Under the Amelia Earhart Fellowships offered by Zonta International, the President of the Zonta Club of Braunschweig, Katrin Epding, presented the Amelia Earhart Award to transport engineer Dr. Isabel Carole Metz.
Dr. Isabel Carole Metz (33) did her PhD at the DLR Institute of Flight Guidance and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands on "Air Traffic Control Advisory System for the Prevention of Bird Strikes".
In her thesis, Dr. Metz developed an advisory system to prevent collisions between aircraft and birds based on real-time data from bird radar. The underlying concept is to delay aircraft departures when a high risk of bird strikes is predicted during take-off. The aim is to prevent critical collisions such as the one which forced an A320 to ditch in New York's Hudson River in 2009. To tackle this interdisciplinary issue, the transport engineer has delved deep into the field of ornithology.
Dr. Metz is currently evaluating her visualisation of the advisory system with controllers in real-time human-in-the-loop simulations. She is also investigating mitigation measures for future Urban Air Mobility (UAM) operations. Due to their low flight altitudes, UAM vehicles spend their entire flight time in bird-rich areas, increasing the likelihood of collisions. Due to the limited impact resistance requirements for UAM vehicle airframes, the risk of damaging collisions is higher than for conventional fixed-wing aircraft.
With these subsequent activities, Dr. Metz aims to implement a bird strike advisory system for air traffic control to contribute to avian and aviation safety.
Dr. Metz's research was awarded the 3rd place in the SESAR Young Scientist Award 2021. The content of her thesis has been published in four journal papers and five conference proceedings. More information can be found in DLR-Magazine No.169 (pp. 24-25).
Prof. Dirk Kügler, Director of the DLR Institute of Flight Guidance, nominated Dr. Metz for the Amelia Earhart Award presented by Zonta Braunschweig.
The Amelia Earhart Award
One of the goals of Zonta International is to support the professional development of young women. To this end, annual scholarships and awards are presented. The Amelia Earhart Fellowship was established in 1983 for women pursuing doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and sciences. The fellowship honours the aviation pioneer and Zontian Amelia Earhart, who disappeared on the last leg of her round-the-world flight in 1937. Amelia Earhart, born on 24 July 1897, was, among others, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, to perform a transcontinental flight and to be awarded the US Distinguished Flying Cross.
Based on the international fellowship, the Zonta Club of Braunschweig annually honours a Braunschweig woman aerospace scientist with the local Amelia Earhart Award.
Zonta is a non-partisan, non-denominational and ideologically neutral association of professional women in leadership positions. The Braunschweig Zonta Club was founded in 1987. The club currently has 25 members from a variety of professional backgrounds.