Invited Speakers


 Dr Sergey L. Chernyshev

Dr Chernyshev is General Director of Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute named after Professor N.E. Zhukovsky (TsAGI), PhD, professor, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

He graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics & Technology (PhysTech) with honors and received his M.S. Degree (1978) in aeronautical engineering, focusing on aircraft aerodynamics & multidisciplinary design. He received the PhD at Moscow PhysTech (1981) and Senior Doctorate Degree (Physics & Mathematics) at TsAGI (2005).

Dr Chernyshev is an expert in aircraft aerodynamics, sonic boom, CFD, as well as aircraft concept design & integration. He has been working at TsAGI for over 30 years at different research and management positions, recently as Executive Director of TsAGI, and, since 2015, as General Director of TsAGI. He is a professor at the Moscow Institute of Physics & Technology and Chairman of its Flight Physics Department.

Dr Chernyshev is an Associate Fellow of AIAA and also Member of AIAA International Affairs Committee (since 1998), Member of the ICAS Council (since 1999). In the mid-90s he worked in the United States as a Director of the TsAGI field office and contributed to expanding technical cooperation between Russian and US, along with other Western countries. He was personally behind the 1990s US-Russia Engineering Student & Scholars exchange program and many other initiatives aimed at expanding TsAGI’s international cooperation in aeronautics worldwide. Dr Chernyshev also received several National awards from the Russian Government and international awards among which is the “Aviation Week & Space Technology Laurels Award” for significant contributions to Global Aerospace 2000 (2001), the French National Order of Merit (2012),  ICAS – Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Award (2014).

Dr Chernyshev will deliver a keynote address, Future of Aeronautics: Existing Challenges 

Jay Dryer

Mr. Dryer is responsible for the overall planning, management and evaluation of the directorate’s efforts to develop tools, technologies, and concepts that enable new generations of civil aircraft that are safer, more energy efficient, and that have a smaller environmental footprint. The program works to achieve major leaps in the performance of subsonic fixed and rotary wing aircraft to meet growing long-term civil aviation needs, in the concept of low-boom supersonic flight, and in sustaining hypersonic competency for national needs.

He also supports the ARMD associate administrator in a broad range of mission directorate activities, including strategic and program planning; budget development; program review and evaluation; and external coordination.

Previously, Dryer was director of the Fundamental Aeronautics Program Office. He was also senior technical advisor for ARMD, which involved oversight of all ARMD programs and projects in terms of architecture, requirements and budgets, technical reviews and research activities. Dryer also managed the directorate’s extensive NASA Research Announcement process.

Mr Dryer will deliver a keynote address, Opportunities in Commercial Supersonic Flight

 Dr Thomas Jones

Prof Thomas Jones is the CEO of S-PLANE Automation and an Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University. Before he joined S-PLANE in a permanent capacity he served as Professor and Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University.

After receiving his BEng and MScEng degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Stellenbosch University, he started his career as a joint appointment at Stellenbosch University and the CSIR. He then relocated to the USA to manage the Charles Stark Draper & MIT Technology Development Partnership Programme whilst completing his PhD at MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.  He has more than 20 years’ designing and building innovative practical solutions to control challenges on aircraft and missiles of various sizes, types and configurations. 

As professor at Stellenbosch University, he lead a team of 30 graduate students and academic staff specialising in aircraft and unmanned system automation research. He has helped to forge strong collaborative partnerships between academia and various international partners, including Airbus, the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Armscor, Denel, the CSIR and the National Aerospace Centre.

 In 2008 he co-founded S-Plane Automation, now employing 35 engineers and specialising in the development of high-end aircraft avionics and automation sub-systems.

 Prof. Jones is inter alia a member of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) Technical Committee on Aerospace, IFAC’s Industry Committee and an Associate-Editor of IFAC’s Control Engineering Practice journal.

 Dr Jones will deliver the Alan Nurick Rotorcraft Lecture.

Michel Peters

Since 2010, Michel Peters has been the General Director of the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), a leading centre for aerospace research with a global reach. Michel is responsible for NLR’s strategy and applied research agenda. In partnership with industry and government, NLR focuses on activities including the safe and secure integration of drones in civil airspace, the protection of aircraft and helicopters during international peacekeeping missions, and the development of small‐scale, affordable satellite systems.

Peters attaches great importance to collaboration, as evidenced by his other positions. He is Chairman of the Association of European Space Research Establishments (ESRE), Chairman of the International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR), a member of the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE), Chairman of the Board of German‐Dutch Wind Tunnels (DNW), and a member of the Netherlands Aerospace Council.

Mr Peters will deliver a keynote address at the Avi Afrique Africa Innovation Summit.


