GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS Dear reader,
eye for detail while creating this issue.
I would like to start this Leonardo Times’ preface with the momentous discovery of gravitational waves by the thousands of scientists of the LIGO project. For the first time ever, mankind was able to sense the motion of the universe in its most fundamental way. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king and this brings us a step closer to answering the most essential questions as first postulated by the great Greek philosophers. The project is also a perfect illustration of how research and engineering can cooperate to achieve great milestones. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory is the most accurate instrument ever created by man and the extent of its precision is mind-blowing. These measurements are like assessing the water level rise due to a single drop of rain in the Ijsselmeer, or measuring the distance from the Earth to the Moon with the precision of a human hair, and thus powerful enough to measure the effect of a collision between two black holes over 1.3 billion light-years away with two four-kilometer long pipes.
The VSV ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ organizes a lot of activities throughout the year, however one of the largest managerial tasks lies in the organization of our annual Symposium. Each year, we oscillate between an aviation and a space symposium, and for this year we have chosen the exciting topic of ‘New Space: Launching Entrepreneurship’. By the time that you read this preface, we can look back on keynotes from, amongst others, Harry van Hulten (test pilot for XCOR), Arnaud de Jong (CEO of Airbus DS The Netherlands) and Franco Ongaro (General Director of ESA ESTEC). I am convinced that we will look back upon a Symposium that was able to draw conclusions on the ways that the space industry is changing. Johann-Diettrich Wörner (General Director of ESA) dubbed this movement Space 4.0 during his keynote at our faculty in January, and is a motion that has many components. On one side, it is a farewell to the classic approach of thinking of concepts (composing music) and then creating products (playing the music). Status quo prefers what can be seen as a jazz ensemble: a continuous creative process of concept and production through dialogue. On the other hand, some elements of space have become more and more interesting to commercial parties. The results of, for example, Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, are followed with great interest. All these developments make
Back to reality. In your hands you hold the April edition of the Leonardo Times, and this edition is once again filled with the latest novelties in aviation and space, as well as the latest developments of our society. I would like to congratulate and thank the Leonardo Times editorial staff for their enthusiasm and
these exciting times to live in and, for our students, wonderful opportunities to start their careers. Naturally, we also have a lot of students who will be starting their careers in aviation. For them, the VSV ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ organizes some great events too. On the 7th of January, all students had the opportunity to meet KLM CEO Pieter Elbers in a very relaxed and open atmosphere at our faculty, who answered questions on what it is like to run an airline. Last thing that I would like to share with you is that we have organized a very special activity in May, one we were not able to have last year due to the hazardous weather conditions at Texel International Airport, which is the Flying Weekend. During this weekend, students can go back to the essence of aviation: flying. The ability for students to experience flight has always been a significant element of the faculty of Aerospace Engineering. This also endorses the principles of our namesake, who said: For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the Earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return. With winged regards, Matys Voorn President of the 71st board of the VSV ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ LEONARDO TIMES N°2 2016