Management Engineering Sustainability
Air transport sustainability: a PhD in collaboration between easyJet and the School of Management
Diego Babuder, easyJet pilot, will undertake the four-year Executive Research Path of the PhD Programme in Management Engineering
This year the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano, in collaboration with easyJet, is launching an Executive PhD in Management Engineering focusing on sustainability in the airline industry. The course focuses on the challenges and opportunities that digital innovation can have in this area, with a particular focus on how airlines can contribute to the de-carbonisation of the sector and reduce the effects of climate change.
Environmental sustainability is a cornerstone of easyJet’s development strategy and in 2019 it decided to offset emissions from the fuel used on all its flights to meet the global challenges of climate change. “Investing now in the research and development of revolutionary technologies such as hybrid, electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft is the best way to effectively address the global challenges posed by climate change for this sector. This is a historic moment for commercial aviation and we intend to play a leading role in the transition towards solutions capable of significantly reducing the impact of aviation on the environment” – explains Lorenzo Lagorio, easyJet Italy country manager.
“The transition to more sustainable and circular industrial systems is an unstoppable process and for commercial aviation it represents both a challenge and a great opportunity. This is not just about technological innovation, but an overall transformation of business models with systemic impacts at sector level that will lead to the emergence of new supply chains – comments Paolo Trucco, Professor of Industrial Systems at the School of Management and head of the research project with easyJet – It is a source of pride and great stimulus for us to be able to study and address these phenomena through a research and training partnership with a leading company in the sector such as easyJet. It is also significant that this collaboration is centred around the doctoral studies of one of their pilots; a demonstration of how the development of human capital underpins the ability of organisations to transform themselves and take advantage of all the technological and operational opportunities to make their business more sustainable”.
Diego Babuder, easyJet pilot for over 7 years, now a new PhD student at the Politecnico, has a degree in air transport management from the UK and has collaborated with the Politecnico di Milano on the lessons of the first level master’s degree in “Fundamentals of the air transport system”. “I am convinced that air transport can play a leading role in combating climate change and set an example for many other industries. There is a lot of enthusiasm for the various research areas that are currently underway, starting with the development of hybrid and electric aircraft and the production of sustainable fuels.”