We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2022 Cranfield Aerospace and Aviation Alumni Awards.

In partnership with Cranfield College of Aeronautics Alumni Association, these awards recognise the exceptional achievements of our aerospace and aviation alumni while showcasing the global impact of Cranfield University.

Meet your 2022 Distinguished Aerospace Alumni Award winner

Scott McLarty FRAeS MCIPD (Fellowship in Aerospace Manufacturing Management 1993)

Senior Vice President of Airbus & Business Jet Programs, Spirit AeroSystems

Scott McLarty

Scott McLarty is the Senior Vice President of Airbus & Business Jet Programs at Spirit  AeroSystems, which is one of the world’s largest designers and manufacturers of aerostructures for commercial aircraft, defence platforms, and business/regional jets. Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, USA, Spirit employs over 16,000 people in skilled and professional positions across 10 global locations, including over 4,100 in the UK.

Scott completed a Fellowship in Aerospace Manufacturing Management in 1993 at Cranfield University and holds a PPL (H) private pilot license. He is also a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel Development (FCIPD) and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAeS).

Scott is influential within the industry and its supporting bodies through various roles he holds including as a Board Member of the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP), serving as Vice Chair of the Scottish Government’s Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board, and as a Global Scot mentor for Small to Medium Enterprises.

Over his 30-year career in Aerospace, Scott has held various leadership roles across Operations, Project Management, Supply Chain, Quality, Business Improvement, Strategy, and HR. He has worked with many customers on development and recurring programs, including Boeing, Airbus, Hawker, BAE Regional Aircraft, and military programs such as the Harrier and Hawk at BAE military sites.

Commenting on the award, Scott said: "I'm delighted to have received this honour, particularly given the achievements by my alumni peers who have been award recipients over the years.  I’ve been fortunate, and honoured, to be able to contribute to and help shape such an exciting industry, particularly as we transition to a new era of flight and a net zero future.”  

Meet the 2022 Excellence in Achievement Award for Recent Aerospace Graduates winner

Ziad Jreijiri (MSc Aerospace Vehicle Design 2015)

Co-founder and CEO, Oreyeon LDA

Ziad Jreijiri

Ziad Jreijiri is the Co-founder and CEO of Oreyeon LDA, a start-up developing solutions to enable the aerospace industry to optimize its security using artificial intelligence.

Ziad completed his bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2014 at the University of Balamand in El-Koura, Lebanon before attending Cranfield University to complete his MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design degree in 2015. Ziad has also completed an Immersive Entrepreneurship Program at Draper University in 2019.

Ziad returned to the University of Balamand as a lecturer, delivering modules covering Aerodynamics, Aircraft Structures, Aeroplane Systems, Materials, Hardware, and Maintenance Practices, as well as visiting the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi in Vietnam, delivering modules on Aeronautics as a joint project between Airbus and Vietnam Airlines.

Prior to this, Ziad joined a young start-up company working on EVTOL UAVs (fixed wing) and discovered his passion for aviation and entrepreneurship. Ziad found enjoyment in fast-moving environments and wondered why the aviation industry was slow to adopt deep technology solutions. To address this gap in the market, he co-founded Oreyeon in 2019 which has continued to grow over the years to a team of almost 40 people with Tier 1 customers worldwide.

Ziad said: "For years since I graduated, every time I told someone I'm a Cranfield alumnus and saw their reactions, it gave me a sense of pride to see and hear what they had to say about Cranfield University. It feels to be recognised by the same institution that has given so much to its students and alumni, and for me, to be able to pay it forward in little ways."


Meet the 2022 Distinguished Aviation Alumni Award winner

Samer Majali (MSc Air Transport Management 1983)

President and Chief Executive, Royal Jordanian Airlines

Samer Majali Samer Majali is the President and Chief Executive at Royal Jordanian Airlines, a leading global airline with a fleet of more than 20 modern aircraft, and a diverse network of more than 40 destinations spread across four continents.

Samer completed his BS Aeronautical Engineering and Design Diploma in Industrial Studies in 1979 at Loughborough University, UK followed by an MSc in Air Transport Management degree in 1983 at Cranfield University. 

He is an influential leader in the aviation industry and is a member of multiple associations including, the Engineers Association of Jordan, the Board of Trustees at King Hussein Cancer Foundation, and a member of the Executive Committee for the Arab Air Carriers Organisation AACO. Samer is also a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and is a Chartered Engineer, awarded by The Engineering Council UK. 

Samer started his career with Royal Jordanian in 2001, working with the Board of Directors to restructure the airline (post 9/11) to improve its competitiveness, reliance on government support, and introduced a quality customer service focus. This returned the airline to profitability from 2004 onwards. Samer went on to achieve the status to be the first Arab and Middle Eastern Carrier to join the leading global alliance; OneWorld in March 2007, and led the IPO roadshow with CitiGroup, presenting to over fifty potential investors, resulting in the first true and successful IPO of a flag carrier in the Middle East in December 2007. 

Samer has held CEO positions in other airlines such as Gulf Air, Oman Air, and SaudiGulf Airlines. His impact in these positions involved, reconstructing Gulf Air and Oman Air by designing a new vision and strategy for the airlines to improve financial performance. At SaudiGulf he successfully headed the greenfield project of setting up a new airline in Saudi Arabia in 2013, until it commenced domestic operations in 2016 with four new A320 aircraft based in Dammam. As a result, Samer obtained IOSA certification and IATA membership in record time for a start-up. 

Samer said: “I am both humbled and honoured to receive the aviation alumni award for 2022. It is special as it's recognition from a globally recognised institution of learning and innovation and the one which I have had the privilege of being associated with for many years“.


Meet the 2022 Excellence in Achievement Award for Recent Aviation Graduates winner

Alice Ferrari (MSc Air Transport Management 2013)

CEO and Co-Founder, Kyte

Alice Ferrari

Alice Ferrari is the CEO and Co-founder of Kyte, a new API technology platform for airline retailing

Alice completed a degree in Maritime and Transport Economics at the Universita di Genova, Italy, followed by an MSc in Air Transport Management in 2013 at Cranfield University.

Alice is very passionate about bringing solutions to the industry that can help airlines develop the way they present the flight booking experience and better engage with customers. Alice has spent her entire professional life working in the airline industry, starting her career at easyJet in 2013 in the Crew Planning team, Alice worked on developing the company’s Regulatory Flight Time Limitations strategy in operations to improve crew efficiency. This involved performing risk assessments, identifying root causes of crew fatigue, and applying appropriate corrective actions. In 2014, Alice moved on to an Operations Executive role within easyJet to improve operational performance, enhance the customer experience, and drive collaboration between operations and other key areas of the business.

Alice became an Aviation Consultant in 2017 working alongside Nyras partners and Senior Associates on projects for airlines, airports, and aviation service providers worldwide, before developing travel technology start-ups for Founders Factory, easyJet's partner venture studio. 

Alice said: "When I arrived at Cranfield in 2012 to start my course I had great aspirations for my career. I still couldn’t believe I had got there and was eager to start and work hard, motivated by the drive to make a difference in the industry. I always knew I wanted to make a direct contribution to the development of the airline world. That motivation and dream still exists and whilst I know there is a long way ahead of me to pursue that goal, I’m so honoured to receive such an early recognition of my efforts with my business, Kyte, a new distribution and retailing software solution on a mission to give airlines the right tool to become modern retailers and engage with the digitally savvy customer of today."