There were two conferences at the Festival: one for children, courtesy of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Prestwick, and another for adults.

Cool Aeronautics

Aviator Suite, Prestwick Airport
3 September 2013

This conference for primary schoolchildren was hosted by the Royal Aeronautical Society Prestwick in the Aviator Suite at Prestwick Airport. It is a Royal Aeronautical Society key stage 2 outreach event which focuses on promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to young people, and this was the first time it had been held in Scotland. Conferences.

90 pupils from five local primary schools – Troon, Glenburn, St Ninian's, Heathfield and Alloway – heard talks from local speakers. Dr Mike West from BAE Systems Regional Aircraft spoke on the subject of aeronautical engineering, Gordon McVie from the Scottish Space School talked about space exploration, and David Lacey covered his life in air traffic control as well as owning and flying his Piper Cub.  Three school students from the Scottish Space School were also present to talk to the pupils. 

Following the talks four students from Strathclyde University's SEDS Team ran two workshops where they gave examples of their work in space exploration. They had also brought a satellite that they had built to place a self-inflating structure in orbit around the earth.  A workshop on aerodynamics resulted in a popular paper aeroplane competition. 

The event was organised and funded by the Royal Aeronautical Society Prestwick. 

Cool_Aeronautics delegates with speakers

Festival Conference

National Air Traffic Services, Prestwick
5 September 2013

The conference on the future of the aerospace industry was held at National Air Traffic Services, Prestwick, who undertook to provide a sandwich lunch for delegates, conference facilities, and a tour of their magnificent new building. It was sponsored by Spirit Aerosystems.

The keynote speaker was Michael Moore MP, at that time Secretary of State for Scotland. Delegates were welcomed by Provost Helen Moonie, and in the first session, speakers Murdo Morrison (Editor of Flight International, the world’s oldest aerospace weekly), Professor Richard Brown (Director for Future Air-Space Transportation Technology, University of Strathclyde), Stuart Millar (Chairman, Aeronautical Engineering Forum, Ayrshire College) and Alastair Muir (Operations Director, National Air Traffic Services), gave an overview of the industry.

In Session 2 Michael Moore MP, Fergus Ewing MSP (Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism) and Gavin Campbell (Director of Design Engineering and Technology Development, Bombadier Aerospace) considered a strategy for the future of industry, and in Session 3 Scott McLarty (Vice-President, UK Operations, Spirit Aerosystems), Alan Fraser (Managing Director, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft) and Jim Houston (General Manager, Woodward Aircraft Engine Systems) gave the industry view.

The conference was organised by Scotsman Conferences, who were responsible for publicity, sponsorship, arrangements on the day and an excellent post-conference report. But the Curators, both of whom have worked extensively in the field of politics, had considerable input into the programme, suggesting Michael Moore MP when Vince Cable MP pulled out – his assistant thought the conference could as well take place in Glasgow – pulling in Bombadier so that there was a Northern Ireland connection, advising on sponsorship and making available to Scotsman Conferences their database of industry and local media contacts.

Michael Moore at conference
 Michael Moore MP