The IATA air cargo career competition

FACE-UP! gives recent graduates from around the world with the opportunity to present their thesis to industry executives at the 2020 World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Istanbul, Turkey.

Their work must focus on innovation and transformation in air transport logistics (e.g., transportation, operations, mobility, revenue management, distribution, customer experience, etc.). The entries received will be evaluated based upon the innovative, transforming, and visionary nature of the content, as well as the quality of the solution presented in the thesis.

An independent jury panel will choose the top three entrants. They will be invited to pitch their thesis idea in front of 1200 top-level industry professionals at the closing plenary of the WCS. Besides being a unique networking opportunity, attending the WCS will also provide a valuable chance to learn about the latest trends and developments in the air cargo industry.

Submission period extended to 31 January 2020

Before submitting your thesis through the form below, please read the Terms and Conditions (pdf) and Judging Criteria (pdf​​​​​​​​​​​​​). If you have any questions, please contact us



  • Entry pass to the Future Air Cargo Executive Summit (FACES) 2020 and the FACE Cocktail will be free for each individual entrant that is shortlisted as a finalist.
  • Entry pass to 2020 WCS will be free for each individual Entrant that is shortlisted as a finalist, including travel and accommodation.
  • Each shortlisted finalist will be given a 10-minute presentation slot at the 2020 WCS Closing Plenary to present their thesis.

Jury Panel

The independent jury, including industry experts, academics and innovators, will evaluate the entries received and shortlist three finalists. The delegates at the 2020 WCS will then choose the winning idea.

  • Olivier Chabin, Chief Innovation Officer, Cargolux
  • Vivien Lau, Executive Director, HACTL
  • Mikael Lind, Senior Strategic Research Advisor, Research Institute of Sweden
  • Sara Van Gelder, Cargo Business Development Manager, Brussels Airport Company
  • Janet Wallace, Director Transformation, Air Canada

Candidate Profile

  • University graduate ( bachelor, masters, or Ph.D.), current or within 2-3 years of graduation
  • Thesis preferably defended before December 2019
  • Research focused on air transport logistics
  • Able to present in a dynamic and captivating way at the WCS Closing Plenary


27 August 2019

Competition launch

31 January 2020

End of the submission period

12 February 2020

Announcement of the finalists

12 March 2020

Presentations and final voting at the IATA World Cargo Symposium closing plenary

Submit your application

Applicants should include in the form below:

  • A link to a short video about their educational background, the topic of the thesis, and their vision on how to modernize the air cargo industry, in English.
  • A zip file including an executive summary of the thesis in English and their entire thesis

Contact us for any questions regarding your application.

Register for Face Up! 2020