The Cumberbatch Trophy

Awarded for an outstanding contribution to aviation safety.

2022 Awarded to:  Dr Ratan Khatwa

The Cumberbatch Trophy

Ratan Khatwa is an aerospace engineer who has dedicated over 30 years to improving flight safety in commercial and business aviation. His career has spanned several organizations where his numerous contributions to improved flight deck systems have enabled pilots to fly more safely and reliably.

After earning a Doctorate in Aeronautical Engineering (University of Bristol) Ratan joined the Royal Netherlands National Aerospace Laboratory for seven years, specializing in flight deck Human Factors (HF) assessments of terrain displays and take-off performance monitoring. He moved to Rockwell Collins in 1997 where he developed a HF design and certification process for business aviation flight decks and earned the President’s Award for his leadership of the Flight Safety Foundation’s Approach and Landing Accident Reduction effort. He was subsequently recruited by Don Bateman (“father” of GPWS) to join Honeywell Aerospace where he became a Senior Fellow and later Chief Engineer - Human Factors, overseeing HF design approval across Honeywell’s flight deck systems. He recently joined Boeing where he serves as the Chief Strategist and Designer for flight deck HF. 

Ratan has spent three decades as a global HF ambassador cultivating HF into all stages of avionics product development, successfully pioneering HF process excellence and driving the necessary organizational changes. He has taken key technologies from ideation through technology maturation into product development and successful certification of dozens of systems. His portfolio spans individual systems to integrated avionics solutions for Part 23, 25 & 29 flight decks. He has made significant contributions to the development of advanced flight KHATWA Ratandeck systems such as EGPWS, RDR 4000 Weather Radar, Synthetic Vision Systems, TCAS, Auto Pilot Coupled TCAS, CDTI, Runway Overrun Awareness and Alerting System, RAAS, Airport Moving Maps, Uplinked Weather, Touch Screen Controls, and Cursor Control Devices. At Honeywell he provided HF oversight and guidance for integrated flight deck systems on new aircraft including the Embraer E2, Gulfstream G500, Pilatus PC 24, and Falcon 10X and for avionics upgrades on the Airbus 300, Pilatus PC 12, Gulfstream G650 and the Leonardo AW 139 helicopter. He holds fifty patents covering alerting, display, navigation, surveillance, and flight path management functions that are implemented in existing systems. His accomplishments earned him the Honeywell Chairman’s Award and 5 Honeywell Tech Achievement Awards. 

In addition, Ratan has authored over 75 technical publications focusing on human-centred design of flight deck systems and landmark flight safety investigations that transformed global safety standards for addressing Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) and Approach & Landing Accident Reduction (ALAR). He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and currently Chair of the GAMA Flight Deck Human Factors Design & Certification Working Group, a member of the Flight Safety Foundation’s International Advisory Committee, the RTCA CEO HF Steering Committee, EUROCONTROL’s Global Action Team for the Prevention of Runway Excursions, and is past Chair of EASA’s Flight Deck Design & Certification Sub-Group.

Ratan has played a key role in leading global initiatives to define flight deck standards and shape flight safety priorities to benefit the entire industry and the flying public worldwide. No doubt his technological contributions have saved countless lives.  Dr Ratan Khatwa is therefore a very deserving recipient of the Cumberbatch Trophy.

Previous Winners:

1936/37  Imperial Airways
Sqn Ldr H G Brackley DSO DSC, F J Bailey Esq, W Rodgers Esq AFM, F Dismore Esq,
LA Walters Esq, H J Horsey Esq, O P Jones Esq, A S Wilcockson Esq, A B H Youell Esq

1937/38  Olley Air Services
Captain G P Olley MM, T W Morton Esq, C W H Bebb Esq, F R Midgley Esq, R D Morrison Esq,
J Dendy Esq, G E B Stoney Esq, J E B Scott Esq

1938/39  Messers Wrightways Ltd
J W Duggan Esq, F Brent Esq, P C Fair Esq, G G Stead Esq

1948/49  Air Cdre H G Brackley CBE DSO DSC

1949/50  Aer Lingus

1950/51  No. 3 Line B.O.A.C.

1951/52  Tasman Empire Airways Limited

1952/53  Professor E S Calvert BSc ARSc

1953/54  British West Indian Airways

1954/55  Silver City Airways Ltd

1955/56  Captain W B Calldwell & Captain E W Jorden and Flying Staff, British European Airways, Channel Islands Services

1956/57  Malayan Airways Limited

1957/58  Trans-Australian Airlines

1959/60  James Martin Esq CBE

1960/61  Royal Air Force, Institute of Aviation Medicine

1961/62  Aden Airways Limited

1962/63  D P Davies Esq

1963/64  Blind Landing Experimental Unit of the Royal Aircraft Establishment

1964/65  John Wright Gibbs Esq MBE (posthumous)

1965/66  Britannia 102 + 312 Flights BOAC

1966/67  Dr E S Calvert OBE & J W Sparks Esq

1967/68  W E B Griffiths Esq CBE

1968/69  J A Karran Esq OBE

1969/70  Captain E N Jennings MBE DFC

1970/71  Qantas Airways Limited

1971/72  Captain Frank Ormonroyd DFM MA & Captain Eric L R Poole

1972/73  John W Wilson Esq

1973/74  J F M Moyle Esq

1974/75  John Henri Grant Esq

1975/76  S Gordon Corps Esq

1976/77  Joint Airmiss Working Group (Chairman: Group Captain David Hughes DFC AFC)

1978  not awarded

1978/79  Captain Frank H Hawkins

1979/80  Captain Philip Brentnall DFC

1980/81  John Michael Ramsden Esq

1981/82  VC10 Flight of British Airways

1982/83  Captain T L J Lakin W H Grice Esq Captain P J Hunt (British Airways 'All Weather' Team)

1984 - 1989  not awarded

1989/90  Qantas Airways Limited

1991 - 1992  not awarded

1992/93  Ronald Ashford Esq

1993/94  Ken M Carpenter PhD

1994/95  William D Reynard Esq

1995/96  British Airways Safety Services

1996/97  Don Bateman Esq

1998  not awarded

1999/2000  John Thorpe MRAeS

2000/01  R Curtis Graeber PhD FRAeS

2001/02  S Eric Clark BSc CEng FRAeS

2003  not awarded

2003/04  Alan R Jacobsen PhD

2004/05  Stuart Mathews

2005/06  Kathy Abbott PhD MSc FRAeS

2007 - 2010  not awarded

2010/11  James Ray Klinect PhD and the LOSA Collaborative

2011/12  Harbour Air Seaplanes

2013 - 2014  not awarded

2014/15  Hugh Browning

2016   not awarded

2017  Cdr Ian S Fitter RN

2018  Michael O'Donoghue CBE

2019  WOI Peter R Balcomb AAC

2020  Master Air Engineer Stephen Hammond

2021  Tim Tucker

2022  Dr Ratan Khatwa