A Special Engineering Recognition Day

The annual event that rewards the results of an entire year of work is a time to share several experiences which provide food for thought and a touch of inspiration too.

Oct 2020

Every year, Avio Aero - and of course the whole of GE Aviation - celebrates ERD – Engineering Recognition Day. But what exactly is it all about?

The event takes place every year and is the day on which engineering teams from all over the world are rewarded for their achievements. The prize winners, who might be individuals or entire teams, sometimes even very large teams, are awarded for the brilliant results achieved in specific engineering activities according to the different categories. The categories include technical mentoring, young engineer, science and technology excellence, and materials and manufacturing.

It is therefore a special time of the year, a time for celebration, but also a time for sharing, exchange, and meeting between all the colleagues in the big “professional family” of engineering; the creative crux of technological innovation contained in every product, component, and aircraft engine. 

As we see each and every day, the year 2020 has proved to be a very unexampled year indeed. In line with physical distancing rules, but also wanting to take the opportunity to share and award prizes, it was therefore decided to hold the first virtual edition of this event. “Once again this year we wanted to reward the efforts and results of a number of colleagues, despite Covid-19 and the unusual situation in the aeronautical sector”, said Christian Ferrari, Engineering Operation, Quality & Compliance Leader at Avio Aero, who coordinated the efforts of the numerous colleagues involved in preparing the event this year. “A very atypical year, to which we wanted to associate the word ‘inclusion’ as a common thread”.

This year award's prize was handcrafted and made with recycled materials.

"We managed to keep the part of the celebration that allows us to look back at some of the key moments in the past year and we had the pleasure of having the contribution - albeit virtual - of Nico and the youngsters from PizzAut"

Each ERD has a special character that makes it different from previous years. Every year, a guest from outside the company is invited to tell the audience of over 600 Avio Aero engineers about a project or experience that will act as “inspiration” for all the event participants. This year, we decided to support PizzAut, the project launched by the energetic Nico Acampora, who founded a social inclusion laboratory by setting up a pizzeria, which later also became a food truck, run by young people with autism.

As we couldn’t host Nico and the young people of PizzAut in person during the event, we made a video interview with Nico Acampora at a retail store inauguration in Lombardy. The PizzAut team lent a hand in implementing visual communication within the store and running staff training so that the store could adequately welcome customers with autism. Speaking from the first “autism friendly” store in Italy, Nico explained the value of diversity and inclusion, and how important determination is to achieve one’s goals.

“It has certainly been an unusual celebration this year, but no less successful than usual”, stressed Giorgio Abrate - Engineering Vice President at Avio Aero. “We managed to keep the part of the celebration that allows us to look back at some of the key moments in the past year and we had the pleasure of having the contribution - albeit virtual - of Nico and the young people from PizzAut. The mix of the two things certainly worked and his words were not only beautiful, but also meaningful, imbued with a huge sense of determination and humanity, which we can trickle down into every aspect of our lives.  Of course, thanks to all our colleagues for their commitment, dedication, and desire to achieve bigger and better results together!”