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UL student wins GECAS AEROVATE aviation innovation competition 2019

First ever GECAS AEROVATE aviation innovation competition won by Callum Winship, a student of the University of Limerick.

UL student wins GECAS AEROVATE aviation innovation competition 2019

Callum Winship, a student of the University of Limerick was named the winner of the first-ever GECAS AEROVATE aviation innovation competition. A third-year student of Aeronautical Engineering, Callum won the top prize of €5,000 for his innovative submission, “AeroZero.”

Launched by GECAS, a world-leading aviation lessor and financier, the GECAS AEROVATE competition challenged Third-level University students to foster ideas that will help revolutionize the world of aviation, and that have the potential to develop into a real-life business opportunity. 



Callum’s initiative, AeroZero, proposed to lower the net carbon emissions produced by aviation through offsets generated by a not-for-profit organisation. This organisation, AeroZero, would, in turn, be responsible for producing and investing in green energy technology that could then be returned to the grid.


UL student wins GECAS AEROVATE 2019 Aviation Innovation Competition
Pictured L-R Eleanor O’Connell, GECAS’ Innovation Leader, Callum Winship, Competition Winner and John Ludden, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at GECAS.

Speaking at the final, Eleanor O’Connell, GECAS’ Innovation leader, said,                    “Aviation is ever more conscious of its responsibility towards the environment. At GECAS, we are investing in new technology aircraft and engines that produce significantly fewer emissions. Many of us now use carbon offsetting programmes when buying travel. What is interesting about Callum’s idea with AeroZero is that he has taken this concept one step further – seeking to ensure that funds generated are directly reinvested into the development of green energy technologies.

 “Although we are still a considerable way from reasonable and scalable all-electric flight, AeroZero contributes to renewable electricity generation, thus laying the groundwork for the powering of a future all-electric aircraft fleet. It’s a privilege to be invited to share new concepts with the likes of GECAS,” shares Callum, adding “having been selected as the winner gives me confidence not only is AeroZero a credible concept but one that lessors might be able to put into effect, promoting carbon efficiencies and green technologies,” she added.

 There were also two runner-up ideas that received €1,000 each. The first was ‘Tiltrotor – a potential future aircraft leasing vehicle by fellow University of Limerick student, Pádraig Cronin. The second was by student pilots at IT Carlow, Tommaso Chiodi Brisinello, Emanuele Forcellini, and Andrea Bonanno, for their innovative bird strike prevention concept, Avion.

About Ge Capital Aviation Services

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) is a world-leading aviation lessor and financier. In Ireland, GECAS has two locations in Shannon and Dublin, with over 250 employees between the sites. GECAS contributes €150m annually to the Irish economy and its value of assets under management in Ireland is more than €23bn.

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.