UCL Engineering


Icarus Business Simulation | UCL Engineering Welcome Festival 2021

28 September 2021–01 October 2021, 12:30 pm–12:00 pm

Picture of an airplane in the sky. Text on image reads "Icarus Business Simulation"

This event is part of the UCL Engineering Welcome Festival. We begin with a live session at 12:30pm on 28 Sep 2021. You'll be competing 'offline' until 12pm on 1 Oct 2021, with winning teams announced at 4pm.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL students






Dr Lynsie Chew

Please note

This event is open to all new and returning postgraduate students as well as returning undergraduate students in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences.

This event begins 28 September 2021, 12:30pm to 01 October 2021, 12:00pm. 

UCL uses a third party (Zoom) to administer our virtual events and manage your personal information on our behalf. If you are happy for us to process your data solely for this purpose, please continue by entering your details via the Book Now button above. Please take a look at UCL's General Privacy Notice for further information. 

 Quick overview

Welcome to Icarus –  a business Simulation where an incoming C-Suite team (You!!) are in charge of running a struggling airport, drawing up a strategy for the next five years, but implementing the first three years (three rounds). 

You are going to manage the operations, analyse the financial data and challenging contextual environment. Thinking critically and creatively in order to make decisions about strategic and operational matters will be key.

You will need to quickly synthesise, analyse and make decisions, and to forecast the impact on cash flow, profits, and KPIs. 
Just because you forecast that you’ll be the best airport ever seen with the highest profitability and cash flow… doesn’t mean you will achieve this!

You might end up with no profits, a huge overdraft, unhappy passengers and airlines, and be hated by your staff!

Visit this virtual space to get a feel for some of the challenges awaiting you.

Winners and prizes will be announced on Friday 1st October 2021! 

  • 1st prize £150 (shared between the team). 
  • 2nd prize £125 (shared between the team). 
  • 3rd prize £100 (shared between the team).
  • Best team name prize £100 (shared between the team).

KPI targets to aim for

You have five main KPI targets to achieve over the next five years: 

  • A 50% growth in flights over five years. 
  • A 10% improvement in the passenger satisfaction index over five years.
  • A 10% improvement in employee motivation index by year five.
  • A 15% improvement in yield per passenger over five years.
  •  Profitability (ROCE) of 10%.


  • First, you need to register yourself for the live event via the Zoom registration link:  [click to register ]. Please complete this by Monday 27 September, 18:00 UK time.  
  • During a live online session on Tuesday 28 September (12:30 – 14:00 UK time) you will be allocated to a Team of fellow Engineering students. 
  • That live session will be important as it will cover an overview, provide an opportunity to ask questions and, of course, meet your team mates! If you do not attend, you will not be allocated to a team to participate. 
  • During Tuesday through to Friday morning of that week, you and your team will work together to submit three rounds of forecasts via the Icarus App.
  • You can use the Icarus App during online meetings through screen-sharing in a team Zoom breakout-room or work together ‘offline’ in an asynchronous mode keeping in touch via email/chat. Or meet up F2F (face-to-face) if you can! How you work together is up to you! 
  • At the end of each round (one year) your annual decisions and forecasts will be tested against the ‘real world’.
  •  Your team will be given the ‘Actual’ results for that year – to compare against your forecasts:
    • How did you perform compared to the other airport teams?
    • What worked well and importantly what did not work well?
    • Improve your performance and stay on track in achieving (or exceeding!) those KPI targets. 
    • Make your changes in the App and submit another set of decisions for the following year.
    • Submission deadlines will be provided during the live synchronous session on the 28 September. 

Learning outcomes

  • Understanding the interrelationships between the business environment, its stakeholders and the functions and logistics of organisations, and their impacts upon financial forecasts and performance.
  • Developing the skills and abilities to evaluate your forecasts against the ‘real-world’ model in order to analyse strategies and financial performance, learn lessons for the future, and incorporate these in new plans. 
  • Developing team dynamics skills, in the contexts of opinions, discussions, consensus and self-awareness.

Download the Airport App

Please download the App onto your preferred device(s) from The Apple App Store for iOS or Google Play Store for Android or Microsoft Store for Windows 10. 

Note: The simulation is designed primarily for use on mobile devices - Apple, Android and Windows 10. Apple Macs do not run Apple iOS Apps, but it will work on PCs running Windows 10.

When you have downloaded the App please: 

Good luck. Let’s get flying! 

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