievements, development trends. In today's world there are no boundaries between industries and a mature sector such as aviation should make effort to open up and analyze what new solutions are budding up in other technology sectors as we might see totally new players who will revolutionize flight.

Q4: In Europe there are many various aviation research and science enterprises. What do you think needs to be done in order to further strengthen the transversal communication between those institutions and the industry?

For me the basis of a successful cooperation is establishing a common goal for the whole sector in Europe. What kind of player do we want to be globally? How do we define and measure competitiveness and what is our competitive advantage as a region? Where can we enter into pan-regional co-operations with benefits for all parties involved? When we establish that it will be much easier to map out the roles of the industry and the R&D organizations from Europe.
We will all agree that actual technology development happens where the industry and science meet. Thus we should work to establish close cooperation around particular areas between R&D and the industry which will create the correct balance between responding to the needs of the customers and taking into account scientific development. The first step should be to set up spaces where science can meet industry and then we should think about developing projects basing on this cooperation.
Noticing this potential will allow Europe to come up with large scale programs, "European Aviation Dreams", broad enough to connect many organizations from all corners of the region. Then we will focus on what we have in common, not on differences between us.

Q5: Concluding, is there any adjunct message you would like to get across to the readers of this interview?

Following my reflections on broadening all kinds of cooperation in the region, I would like to say that I am very happy that the Institute of Aviation and GE will contribute to making this cooperation happen by co-organizing the EASN conference at the end of September. Personally I hope that the Engineering Design Center that we create, a place where science meets the industry, will inspire the conference guests to find totally new cooperation partners and that we will show what multitude of possibilities such hybrid structure brings.

Date posted: September 13, 2017, 12:51 pm

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