Viv Johnston – Aerospace Engineer
Helicopter rotor blades are old technology that haven’t significantly improved since their invention. But with support and funding from Defence, a young aerospace engineer from Albury is trying to create the next generation of helicopter blades: faster, lighter and more efficient.
Viv Johnston is one of the lead engineers at Australian Aerospace Engineering (AAE). He studied both his Bachelors and Masters at Melbourne’s RMIT and has worked for AAE for the last five years.
“Rotor blades are a personal interest and passion of mine. It’s a really complex problem,” Viv said at Avalon Airshow in 2017.
Earlier this year, Viv and his team presented at the Defence Innovation Pitchfest and were shortlisted for the Innovation Awards for their work on rotor blades.
Viv acknowledges support from the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) as one of the primary reasons for their success thus far. The CDIC provides small businesses like Viv’s the funding and accreditation they need to become a supplier for Defence. For AAE, this meant training for staff and a consultant helping them with their systems and compliance.
This support has put AAE on the path to expanding their service and product offering, creating jobs and more opportunity to invest in innovative research and development.
“Investment in local industry is absolutely crucial. We wouldn’t be able to get this far without it.”