Royal Aeronautical Society appoints new president

Royal Aeronautical Society appoints new president


The Royal Aeronautical Society is pleased to announce that Kerissa Khan MRAeS has taken over as President of the Society at its AGM on 4 May 2023.

The AGM also elected David Chinn as President-Elect.

The President provides leadership of the Council and of the Society in pursuit of its objectives. They uphold the values, and reputation of the Society as well as the interests of the members. The President is an ambassador of the Society representing it at key engagements, influencing the global standing of the Society in furthering the advancement of aeronautical art, science and engineering.

“We are entering an exciting new era for aerospace, aviation and space innovation. We are the transformation generation pioneering novel ways to fly. This pioneering spirit is the foundation that the Royal Aeronautical Society has been built upon, bringing together the best innovators, disrupters, researchers and inventors who dared to make flight possible. The Royal Aeronautical Society has been leading the way since 1866, at the heart of the community that empowered the first flight by the Wright Brothers and the invention of the jet engine by Sir Frank Whittle, sparking the first and second aviation revolutions respectively. It is an honour and a privilege as President to stand on the shoulders of giants to convene and lead this global community at the forefront of the third revolution in flight. Once again, we will dare to make flight possible – sustainable, accessible and inclusive flight that addresses the challenges we all face today.” Kerissa Khan MRAeS, President of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

“Kerissa’s appointment as President of the Royal Aeronautical Society is a testament to her hard work, determination, and dedication to the industry. Innovate UK is proud to support Kerissa as she undertakes this important role, and we hope that this appointment will inspire more female leaders in the field.” – Indro Mukerjee, CEO Innovate UK.

“We’re delighted to have Kerissa serve as President of the Royal Aeronautical Society.  Her appointment recognises her experience across the breadth of our Society’s branches, boards, committees, Council and Trustees.  Kerissa’s background in aeronautical engineering, and her role inspiring the future generations of our industries align very closely with the Society’s objectives.  We’re looking forward to working with her.” – David Edwards FRAeS, Chief Executive, RAeS.

The President’s Biography

Kerissa Khan MRAeS serves on the Board of Trustees as the RAeS President.

Kerissa was educated at Naparima Girls’ High School in Trinidad and Tobago. She graduated from the University of Glasgow with a Master of Engineering degree with Honours in Aeronautical Engineering (2012).

Kerissa is a technical expert in complex and integrated aerospace systems and a thought-leader in sustainable future aviation. She leads innovation for the £300M Future Flight Challenge at UK Research and Innovation, creating the future aviation system for the third aviation revolution. She is a member of the UK Trade Organisation for Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space Advanced Air Mobility Group. She has published the Future Flight 2030 vision and strategy for zero-carbon air mobility and Future Flight social science research forward strategy, in addition to socio-economic and market outlook studies for novel aviation solutions. She has also shaped the UK Transport Vision 2050.

Kerissa has been recognised in the 2022 Power Book, the definitive guide to the most influential people in the eVTOL industry for her leadership in future air mobility markets.

Previous roles include research, design and development of world-leading aerospace systems for a wide range of military, commercial and business aircraft, including the Airbus A320, A321, A330, A350, Boeing 787, Bombardier Global 7500, Tornado and Eurofighter jets. She was in charge of programme management of the Aerospace Growth Partnership Strategy Group, which is responsible for developing the UK aerospace industrial strategy. She also led UK corporate affairs for Safran, the French international high-technology group operating in the aerospace, defence and space markets.

Kerissa is a founding signatory of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter and Women in Defence Charter. In 2016, she became the youngest RAeS Council member, first woman to chair the Gloucester and Cheltenham branch (established in 1930), youngest member of the Learned Society Board and co-created the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Her portrait has been exhibited at The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum in recognition of her achievements as an awarded Engineering Hero, Inspirational Woman in STEM and industry trailblazer empowering future generations.

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