Assam girl appointed ambassador of ‘For Girls and Science’ initiative in France


GUWAHATI, June 5, 2018: Assam's Priyanka Das, working on satellite navigation for French major Safran, has been appointed ambassador for an initiative in France to encourage girls to follow scientific careers and take it to higher education levels.

"For Girls and Science" initiative was launched in 2014 to promote more scientific vocations among young people, especially girls, and inspire them to become scientists of tomorrow and supported by the Ministry of National Education of France and the L'Oreal Foundation.

"As part of the programme, we meet middle school and high school students, and through talks and presentations, we try to clear the misconceptions about scientists and women in science," says 26-year-old Priyanka.

It is linked to the L'Oreal Women in Science programme that awards five women scientists each year in collaboration with UNESCO.

Priyanka, who has her roots in Assam, is pursuing her PhD and working in R&D with a team of experts in the Navigation Systems division of Safran.

"I'm working on a very specific matter on how to make positioning more robust and precise. It can have applications as one of the many sensor information used by autonomous systems like a self-driving car for self-localisation," Priyanka said.

"I had the chance of visiting Safran when I was a first year student at Polytechnique. It was a visit organised by ISAE Supaero, an aerospace engineering school in the south of France. I was very impressed with the work they did at Safran and dreamt of working there one day," she says.

"Fast forward two years, I was selected at Supaero for masters in Aerospace Engineering and while a student there, I was chosen for a PhD financed by Safran, with collaboration of the SCAN lab at ISAE Supaero," she says.

The title of her PhD is "Robust and Precise Navigation using Tightly-coupled Hybridization of Inertial and GNSS Phase Measurements".

Priyanka, whose father Manoj Das is DGM (Advisory & Consultancy) in North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) and mother is a senior medical officer in Delhi, received her degree at France's Ecole Polytechnique on June 1.


Image Courtesy: Qrius