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Cal Students Enjoy SA Symposium

UC Berkeley students had a front row ticket with leading experts addressing critical questions facing the aviation industry today at the Sustainable Aviation Symposium 2019 (SAS) held Oct. 7-8, 2019.

The symposium, held on campus, brought 170 key innovators and researchers from startups, aviation giants, and academics working on new innovations in aviation through a partnership between the Institute of Transportation Studies Berkeley and the Sustainable Aviation Foundation. This year’s theme focused on exploring Urban Air Mobility (UAM) from every angle: vehicles, technology, society.

“There is a tremendous knowledge base that this symposium has brought together,” says symposium co-chair and Sustainable Aviation Foundation President Brien Seeley. “What we do here will really help guide the industry’s future to provide accessible, safe, electric aviation for all.”

Conversation around UAM focused on how should platforms be structured to make them work for everyone, how are inclusion and access ensured for the future, and what will it take to ensure that future is accessible and inclusive to all people; new innovations in Short Takeoff, Landing (STOL) and Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL), and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) aircraft; how UAM can be integrated into sustainable communities; and considerations for policies, laws, infrastructure, and technology for UAM.

College of Engineering Dean Tsu-Jae King Liu and Department of Nuclear Engineering Department Co-Chair Karl van Bibber offered opening remarks. In addition, NEXTOR Deputy Director Jasenka Rakas (symposium co-director) presented Air Piers for UAM, Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Arpad Horvath presented The Ecology of Sustainable Infrastructure, Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Raja Sengupta presented Can Urban Air Mobility Serve Urban Mobility, Mechanical Engineering professor Mark Mueller presented Long Range Flight from Small Electric VTOL Aircraft, and City and Regional Planning professor Dan Chatman presented Urban Air Mobility in the Context of Travel Patterns and City Planning.

It wasn’t just experts in the room. Thanks to a generous donation from the College of Engineering, 77 UC Brkeley students were able to attend this event and interact with leading academic researchers and practical innovators in the field of sustainable aviation.

“The student participation in the room was really great,” says symposium co-chair and NEXTOR Deputy Director Jasenka Rakas. “This is why we want to bring these kinds of events to the campus, so they can explore these fields and make these connections.”

See more photos from the event