Institute for Aerospace Technology

SAEL - Solutions for Aerospace Electrification Leadership

SAEL Cambridge workshop attendees
February 2020
Photo from the SAEL Cambridge workshop; a group photo of the workshop attendees

The Solutions for Aircraft Electrification Leadership (SAEL) initiative and workshop series was launched in July 2019 and was founded in a collaboration effort from international partners from the aerospace industry that include the University of Nottingham, 328 Support Services GmbH, Crane Aerospace & Electronics and the University of Cambridge.

The vision of SAEL is to bring together world-leading experts from the aerospace sector to lead the shift from conventional to sustainable aviation through aircraft electrification solutions by:

  • Identifying and addressing the big challenges facing aircraft electrification
  • Paving the way for a smoother integration of new technology in aviation
  • Helping bring the future of sustainable aviation even closer.

The objectives of SAEL

  • Collaboration - Develop and improve the mechanisms of communication and collaboration between all stakeholders for a better and more sustainable aviation future
  • Roadmap - Define the main challenges in aircraft electrification and create a roadmap for a system approach with targets based on what is achievable in the near future, middle future and far future
  • Technology solutions - To identify key technology requirements to support sustainable aviation in particular at the large aircraft platform level
  • Regulations - Identify the industry standards, regulations, certification that need to change for aircraft electrification
  • Emissions - Enable zero fossil fuel consumption aircraft and pollution/noise free airports

Previous workshops

  • Workshop 1 – University of Nottingham on the 03-04 July 2019 with 26 delegates
  • Workshop 2 – University of Cambridge on the 25-26 February 2020 with 29 delegates.

The key workshop outcomes

  • Identified the key focus areas for aircraft electrification - Electrical machines, Power distribution, Energy storage, Power conversion, Thermal management and system integration, Airframers, Regulatory bodies, Environment
  • Identified the major challenges in each focus area
  • Established the criticality (importance and urgency) of the main challenges.

Climate Exp0 conference

SAEL had a poster and video on demand presentation at the COP26 Universities Network Climate Exp0 virtual conference, which ran between the 17-21 May 2021, under the Green Recovery theme. You may access the documents here.

SAEL workshops 3 series

We are currently running SAEL workshop 3 series. The aim of the workshops is to identify the potential technology solutions to the critical challenges for aircraft electrification.

The sessions are as follows (all held at 2:30 - 4:30pm GMT, 3:30 - 5:30pm BST, on Microsoft Teams):

  1. 'Airframers & environment', lead by Oliver Piecyk, 27 April 2021
  2. 'Energy storage', lead by Robert Hess, 25 May 2021
  3. 'Electrical machines', lead by Chris Gerada, 08 June 2021
  4. 'Power distribution', lead by Serhiy Bozhko, 22 June 2021
  5. 'Thermal management/system distribution', lead by Marcello Kivel Mazuy, 06 July 2021
  6. 'Industry standards, regulations and certification', lead by Jon Fifield, 20 July 2021
  7. 'Power electronics, lead by Rodney Mack, 03 August 2021

Please email the organisers (details below) to receive a link to attend the workshops.

Future workshops objectives

  • To bring together and create expert teams for each focus area
  • Determine the enabling technology requirements and approaches, and their TRLs for the major challenges
  • To create joint international R&D projects for the required enabling technologies identified for the critical challenges
  • Translate best in class R&D solutions into the SAEL case scenario to fly a large hybrid electric passenger aircraft


Read our Climate Exp0 blog post


Sharmila Sumsurooah
University of Nottingham

Oliver Piecyk
328 Support Services GmbH

Rodney Mack
Crane Aerospace & Electronics

Timothy Coombs
University of Cambridge


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