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 2021 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 were 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 selected the top three entrants. They are 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.

FACE UP 2021 finalists announced 

  • Tereza Bartlová, Brno University of Technology: “Performance Possibilities of VTOL Unmanned Aerial Vehicle”
  • Martina Brysch, University of Groningen: “Air Cargo in the Physical Internet”
  • Craig Neal, University of New South Wales: “Demand for Cargo Airships in Australia: An analysis of mode choice decision making by logistics professionals”

Read more about the shortlisted applications in the FACE UP Finalists Announcement (pdf)



  • Entry pass to the Future Air Cargo Executive Summit (FACES) 2021 and the FACE Cocktail will be free for each individual entrant that is shortlisted as a finalist.
  • Entry pass to 2021 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 2021 WCS Closing Plenary to present their thesis.

Jury Panel

The independent jury, including industry experts, academics and innovators, evaluated the entries received and shortlisted three finalists. The delegates at the 2021 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

13 February 2020

Announcement of the finalists

October 2021 

Presentations and final voting at the IATA World Cargo Symposium