Dr Jaiwon Shin 

 Dr Jaiwon Shin is the NASA Associate Administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. In this position, he manages the agency's aeronautics research portfolio and guides its strategic direction. This portfolio includes research in the fundamental aeronautics of flight, aviation safety and the nation's airspace system.

Shin co-chairs the National Science & Technology Council's Aeronautics Science & Technology Subcommittee. Comprising federal departments and agencies, which fund aeronautics-related research, the subcommittee wrote the nation's first presidential policy for aeronautics research and development (R&D). The policy was established by Executive Order 13419 in December 2006 and will guide U.S. aeronautics R&D programmes until 2020. The subcommittee finished writing the National Aeronautics R&D Plan in December 2007 and is currently writing the Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) Infrastructure Plan, both of which were called for by the Executive Order.

Between May 2004 and January 2008, Shin served as deputy associate administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate where he was instrumental in restructuring NASA's aeronautics programme to focus on fundamental research and better align with the nation's Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

Dr Shin will deliver a keynote address, Future Trends in Aeronautics R&D.


Prof. Joachim Szodruch

Joachim Szodruch graduated from the Technical University Berlin in 1971 followed by a post-graduate study at Cambridge University, UK. He obtained his PhD from the Technical University Berlin from where in 2003 he also received an Honorary Professorship. For two years he worked at NASA Ames Research Centre. In 1981 he joined MBB Civil Transport Division in Bremen and followed various positions in Hamburg and Toulouse where he eventually was appointed Vice President Future Projects and Technology.

Between 2002 and 2010 he was a Member of the Executive Board of DLR (German Aerospace Centre) in Cologne, specifically responsible for Aeronautics and Energy. Presently he is the Chairman of the Board of Hamburg Aviation and Founder of IFAR (International Forum of Aviation Research).

He served over the years in many national, European and international functions in industrial, scientific and advisory committees, specifically also as Co-Chairman of ACARE, Chairman of EREA as well as President of DGLR and CEAS.He is an Honorary Member of the DGLR, an Associate Fellow of AIAA and received the ICAS von Karman Award, the ICAS Maurice Roy Award and the CEAS Gold Medal.

Prof. Szodruch will deliver a keynote address, The power of networking

Kevin Ward

Kevin Ward has over 32 years’ experience in the design, development, commissioning and certification of Safety Critical Systems. From 1985 he spent 11 years with GEC Marconi, on systems as diverse as the Tornado GR4, the Euro fighter and Boeing 777 flight control systems, as well as air data systems for every aircraft in the USAF inventory, including Air Force One.

In 1996 he joined Denel whence he worked on development and certification of the Rooivalk and the Oryx helicopter programmes. Since 2012 he has been certifying the Seeker 400 UAS programme with Denel Dynamics.

Ward also currently certifies explosives equipment for the mining industry, and performs numerous consultancies and safety analyses for the defence industry.

Over the years, Ward has helped draft certification standards, including those of DEF STAN; MIL-STDs; RTCA and the latest SACAA Part 101 Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Regulations.

Mr Ward will deliver a keynote address, Why having completed a UAS certification programme raises more questions than answers.


Donald P Schenk 



Mr. Schenk currently devotes most of his time to charitable activities. He serves on the Finance Committee of BRI. In addition, he is on the Board of Directors of the Bainbridge Community Foundation and serves on its Engagement and Finance Committees. He is on the Board and serves as Treasurer of the Kossoye Development Project, a foundation dedicated to improving the health of people living in the Northwest Ethiopia by promoting the growth of vegetables as part of the region’s public health program. Mr. Schenk is the founder and Vice Chairman of Wonders of Aviation – South Africa, a not for profit that is dedicated to helping that country’s aviation industry use the magic of flight to inspire teenagers and engender a lifelong love of learning. 

Mr. Schenk spent forty years in New York where he founded ACA Associates after eighteen years at Bankers Trust Company where he was a Managing Director in the Corporate Finance Department. At ACA he developed a practice advising aerospace companies, evaluating new business initiatives, and providing diligence reports for the financial community.  As a consultant, Mr. Schenk has provided financial and strategic advice to a broad group of U.S. and foreign airlines and aerospace companies.

Over the past few years, he has focused on the aviation industry and environmental sustainability.  For example, he has worked with the FAA on several projects, including helping to leverage the expertise of the Commercial Alternative Aviation Fuel Initiative (CAAFI). He is a past member of the USDA's Farm to Fly task force and the World Economic Forum's alternative aviation fuel working group and the Eastern U.S. and Canada Climate Change task force.  Mr. Schenk has also worked with the Inter-American Development Bank, providing reports relating to aviation.  Mr. Schenk's involvement in these activities requires that he work with agricultural interests in Brazil, Canada and the U.S., state and local economic development agencies, and Federal agencies such as the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, and the FAA.