May 6, 2022

EOC scientist receives Helmholtz Prize for Doctorate

EOC scientist Dr. Celia Baumhoer was one of the six participants at the Helmholtz spring reception on April 28, 2022 in Berlin who were awarded a Helmholtz Prize for her doctoral dissertation. In her work Ms. Baumhoer analysed the ice dynamics in the Antarctic and developed methodologies for the automated derivation of glacier and ice shelf fronts. 

The prize was awarded as part of the Helmholtz spring reception at the Spreepalais in Berlin. In the presence of some 250 guests representing government, science, and industry, Helmholtz President Otmar Wiestler and State Secretary Thomas Sattelberger (BMBF) congratulated Dr. Baumhoer on her doctoral dissertation on the subject of “Glacier front dynamics of Antarctica—analysing changes in glacier and ice shelf front position based on SAR time series“. Her work was honoured by the Helmholtz committee because of its importance toward understanding climate change.

Helmholtz President Otmar Wiestler, Dr. Baumhoer State Secretary Thomas Sattelberger (BMBF)

Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft / Marco Urban

The methodology developed toward her doctorate uses artificial intelligence (AI) and the interpretation of huge amounts of data (key words "big data" or. "high-volume data"), making it possible for the first time to generate high-resolution time series of glacier front dynamics in the Antarctic. These observations help to improve computer models of the Antarctic ice sheet that allow more precise forecasts of future sea-level rise. In addition, for the first time it was possible to quantify as part of her dissertation work how the extent of the Antarctic ice sheet has changed over the past 20 years and which environmental factors have favoured the retreat of glacier and ice shelf fronts along the Antarctic Peninsula, West Antarctica and in Wilkes Land (East Antarctic).

The prize offered by the Helmholtz administration rewards outstanding achievement and is intended to encourage future doctoral candidates to carry out mission oriented research and to position themselves at the interface between science and applications. Dr. Baumhoer was awarded the "Helmholtz Prize for her doctorate on mission oriented research in the Aeronautics, Space and Transport field".

In addition to a prize of €5,000, a Helmholtz field study fellowship of up to three months is included. As part of the fellowship, market research will be financed and supported with mentoring in order to optimally promote the applications potential of the honoured work.

Impressions from the award ceremony

Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft / Marco Urban