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Building the Future of Aerospace and Enabling the Future of Mobility: Boeing and SAE share approaches to what’s next at AeroTech

Posted: March 16, 2022

Boeing's Dr. Naveed Hussain kicked off SAE International’s AeroTech for 2022 with a focus on the future of aviation—and those who keep the industry moving.

“It’s a very dynamic time in the industry, a time when we have to ask ourselves, ‘What is an aerospace engineer?’” Dr. Hussain said.

To help answer that question, Dr. Hussain identified areas of change in aerospace that Boeing is focusing on, including healthy travel, artificial intelligence and autonomy, digitization, advanced materials and manufacturing, cyber security and quantum technologies, environment and sustainability, electrification, and increased access to space.

These areas of focus may sound familiar to members of SAE International, as many overlap with the organization’s Elite 10 technologies that focus on a shift in industry, and themes that came up during SAE International Senior Director of Standards David Alexander’s follow-up presentation titled “Enabling the Future of Mobility.”

“Enabling was very deliberately chosen, as we are being proactive to help industry achieve its goals,” Alexander said. “We’re the convenor—that’s the reason people come to us, for a neutral forum to exchange ideas.”

That exchange is critical, according to Dr. Hussain. In highlighting ways to optimize aviation performance and continue to improve the carbon footprint of aviation, innovations in sustainability and fuel technology among other areas are critical, and it’s a change that one organization cannot take on alone.

“There’s a theme in all these common areas—and that is collaboration and partnership,” Dr. Hussain said. “We can’t work in a silo.”

That’s as true for environmental and electrification concerns as it is for artificial intelligence and augmented reality, which Dr. Hussain referred to as “absolutely the future of Boeing”—and it stands to reason, mobility as a whole.

With this in mind, SAE’s mission of cross-sector collaboration becomes all the more valuable, and Alexander sees SAE’s work to bring aviation, ground vehicle, and commercial vehicle engineers together as the logical progression for the future.