In this exigent and rewarding position, I had the chance to lead the Safety Department of a fast growing freighter airline and maintenance organization. In those years, we designed and implemented a hands-on Safety Management System, including Flight Data Monitoring and Emergency Response Plan, to effectively manage specific risks linked to express delivery and night operations.
As a cargo airline, we were facing the hazard of transporting large quantities of Lithium batteries. In very remote cases, such batteries may release large quantities of heat due to internal chemical processes, especially when not properly packed, handled or when their quality is poor. To keep the risk at an acceptable level, we monitored the implementation of several defenses over the years.
In another mission, I created an integrated Safety & Quality implementation plan for a business airline operating business propeller aircraft, jets and helicopters. This was an opportunity to see how a system, which had been designed for large airlines could be applied at a smaller scale.
While managing a profit center for aviation quality and safety training, I led the development and delivery of early Safety Management System training in aviation with a strong focus on practical applications and return on investment
This enabled our customers to add a risk-based approach on top of regulatory compliance, hence striving to avoid costly failures. I also transferred the lessons learned from airlines to other organizations, such as air traffic controllers.
IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is a prerequisite for airlines to become an IATA member. It is now days recognized as the ultimate quality standard for management systems in aviation.
As an auditor, I had a deep look into safety and quality systems of many airlines worldwide, giving a great opportunity for benchmarking best practices. It is also a great place to observe gaps between written requirements and actual operations.
Though the successive design stages of the Airbus A400M, I was dealing with the system design built teams in order to validate the integration of aircraft systems into a Space Allocation Model. Purpose was to ensure that components would fit in the aircraft structure, while taking all particular risks into consideration (e.g. avoiding to place an oxygen tank close to a potential source of heat and so on…).
The output was a 3-Dimensional Digital Mock-Up used by the construction teams in their respective countries (e.g. center fuselage, wings etc.). During this amazing project, I worked with Requirement Based Engineering and 3D modeling software tools.
System layout integration for aircraft of the long-term future was another fascinating project I was involved in.
At the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), I developed and delivered a course for PhD students on image analysis coupled electron microscopy for applications in materials engineering. A purpose of this was the recognition of patterns in microstructures, such as micro-cracks, particles, crystals etc. This was an excellent opportunity to practice scientific cooperation in an intercultural environment.
During my Ph.D. work at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), I examined the surface of parts, which were subject to repetitive over-loads (mechanical fatigue). At a microscopic scale, the surface may look like a landscape with hills and valleys. As the material is over-loaded, the landscape is changing, as some valleys will become micro-cracks, which may eventually grow and ultimately lead to fracture. I developed algorithms for materials testing using microscopy and image analysis to predict failure conditions.
In my diploma work, I compared surfaces of metals at a microscopic scale with fractals models and found a correlation between the roughness of the surface and its fractal dimension. This was allowing an alternative and more accurate description of the surface for testing and/or specification purposes.
Similarity laws are used in Microengineering to optimize the design of components in the miniaturization process. For example, if you reduce the length of a part by two, you are likely to reduce its weight by eight.
During hands-on training at ASEA near Stockholm (today ABB), I performed structural analysis using the Finite Element Method methodology. This contributed to determine the arm stiffness of industrial robots used in the automobile industry.
Our perception is like a map of the reality. It is influenced by our individual values and will have an effect on our reactions. In this intensive training, I learned how to be aware of different individual reactions, giving them a meaning to improve interpersonal communication.
In parallel to my activity as Safety Manager, I was fortunate enough to fly the Airbus as a Captain, giving me a unique opportunity to look at the risk from the organizational level and from the sharp end, in direct contact with the environment.
In this wonderful job, I flew passengers and cargo aircraft, in day and night operations. I was responsible for bringing them safely, punctually and comfortably at their destination, while managing operational risks, caring about the environment, economical factors and company interests.
As Flight Operations Manager of a start-up airline, I was in charge of all flight operational aspects from pilot recruiting to route planning, regulations, issue of operational documentation etc. I was dealing with the Austrian Civil Aviation Authorities to obtain the so-called Airline Operator Certificate (AOC).
In the very rewarding job of Flight Instructor, I guided flight crews in achieving their type rating on the SAAB 2000. I had the great pleasure to work with airlines of more than 10 different nationalities, which all shared a common goal: safe flying. As an examiner on behalf of the German Civil Aviation Authority, I carried the responsibility to release crews for line flying on a “real” aircraft.
In a fast growing airline environment, I was called to improve the business effectiveness through streamlined processes in Flight Operations & Sales. This was a great chance for me to start a project from the scratch.
The process design addressed various fields of operation in the whole Company in a consistent way: human resources planning, selection, career management and training), coaching, counseling, flight performance evaluation, chartering flights, leasing of aircraft, safety, security and incident processing. The processes were part of a quality & safety system, which laid the foundation for a significant increase in business volume and enabled the transition to the more recent European (JAR-OPS).
Apart from this, I had the privilege to define flight deck equipment requirements for the airline as launch customer. The requirements were used in the design of the EMBRAER 170 cockpit.
We investigated the effects of quick breaks, power naps and relaxation to offer turnkey solutions to companies for reducing the stress level of their employees, hence increasing the productivity by reducing mistakes. We presented a product using the beat of music (so called meta-music) in a quiet and comfortable environment. During the Airport Passenger Fair in Hamburg (2002 & 2003), we measured a significant reduction of stress levels in less than 10 minutes for all test persons. They commented their experiences as being fresh like after a nap.
Relational data base optimization for production, storage and distribution of electrical energy.
Programming of a post processor for a 5-axis robot: Post processor is a kind of translator between the user and the robot language