In this article, we introduce you to Evelyn Otero Sola who participates in the RefMap project from KTH Royal Institute of Technology. As a part of our campaign “Women In Aviation Science”, she answered several questions, such as how she got involved in the project, which roles she has undertaken, her main objective of environmental impact reduction of aviation through ATM optimisation, and the importance of gender diversity in her field. Let’s read her story.
How did you initially become involved with RefMap, and what motivated you to contribute your expertise to this project?
Refmap originates from two joint projects related to aviation and UAM. I was originally the leader of the project related to aviation (see figure below) and later on was strongly involved in the overall framework definition of the Refmap project adding new areas such as a macro level analysis of the traffic flow, UAM integration, and alternative fuels. Being able to take further the ambition of this first aviation project at a technical but also collaborative level was a very exciting opportunity for me while still focusing on my main objective of environmental impact reduction of aviation through ATM optimisation.
I consider that teaching and supervision are my most direct ways of influencing, inspiring, and motivating other women
In your role within RefMap, how do you contribute to the project's mission of reducing the environmental impact of air travel? What aspects of sustainability are you most passionate about?
Within the REFMAP project, we work with short-term action strategies for aircraft emissions mitigation, where flight trajectories are optimised to minimise climate impact and air pollution while using different types of fuels, such as sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). I particularly work on aircraft emissions modeling for SAF including as well noise modeling to consider a wide spectrum of trade-offs in environmental impact minimisation. In fact, climate impact and air quality are my main focuses in sustainability.
How has your involvement with RefMap contributed to your professional growth and skills development, particularly in the context of sustainability and aviation?
Refmap corresponds to my first European project and is therefore a big step in my professional career. Being there from the very beginning, I had the opportunity to learn about all the steps on how a European project can emerge, be developed, and succeed at a technical but also administrative and management level surrounded by very professional partners both men and women. All belonging to different areas within sustainable aviation, I could learn from them expanding my views beyond my area of expertise. Moreover, I could also gain perspective on how men and women can complement each other on this type of project, driven by different motivations, priorities, or ways of working.
My main hope would be to implement a holistic view in the assessment and minimisation of the environmental impact of aviation while also achieving higher degrees of accuracy in the environmental impact modelling
Looking ahead, what are your hopes and expectations for RefMap's role in advancing eco-friendly aviation practices and contributing to the EU's Green Agenda?
My main hope would be to implement a holistic view in the assessment and minimisation of the environmental impact of aviation while also achieving higher degrees of accuracy in the environmental impact modelling.
As a woman in a science and sustainability-focused role, how do you hope to inspire other women and girls to pursue careers in similar fields?
I consider that teaching and supervision are my most direct ways of influencing, inspiring, and motivating other women. I share my research interests showing its relevant impact on sustainability while also involving them in projects linked to my research, triggering most of the time new motivations for their future careers.