ASDL alumni Dr. Zhenyu Gao was recently selected to receive the 2023 GT Sigma Xi Best Ph.D. Thesis Award. He is one of 10 individuals recognized for the impact and contributions of their doctoral research. Each recipient receives a certificate, a plaque, and $1,000 and are invited to participate in the Sigma Xi Annual Awards Banquet along with their Ph.D. advisor.

Zhenyu’s 2022 dissertation was titled “Representative Data and Models for Complex Aerospace Systems Analysis” and made significant contributions to the field of data-driven aerospace engineering. In his dissertation, Zhenyu utilized improved representations of aeronautical data and models to analyze the performance of aircraft and air transportation system, which has significance in both methodology and application. He developed innovative data reduction and statistical learning algorithms to extract a small amount of representative information from the big, heterogeneous, and multimodal aerospace datasets for computationally expensive analyses. That has enabled the more efficient and accurate modeling of aviation environmental impacts, which will inform new operational procedures, policies, and technologies to mitigate negative aviation environmental impacts.

Zhenyu is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to his Ph.D., he received an MS in Operations Research in 2020 and MS in Aerospace Engineering in 2018 As a GRA, Zhenyu worked on projects in the Advanced Configurations and Civil Aviation Research Divisions.

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, founded in 1886 at Cornell University, is the honor society of scientists and engineers that recognizes scientific achievement. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public’s understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. The Georgia Tech Sigma Xi Club was founded in 1946 and installed as a chapter of the national Society of the Sigma Xi in 1953. The Georgia Tech Chapter of Sigma Xi currently has over 250 members.