Challenges on the Horizon - A Look at the Future of Aerospace


This panel discussion looks at how predictions and insights from Protolabs' Horizon Shift report released in 2020 have resonated in the industry.

In the panel we discuss:

  • How aerospace companies are continuing to diversify their products and industry areas to maintain their competitive advantage.
  • How far companies have differentiated their businesses by increasing their environmental capability, with a focus on innovation in structures, composite materials, and alloys.
  • How technologies like additive manufacturing being used in the industry to enhance product development and speed to market.
  • The Horizon Shift report highlights agreement in the rise of autonomous aircraft and on-demand flights for commercial aerospace and that in a few years’ time commercial electric short-haul flights will be available – two years on how much closer are we to these being a reality?




Tasos Pantelis

Tasos Pantelis, European Project Engineer - Additive Manufacturing, Protolabs

Highly qualified in Design and Mechanical Engineering, over the past 6 years Tasos has been an integral part of the team at Protolabs.

His journey started as an Application Engineer, a team key to internal and external stakeholders offering high level technical support and advisories when clients are searching for design and manufacturing solutions. During this time, Tasos became a Protolabs Additive Manufacturing Champion, making him a go-to representative for process and capability advice.

This year, Tasos joined the Protolabs Centre of Excellence in Putzbrunn as European Project Engineer. With a focus on evolving Protolabs’ Additive Manufacturing capabilities and support for clients, Tasos continues to develop his knowledge and understanding.

Regularly featuring in trade articles, presentations, papers and industry specific panel discussions, Tasos has a strong portfolio and holds a strong position as an influencer in the Additive Manufacturing arena.

Helen Lockett

Dr Helen Lockett CEng MRAeS, Senior Lecturer, Open University

Dr Helen Lockett is as Senior Lecturer in Engineering and Director of the OpenSTEM Labs at the Open University. Helen is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a STEM Ambassador who has worked with local schools and businesses to encourage young people to consider careers in Engineering. She has shared her expertise in a TEDx talk and been interviewed on BBC World News.

Helen has more than 20 years research experience in design for manufacture and CAD/CAM/CAE. She has a particular interest in designing for additive manufacture, and has worked closely with the Aerospace industry on design for additive manufacture of high value aircraft parts using direct energy deposition (WAAM). Helen has participated in many Innovate UK, EPSRC and EU Framework projects and also undertaken industry funded research projects with a range of Aerospace companies. She has also contributed to writing of ASTM and ISO design guidelines for additive manufacturing.

Colin Sirett

Colin Sirett FRAeS, Director, CDS Partnership Limited


Colin is a director of the consultancy company, CDS Partnership Limited, specialising in providing services for strategy and business development, inward investment, programme management, technology portfolio development and change management. He is also a Non-Executive Director of MSC Consulting Services Limited.

Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield, UK, and a Director of Casting Technology International. He joined the AMRC from Airbus in February 2016 where held the position of Research & Technology National Representative for Airbus in the UK. Prior to this, his position was that of Head of Landing Gear PDT (Product Delivery Team) on the A350XWB Programme.

Having moved from the automotive industry into aerospace by joining Messier-Dowty Landing Gear in 1997, Colin worked on a number of programmes from the Boeing X32 JSF, through A3XX and 787. His focus latterly was leading the development of the enabling technologies and manufacturing systems for landing gear systems.

He holds an Honours Degree from the University of Aston in Birmingham, Production Technology and Management, a MBA from the University of Bath, he is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and is Deputy Chair of the Learned Society Board. In addition to his industry commitments, he acts as a business advisor to the PROMPT Maternity Foundation that researches the technologies and techniques for safer childbirth and is a Board Member of Scarborough UTC.