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Airin Dutta Receives Zonta International Foundation Amelia Earhart Fellowship

Airin Dutta Receives Zonta International Foundation Amelia Earhart Fellowship

By Torie Wells

May 19, 2020

Airin Dutta, a doctoral student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has received the Zonta International Foundation Amelia Earhart Fellowship.

This prestigious and competitive honor is given to no more than 30 women each year who are pursuing doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and space sciences. The fellowship was started in 1938 in honor of Amelia Earhart, who not only was a famous pilot, but also was a member of the Zonta Club.

The program has supported students who have gone on to become astronauts, aerospace engineers, astronomers, professors, geologists, business owners, and a Secretary of the U.S. Air Force.

Dutta’s doctoral research centers around harnessing data and machine learning to enable future self-aware vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft and ensure their safety. More specifically, this work is aimed at developing VTOL aircraft that can sense the environment, interpret that information to self-diagnose how they should operate within complex dynamic environments, detect and identify potential faults and safety-critical issues, and then make optimal decisions.

She is advised by Farhan Gandhi, an endowed chaired professor of aerospace engineering and the director of the Center for Mobility with Vertical Lift (MOVE), and Fotis Kopsaftopoulos, an assistant professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering.


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