Jill Davis, a Ph.D. student in aerospace engineering at Missouri S&T, has received an Amelia Earhart Fellowship from the Zonta International Foundation.
Davis is one of 30 recipients of the award, which is given to women from all over the world pursuing a doctoral degree who demonstrate a superior academic record in aerospace-related sciences or engineering fields.
This fellowship provides women with the opportunity to continue their work in doctoral aerospace programs and includes a $10,000 award. In an effort to ensure that women have access to all resources and are represented in equal decision-making positions with men, Zonta International offers this fellowship to 30 applicants every year.
Davis’s research focuses on the development of novel small satellite navigation techniques to enable deep space and cislunar (near the moon) formation and swarm missions. As humanity begins to explore space beyond the Earth’s orbit, there is a need for advanced manned-mission support systems.
“I am so grateful to have received this amazing fellowship,” says Davis. “I look forward to continuing my small satellite research with Dr. Pernicka in the lab.”
Davis plans to develop vision-based sensor suites that enable relative position and orientation estimation between cooperative members of a spacecraft swarm. She will explore the use of advanced cooperation mechanisms, such as LEDs or QR codes attached to the spacecraft, to increase the accuracy of the sensor suites.
Davis will work in Missouri S&T’s Space Systems Engineering Laboratory to expand the increasing small satellite mission capabilities to one day help propel humans deeper into space. She is advised by Dr. Hank Pernicka, professor of aerospace engineering at S&T.
The Amelia Earhart Fellowship was established in 1938 in honor of famed pilot and Zontian, Amelia Earhart. Since the program began, Zonta has awarded 1,573 Amelia Earhart Fellowships to 1,144 women representing 73 countries. Fellows have gone on to become astronauts, aerospace engineers, astronomers, professors, geologists, business owners and heads of companies.