In recognition of Earth Day, Vaughn College is celebrating with some exciting news where sustainability in the aviation and engineering industries is concerned. Learn how these industries that employ engineers, technicians and managers are taking important strides toward becoming more environmentally friendly and sustainable, thanks to a variety of innovative technologies that are already beginning to revolutionize the way we fly.
One of the biggest and most promising developments is the move towards sustainable aviation fuel (or SAF). So, what is SAF? SAF is a biofuel that’s produced from sustainable feedstocks that has similar properties as traditional fossil jet fuel—but with a smaller carbon footprint. American Airlines was the first airline to use SAF in its regular operations. Since then, other airlines have begun experimenting with these biofuels in their commercial flights. (American Airlines, it should be noted, is hoping to reach its goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2050.)
The commitment for net-zero GHG emissions is also being seen at NASA and at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Bolstering this commitment, the U.S. Department of Energy is working with federal agencies—which include the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Transportation—to making aviation cleaner, quieter and more sustainable by 2050.
The reality of electric planes may be closer than you think, as the technology behind these futuristic aircraft is rapidly evolving. As you would surmise, electric planes run on electricity instead of jet fuel—which significantly reduces their emissions and lowers the industry’s environmental impact. This promising development could be a real gamechanger. Although electric planes are not capable of keeping up with traditional planes when it comes to distance and speed, they could be a viable option for many commercial flights in the future.
On the other hand, electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and advancements in urban air mobility may not only be a high-flying reality but an employment booster as well, since it has the potential to create new job opportunities. The need for skilled engineers, designers and maintenance technicians are only a few of the jobs that are necessary for the development and manufacture of eVTOL vehicles. And when it comes to flying these amazing aircraft, the need for pilots will increase even more. Additionally, eVTOL vehicles will require maintenance and repair opening doors for a range of career opportunities that can potentially stimulate economic growth in many communities.
Thanks to advanced technology such as data analysis, artificial intelligence and blockchain solutions, airplanes now run far more efficiently and safely. These latest innovations are not only helping to reduce energy consumption, emissions and waste, but they are saving airlines money, improving reliability and boosting passenger satisfaction.
Beyond the aviation industry, wind and solar power are also creating new opportunities for engineers and those holding airframe and powerplant certificates. Many engineers are working to develop and improve wind turbines and solar panels. These technologies not only help provide clean energy for homes and businesses, but they also create new jobs for people looking to build, design and maintain the structures. See how Samia Oishi ’21 is using her mechatronic engineering degree from Vaughn to drive energy equity and create a more sustainable future.
How a Vaughn degree can lead to a futureproof—and sustainable—career
Earning a Vaughn degree can meet today’s industry needs where they are. Innovations in SAF, electric planes and technology are helping to reduce the environmental impact while creating new opportunities for engineers and professionals in related fields.
Are you looking for a futureproof career that can make an environmental difference? Vaughn offers degrees in engineering and technology, management and aviation. Discover the possibilities of a Vaughn College degree. Apply today!