AIE Flies into Thales

In February, AIE met with Thales, the world’s leader in providing Air Traffic Control Systems at their Centre for Advanced Studies in Air Traffic Management (CASIA). Thales pioneers innovative solutions and explores new technologies to make air travel more efficient, safer and greener.


Air Traffic is expected to double within the next 20 years, so AIE and Thales are exploring innovative technology in their future Air Traffic Control Systems, using the skills and knowledge of the interactive entertainment industries.


We caught up with Pina Iacopino, an AIE second year Designer, one of the 5 students who are undertaking work placement with Thales.


Pina and the other 4 students are currently working on an Air Traffic Control Game, which is a Simulator Manager. You play the role of an Air Traffic Controller and your task is to micro manage planes.


“Thales’ lab is amazing. You can definitely see the well thought out design, with a room that looks like the a plane and runway! The technology there is great,” exclaimed Pina.


“Before the placement, I didn’t know much about Thales. I now know that they are a big company who work with important systems.” Pina’s group have regular meetings in the Innovations Lab with Mark, the Innovations Manager and Air Traffic Control Specialist.


Pina had never had the chance to work with people on such a large scale project and was happy to see how team orientated everyone is.


“We are a team of 2 programmers, 1 designer and 2 artists. I am working with a team of men, however it is great to see that the guys and all other students that I’ve interacted with at AIE see me as a Designer first. We work well as a team and discuss everything we do, and getting opinions from both programmers and artists on everything.”

Stefan Giapantzakis - Programmer, Thales team, Pina Iacopino - Designer, Angus Nuttall - Artist, Joseph Crocker - Programmer and Jordan Bergamin - Artist

“I think volunteering at events with AIE helped to grow my interpersonal skills and confidence which I have been able to take into the workplace. During this placement, I’ve learnt is the importance of scheduling, running meetings and researching everything you do.”


“The highlight would have to be the chance to work in innovation and exploring something other than games,” said Pina, “and the advice I’d give to future students would be to make friends with people! Be nice to everyone, as you never know who you might end up working with or for.”


For updates on the project, you can follow Pina on Twitter: @gamingyak

AIE | CASIA | Student Placement