2021/22 Lecture Programme

Unless stated otherwise,

meetings commence at 7.30 p.m.

in Room U020, Brockington Building,

Loughborough University.

Click here for directions

Click here for reports and videos of earler lectures



November 16

              Elfyn Richards Prestige Lecture

Decarbonising Aerospace

Dr Mark Taylor, Rolls-Royce Fellow, Gas Turbine Architecture

A discussion of the environmental impact of aviation, and how it compares to others sectors, will be followed by a review of what Rolls-Royce is doing to decarbonise aerospace (engine design, SAF, hybrid, etc.) and what the future might look like.

November 9

Tempest – New Technologies, New Partnerships

Steve Hopkins, Head of Operational Capability, Future Combat Air Systems, BAE Systems

The Tempest pogramme will ensure that the UK remains a world leader in the combat air sector. The lecture will cover the challenges and achievements of the programme since its 2018 launch which set out a vision of exploring new technological solutions together with a different approach to forming international partnerships..

May 3

Engine Power - Where will it come from in the Future?

Conrad Banks, Chief Engineer - Defence Future Programmes, Roll-Royce plc

For over six decades the gas turbine has dominated aircraft propulsion, delivering unrivalled levels of power density.  But what about the future?  Is the gas turbine nearing the end of its evolutionary journey and are there any game changing technologies set to emerge in aircraft power and propulsion?  This presentation will explore both of these questions, with particular focus on the transformational technologies and capabilities offered by more electric and hybrid solutions.

June 14   (6.30 pm:  J104, Edward Herbert Building)

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Joint Event with the University

Department of Aero & Auto Engineering

Loughborough University MEng Final Year Aircraft Design Projects - short lecture series

This is an annual event in which a series of mini-lectures from groups of final year MEng students will describe the results obtained from their projects.

Page last updated 30 June 2022

January 18

Miles M52

Mike Hirst, RAeS Loughborough Branch Committee Member

The M52 was a 1940s British design for a supersonic research aircraft capable of at least 1000 mph. After 3 years of highly secret work, the project was cancelled for reasons that were never entirely clear.  This lecture, which is based on material inherited from leading members of the M52 team and some recently released from the National Archive, looks at the technical and political issues. .

March 15

Air Accident Investigation Branch

Peter Coombs, ex AAIB Inspector

The speaker will describe how the process of accident and incident investigation is carried out following both ‘domestic’ and International events.  This will be followed by brief descriptions of some interesting past investigations in which the speaker has participated over some 47 years with AAIB.


October 12 Joint Lecture with the IMechE  

Previewing the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

John Thatcher, Project Manager, Mid-Infrared Instrument, Retd.

The JWST will make infrared observations to study the origin and evolution of galaxies, stars and planetary systems. It is a massive international project, decades in the making involving NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

December 7

Practical Zero Emission Aviation

Julian Renz, ZeroAvia

ZeroAvia’s HyFlyer project demonstrates alternative decarbonised powertrain technology replacing conventional piston engines in propeller aircraft. Power is supplied by electric motors, hydrogen fuel cells and gas storage.

February 22     

Electric Flight

Dr Guy Gratton, Aerospace Integration Research Centre, Cranfield University

Electric flight is increasingly seen as a necessary next step in aviation, but despite the announcement of hundreds of projects, it remains very much in its infancy.  Dr Gratton will describe the technical hopes and challenges, and the few projects he thinks are going to succeed.  By the time of the lecture, he hopes to have test flown several electric aircraft himself, and will also be describing the challenges behind operating electric aircraft from personal experience.

Joint Lecture with the IMechE

... introduction to service. Also covered will be aspects of training, current operations, and the development of RAF Lossiemouth as it prepares to receive the P-8A’s new stable-mate, the E-7 Wedgetail.



  Although all lectures are now presented live at our usual venue it is presently planned to make them all   available online simultaneously via Microsft Teams: use the Join button to access.

( Click here▼ for instructions on how to use the MIcrosoft Teams facility.)











February 8

The RAF P-8A Poseidon Force

Gp Capt Jim Beldon, ISTAR Deputy Force Commander

Exploring the evolution of the RAF’s P-8A Poseidon force and examining the procurement, engineering and operational aspects of its ....  


May 10     (ONLINE via TEAMS ONLY at 7.30pm)

Branch Annual General Meeting

All are welcome to attend but only RAeS and Branch members are entitled to vote.