ONERA joins the chairman’s office of IFAR, the first global aeronautical research network

On 21 October 2021, Bruno Sainjon, Chairman and Managing Director of ONERA, was unanimously elected Deputy Chairman of IFAR (International Forum for Aviation Research), which brings together the 26 main global aeronautical research centres.

In accordance with IFAR*’s articles of association, Bruno Sainjon has just joined its chairman’s office.  In 2 years' time, he will become the chairman of IFAR for a two-year term.  This appointment reflects the recognition and esteem for all ONERA scientists held by the world's largest aeronautical research centres at a time when world aviation is experiencing a crisis, the outcome of which will be determined by research and its decisive role in reducing the carbon intensity of aviation. The election was held at the IFAR summit in Warsaw, Poland, on 18-21 October. The IFAR chairman’s office is composed of Sergey Chernyshev (General Scientific Director TsAGI, outgoing chairman), Ibrahim Yimer (Managing Director of the aerospace research centre NRC Canada, Chairman), Bruno Sainjon (Managing Director ONERA, incoming president), Markus Fischer (DLR board member, founding member), and Joachim Szodruch (founder).

" I am truly honoured and delighted with this election which shows to what extent the quality of our work, our scientists, and our engineers is recognised worldwide and which highlights ONERA’s essential role in promoting scientific cooperation involving the world’s best aeronautical research centres. The signal is all the stronger since this is the first time that ONERA has joined the IFAR leadership team." stated Bruno Sainjon.


IFAR is a global network of aeronautical research centres. It is a forum for dialogue between public research centres around the world in order to exchange information and communicate on aeronautical research activities. One of its purposes is to exchange views and gain a better understanding of the challenges facing the global aeronautical research community. It includes the world’s largest research centres:

IFAR brings together the world’s largest research centres with one representative from each country: CSIRO (Australia), TU Vienna (Austria), VKI (Belgium), IAE (Brazil), NRC (Canada), CAE (China), VZLU (Czech Republic), VTT (Finland), ONERA (France), DLR, (Germany), BME (Hungary), CSIR-NAL (India), CIRA (Italy), JAXA (Japan), KARI (South Korea), NLR (Netherlands), ILOT (Poland), CEIIA (Portugal), INCAS (Romania), TsAGI (Russia), CSIR (South Africa), INTA (Spain), FOI (Sweden), METU (Turkey), ATI (UK), and NASA (USA).

IFAR's activities cover multilateral cooperation through various working groups including: ATM, aircraft optimisation with low environmental impact, composite materials, learning techniques for the advanced characterisation of flows, hybrid electric propulsion, aircraft noise, and supersonic transport aircraft. NASA, the Canadian NRC, DLR, and ONERA are the most involved in managing the groups:  Samir Beneddine and Frank Simon respectively manage the ‘Deep learning for CFD’ and ‘Noise’ working groups.

IFAR also has partnerships with several international organisations: A first partnership with ICAS (International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences) allows it to recognise the scientific quality of the network through the establishment of a joint IFAR/ICAS prize awarded at the eponymous congress.   A second partnership, in trial, with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), addresses the issue of regulating new technologies with a scientific and objective vision of these technologies. This partnership also has a third channel (Global Aviation Research), the global aviation industry’s channel of expression and, of course, the formal positioning channel of the Member States present on the ICAO Council. As part of this partnership, a one-off action, led by NASA and DLR, relating to the deployment of UAM (Urban Air Mobility) on several technical themes has just been launched and the participation of ONERA is eagerly awaited.

IFAR is also preparing for the future with a network of very active young researchers working together on specific challenges, such as the collaborative design of the aircraft of the future. ONERA encourages its young researchers to participate in this ECN (Early Career Network) and will be organising the IFAR youth conference in 2023.


* International Forum for Aviation Research

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