Academic reaches new heights in pursuit of his research

The Director of the Civil Safety and Security Unit found himself in the cockpit of a Soviet-era aircraft as part of his research activities.

The photographs to the right show Dr Simon Bennett, who has worked with the aviation industry for over 18 years, with the Bulgarian crew of an Antonov AN-24 freighter. Dr Bennett's inductive research method has made him a familiar sight at airports and on the flight-deck.

Dr Bennett observes: "Every encounter provides a chance to learn something new about safety. Plus, aviators are great company."

Dr Bennett this year benefitted from a Research and Enterprise Development Prospects Award. The Award enabled Dr Bennett to accelerate his safety work and develop new and productive contacts with airlines and airports across Europe.

It also leveraged a bid to the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (WTISSF). Last month, Dr Bennett and the School of Medicine's Professor Elizabeth Anderson were awarded £50,000 from the WTISSF to evaluate a variety of aviation safety schemes for use in medicine.