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 Aeronautical Society of South Africa (AeSSA) News 

AeSSA hosts 2017 annual conference in partnership with the AISI @ CSIR
CSIR news. 25-26 October 2017

The Aerospace Industry Support Initiative (AISI), an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry, hosted and managed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has teamed up with the Aeronautical Society of South Africa (AeSSA) to host the society’s 2017 annual conference. The event, which takes place at the CSIR International Convention Centre on 25 and 26 October 2017, has as its theme: Today’s research and technology for tomorrow’s aerospace

Marié Botha, Manager of the AISI, says, “The objectives of the AeSSA’s annual conference – to maximise industry and postgraduate student participation – is a good fit with the AISI’s mission. Our partnership therefore makes sound strategic sense.”

The annual conference brings together the full spectrum of aerospace engineers, academics, researchers, students and industry leaders in South Africa and their international counterparts. It provides a forum dedicated to the exchange of ideas and discussions of recent advances in aerospace engineering and related technologies from a scientific as well as an industrial applications point of view.           

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Don Schenk presents the John Weston Lecture
WOA news. 25-26 October 2017


Above: Don (right) giving his John Weston Lecture and sharing the Wonders of Aviation story. Photo: WOA.

WOA's founder, Don Schenk, was invited to present the John Weston Lecture at this year's AeSSA annual conference.

John Weston was a South African aeronautical engineer, pioneering aviator, farmer and soldier. In 1911, Weston founded the Aeronautical Society of South Africa. The Society hosts a bi-annual memorial lecture in his honour. Weston also established the John Weston Aviation Company to raise funds for the establishment of a flying school with a permanent aerodrome. The company's wealthy sponsors funded flying demonstrations in South Africa and Mozambique.

Don's lecture was titled: People, Knowledge & Innovation. He introduced and discussed the progress that Wonders of Aviation has made over the past few years. This was a wonderful platform for Wonders of Aviation, and he has been invited to be more involved at the 2018 annual conference which will be held in Cape Town.

Download Don Schenk's complete John Weston Lecture presentation.

WOA wins the 2017 John Weston Award
WOA news. 25-26 October 2017

Don Schenk, on behald of Wonders of Aviation, was presented with the 2017 John Weston Award by AeSSA in recognition of the work the NGO is doing to develop human capital and support previously disadvantaged youth in the South African aviation industry.

Donald P. Schenk biography

Donald P. Schenk is the President and CEO of ACA Associates (New York) that provides the aviation, aerospace and alternative energy industries with consulting and advisory services. Don 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. Don 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.

Don 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, Don has provided financial and strategic advice to a broad group of US 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 Federal Aviation Administration (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, the World Economic Forum's alternative aviation fuel working group and the Eastern US and Canada Climate Change task force. Don has also worked with the Inter-American Development Bank, providing reports relating to aviation. His involvement in these activities requires that he work with agricultural interests in Brazil, Canada and the US, state and local economic development agencies, and Federal agencies such as the Departments of Energy, Agriculture, Defense, and the FAA.

Above: Don Schenk was a panelist (above centre and right) at the Young Professionals Networking Event Defining the African Aerospace Tipping Point, held on 24 october 2017 at the AeSSA annual conference. He networked with the Comair Limited team (above left), and shared his insights and experience in the aviation industry with the enthusiastic young aviation professionals. Photos: WOA.