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Keynote: Disruption, Agility and Zero Carbon

View the 2020 Turbo Expo Keynote

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, gave the opening address where he set out a challenge to accelerate the decarbonization of flight and power generation. His Royal Highness outlined 10 specific actions that could be advanced by the Turbo Expo Community.

In the message His Royal Highness said, "As we emerge from this crisis, the need to decarbonize flight must remain at the top of the agenda. While many are calling for net zero flight by 2050 I would like to challenge you all to think about halving that time frame to 2035." To achieve this target, he said "we must acknowledge that the decarbonization of flight is technically possible. However, more focus is required if it is to be achieved in the necessary time scale."

His Royal Highness' Ten Actions to Accelerate the Decarbonization of Flight

  1. We need to cut dramatically the time required to develop and deploy new technologies just as we do during war time, moving from decades to years, and preferably months.
  2. We must invest at scale in practical projects to demonstrate the feasibility of new technologies. It is only when projects are tangible that investors and consumers can generate the demand for their use.
  3. We need to optimize aircraft operations to minimize both carbon dioxide emissions and the non-carbon dioxide climate forcing impacts of aviation.
  4. We need to invest in climate science, the better to understand the impact of the non-CO2 effect of aviation on global warming.
  5. To accelerate the solutions to some of the most complex challenges we must set up co-located multidisciplinary teams made up of industry, academia, and government.
  6. We need to educate consumers about the technologies that are emerging so they can help fuel demand for decarbonized flight. Increasingly consumers are looking for sustainable choices and will be looking to the airlines and airports that are leading the way.
  7. Finally, we must acknowledge that the decarbonization of flight is technically possible. However, more focus is required if it is to be achieved in the necessary timescale. All the points that I have already mentioned require government and industry urgently to show leadership to accelerate the pace of change.

We have chosen two speakers who exemplify the conference theme of Disruption, Agility and Zero Carbon. Glenn Llewellyn is Vice President, Zero Emission Aircraft at Airbus. Airbus has the ambition to develop the world's first zero-emission commercial aircraft by 2035. The company is exploring a variety of hybrid-electric and hydrogen technology options. Their approach is not only ambitious, but rather to create a seismic shift in the industry. Patrick Nathen is VP of Product & Co-Founder of Lilium. Lilium are one of the world’s leading companies in the urban mobility arena, with the aim of city centre to city centre emissions-free transport. The company has not only had to develop a completely new propulsion technology but has also had to develop a completely new market and business model. Patrick will share his experience of developing disruptive, radically different technologies and will explain how the company has overcome these challenges.



Glenn Llewellyn

Glenn Llewellyn
Vice President, Zero Emission Aircraft

Bio: Glenn Llewellyn is Vice President, Zero Emission Aircraft at Airbus. He is responsible for Airbus plans and activities to achieve our ambition to be the first major manufacturer to bring a zero-emission commercial aircraft to market.

Prior to this appointment, Glenn was responsible for the research & technology portfolio focused on reducing Airbus product climate impact. This portfolio included demonstrators such as Vahana and City Airbus e-VTOLs as well as the E-FAN X hybrid-electric demonstrator.

Before that, Glenn was the engineering and then program lead for several systems on the A350XWB, working as part of the overall aircraft design team on the aircraft concept, leading engineering trades, and ultimately leading the contracting and industrialisation of the different systems and equipment.


Patrick Nathen

Patrick Nathen
VP of Product & Co-Founder

Bio: As co-founder and VP Product, Patrick Nathen leads the global product strategy for Lilium, ensuring we put the customer at the very center of all our digital and physical products throughout the passenger experience. Previous to his work on Lilium’s product strategy, Patrick was responsible for the aerodynamic design and high performance computing capabilities @Lilium. Patrick studied Aerospace Engineering at the Technical University of Munich where he finished his PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics and Turbulence Modeling.



Rob Miller

Prof Rob Miller FRAeS
Professor of Aerothermal Technology
Director, Whittle Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Bio: Rob Miller is Professor of Aerothermal Technology, Director of the Whittle Laboratory and Director of the Rolls-Royce Whittle University Technology Centre at the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. In 2014 he set up and led the UK EPSRC Centre of Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics. His research focuses on the decarbonisation of the aerospace and the power generation sectors. He is passionate about the practical applications of research, holding 11 patents and working closely with industries such as Rolls-Royce, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Siemens and Dyson. Since 2012 Rob Miller has led a team which developed the Rapid Technology Development Process at the Whittle Laboratory which has cut the time to design, manufacture and test technologies by a factor of between 10 and 100 (form months to days).

His research has been awarded the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Thomas Hawksley Gold Medal 2010, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Air Breathing Propulsion Award 2008, American Society of Mechanical Engineers Best Paper Awards in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2019 and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Gas Turbine Award 2010, 2014 and 2015.