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Homepage / William Widjaja: 2023 ISTAT Foundation Scholar

William Widjaja: 2023 ISTAT Foundation Scholar


William in front of Cranfield's Boeing 737-800

William Widjaja is one of 37 recipients of the 2023 International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT Foundation) Scholarship, studying Aerospace Vehicle Design MSc. The ISTAT Foundation scholarship aims to help young people develop careers in aviation.

Here, William shares how he applied for the scholarship, his experience at Cranfield to date, and his ambition to contribute to sustainable aviation. 

“My name is William Widjaja, I am a 22-year-old Indonesian Student. I have been interested in aerospace-related stuff since I was a kid. From airplanes to rockets, and satellites. I’ve also enjoyed doing scientific research since high school. My primary research interest is in aerodynamics, especially in adaptive winglet technology.

“Without a doubt, aviation and aerospace development is my biggest motivation to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering. Hence, I studied Aerospace Engineering in University of Nottingham Ningbo China from 2019 – 2023.

“I have always dreamt of continuing my study to master’s level. I researched Cranfield University during my final undergrad year and immediately applied as soon as the course application was opened.

“I found the ISTAT Scholarship in the student funding section on the Cranfield course page. At that time, I was desperate to find a scholarship that was open to Indonesians and non-government. I remember asking the student funding team regarding this scholarship and they said they’ll consider my application before being sent to the ISTAT Foundation. This was a tense moment for me as only two students can be nominated from each university.

“Thankfully, around March 2023, I was contacted by Cranfield to say they had chosen me as one of the nominees and I must fill the required forms. However, being a nominee doesn’t mean I get the scholarship right away. I had to write some essays and portfolio (the dates were moved forward, and I only had less than 24 hours to fill all the forms). Two months later, I got an email confirming that I have been selected as a ISTAT Foundation Scholarship Recipient.

“I am deeply honoured to receive this award. This scholarship represents the appreciation from the ISTAT Foundation towards students that have been maximizing their efforts and who are planning to contribute to the sustainable aviation industry in the future.

“I’m planning to start my career in the aviation industry and work towards reducing the carbon footprint by implementing advanced aerodynamics that can lower emissions. My primary goal is to continue developing the morphing winglet technology so it can be easily adapted to conventional aircraft.

“I am truly excited about this course because Cranfield University is known not only for its long history in aviation, but also for having the best facilities in the UK, along with collaborations with top aerospace and industrial companies.

“It’s my first time in the UK and living here is quite interesting. I’ve met a lot of new friends and colleagues that come from different backgrounds. I also enjoy the sceneries here, especially in Cranfield. I used to see buildings, concrete walls, roads, but in the UK, I see the rural areas I’ve never seen before. Hills, trees everywhere, blue skies and breezes of cold air; things are very different compared to where I came from and till this day, it still amazes me. I would say that the environment here in Cranfield is very suitable for studying, after all this is what we came for.

“I recently had the opportunity to experience a flight in the National Flying Laboratory Centre’s (NFLC) light aircraft. The flight instructor, Stephen Barratt, showed me a lot of aircraft manoeuvres related to flight dynamics. From Dutch roll, flaps effect, stall, longitudinal/lateral/directional stability, even to acrobatic manoeuvres such as Barrel Roll, Loop, inverted flying, zero G, and stall turn. We also went to Silverstone circuit to see the track layout from above, passing near Northampton and Bedford as well. I was even given the chance to control the aircraft for some basic manoeuvres as well as ground controls. It was truly an unforgettable experience.

William’s Student Flight Experience in the NFLC.

“Currently I’m completing the Group Design Project with my classmates. The design process itself is full of challenges and that’s what excites me the most. Especially since my task is to design the secondary power of the aircraft, something that has intrigued my curiosity since undergraduate. I am excited to see how the aircraft develops over the next 6 months, regardless of the result, I believe we have put our best efforts into it and that’s what matters.

“My main motivation is to create a more sustainable future, where aviation and space flight will become a green mode of transportation. I also want to contribute in developing my country, Indonesia’s flight and space industry which has been left behind.

“Indeed, my goals and visions are ambitious, but I believe that when passion is driven with motivation(s), there is just simply no limits on what we can achieve.”

Study Aerospace Vehicle Design MSc

William Widjaja

Written By: Zoe Nimmo

Aerospace Vehicle Design MSc student (2023-2024)

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