The Aerotech Campus in Pomigliano d'Arco, Campania, is the first of the Leonardo Labs to have been established, with its focus on developing and innovating the materials and production processes of aerostructures. As an investment in the future, it aims to accelerate the process from academic research into industrial solutions.
However, with the Covid-19 emergency, the Aerotech Campus has had to rethink its training course aimed at a class of 30 young people, who were chosen in collaboration with the Federico II University of Naples.
“This is an innovative experience for the University too,” explains Antonio Moccia, Professor of Aerospace Systems, and the University's Aerotech Academy coordinator. “With every self-referencing aside, there was a close debate with Leonardo for the definition of a training course that, among other things, is evolving day after day, in lessons, in exercises, in the use of innovative software, in the definition of project works.”
The 30 students were selected to form a real academy of aerospace engineering, starting their course on 2 March, with 6 months of classroom work and 3 months of project work scheduled. Immediately after the course began, the Coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing the Campus to take a quick and effective shift towards virtual teaching, with classes divided according to students’ knowledge.
The distance learning was an immediate success and has proved to be effective for students millennials and digital natives alike. Additionally, by encouraging strong interactivity through distance learning, it has been possible to replicate some of the benefits of physical interaction, with groups constantly learning and working collaboratively.
“Our relationship with Leonardo is around partnership based on excellence,” adds Professor Moccia. “This has also been the case for the students, because, despite the benefit and intervention of technology, human resources are still the most important assets.”
The experience of distance learning is proving successful all parties, by enhancing the mission of the Aerotech Campus and the philosophy of the Leonardo Labs network with the development of advanced proprietary technological solutions. “You can do it by focusing on excellent people,” concludes Professor Moccia, “and here at the Academy, we have hit the mark.”