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Preparing the future aerospace business engineers to the challenging international operations, the Beihang University (Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronomic) and ESCP Europe Business School created over the last couple years an exchange program in which more than 80 students from both Universities collaborate on current topics.


What is more challenging as the Post COVID-19 world of aerospace.  A world that stopped from one moment to another for commercial travels.  Freight airplanes had to operate and the industry had to adopt to a new norm with Covid restrictions.  How can big data help in this new environment?


Beihang University and ESCP Europe are two very established universities.  ESCP Europe was established in 1819 and is the first business school around the world with campuses in Paris, Berlin, London, Madrid, Turin, and Warsaw. Founded in 1952, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics is the first institution of higher learning in aviation and astronautics in New China. It is also one of the top 16 key universities in the country.

On June 21, 2021 both universities conducted a virtual seminar for their exchange program to drive innovations on the topic of Big Data Analytics of Post Covid-19 for a Safer world Tomorrow.  This was chaired by Prof. Wu Junjie, Vice Dean of Beihang School of Economics and Management, Prof. Hao Jinxing, Assistant Dean and Prof. Zhou Wei and Prof. Louis-David Benyayer, ESCP European Business School Program Director. Associate Professor Liu Guannan and Foreign Affairs Secretary Zhu Kaihui of School of Economics and Management organized the meeting.

The students from Beijing and Paris worked together on several different hands-on workshops as well as participated in several sessions with scholars and industry experts from three different time zones. Torsten Welte, Global Vice President of SAP Aerospace

& Defense IBU, delivered a presentation on "Big Data for Aerospace Companies - Challenges, Value and Opportunities." Dr. Eugene Zhang, chief risk scientist of Baidu Finance, spoke about the application of big data in China's financial technology development.  Liu Guannan from the School of Economics and Management introduced deep learning, and Dr. Wang Cong from Peking University shared the data challenges in the Xinguan pneumonia epidemic.

SAP Aerospace & Defense IBU had the chance to provide insights into the current trends of the global aerospace industry, challenges and discuss examples of existing big data solutions utilized to provide additional services to airplane operators or to services for the travelers.

Presentation topics


Within the aerospace industry big data is for a long time an important topic.  Over the last decades, the test of airplanes to improve their performance and safety utilized digital tools.  This drove the industry to expand into the digital design and now into the digital monitoring of the airplanes and equipment’s.  Every life cycle creates large data sets and is managed in different system landscapes.  Challenges of data ownership and legal regulations restrict the sharing of data.  During the session, we also discussed the challenges of the future architectures for aerospace companies to provide access but also security when it comes to cyber attacks.  At the end the students discussed several ways to visualize data to ensure the message comes across and actions can be taken.

Key people during SAP presentation

We had almost 80 students from Paris and Beijing attending the virtual session.  Finally, we ended with questions and opportunities for the students in their future within the industry.

In the working session the students used machine learning, time series, econometrics, optimization modeling for their Covid-19 big data mining and analysis. The Online Data Challenge also reflects the collaboration of ideas between different cultures. Students said that the challenge not only expanded their academic vision, improved their learning, but also enjoyed the collaborative aspect of their research.


I would like to thank to Prof Hao for including us in the agenda and big thank you to Jenny Yang from SAP University Alliance team for the coordination.