SAE 2009 AeroTech—solutions for a better future

  • 25-Nov-2009 04:17 EST

Modern aviation as we know it today had its beginnings on a breezy sand dune in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Two brothers struggled to perfect an aircraft’s lift, pitch, acceleration, and elevation.

Of course, they weren’t the only ones who struggled with such issues. All around the world, engineers and daredevils alike were working to help take humans into flight.

It may seem that today’s aerospace industry has little in common with those early days, but the reality is, there remains many similarities—chief among them is the fact that people are who make the industry fly; people are who solve the complex challenges presented by modern aerospace engineering.

While at the SAE AeroTech Congress and Exhibition in Seattle last month, I saw first-hand aerospace professionals at work. More importantly, I saw aerospace professionals engaged in meaningful and relevant discussions; I saw information being shared and solutions being formed.

Spread over three days, the SAE AeroTech Congress featured technical sessions, panel discussions, and an exhibition that showcased some of the latest technical achievements and advancements in aviation.

The issues that were discussed were those that are affecting the aerospace industry today. Materials, propulsion, safety, power systems, avionics, flight sciences, and business operations were just some of the topics talked about during the three-day event.

In addition, more than 20 of SAE International’s standards technical committees met during AeroTech to continue their vital work in developing standards

As has become commonplace at SAE International conferences, time was set aside to honor some of our colleagues for their outstanding work within the aerospace industry, as well as within SAE International. More than a dozen awards were presented during AeroTech. I believe that such ceremonies are extremely important for our profession; we need to recognize excellent work and hold it up to be a standard for all to strive toward.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support we received from Boeing, which served as this year’s Executive Platinum Sponsor. Executives from Boeing provided outstanding leadership both in the planning and preparation for the meeting, as well as the on-site activities. I thank them for their dedication and hard work.

Also, I thank all of the companies that served as sponsors, and perhaps most importantly, I thank all who attended AeroTech and all who volunteered their time and talents to make this year’s event a success.

I am pleased to announce that Airbus will serve as the host company for the 2011 AeroTech Congress, which will be held in Toulouse, France.

As I mentioned earlier, success in our profession is defined by solutions to real challenges. That’s how it was 100 years ago and that’s how it is today. SAE International’s AeroTech Congress is about professionals coming together to craft those solutions.

As always, I welcome your feedback and constructive input to this topic and any other issues on your mind. Please feel free to e-mail me at

David L. Schutt, SAE Chief Executive Officer

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