Modelling air traffic plans for fuel efficiency and lower fees

Mitacs Globalink Research Intern contributes to air traffic research at Concordia University

Frederich Nietzsche once spoke about ‘dancing’ as an art that is indispensable to the highest forms of education. Elaine Dong, a Computer Science intern from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, has found her inner dancer — figuratively and literally — in Montreal as she contributes to research on fuel efficient air traffic management this summer.

Under supervision from Professor Ali Akgunduz at Concordia University, Elaine has been researching computer modelling that helps commercial airlines to optimize an airplane’s travel route for fuel efficiency and reduced fees. The computer models take into account information such as arrival and departure locations and timing, cost of fuel, airport fees, and more.

Though the research proved to be a challenge at first, Elaine has since found her footing: “Working with my professor here at Concordia is helping me to improve my skills in modelling and simulation. I am given access to cutting-edge knowledge of my field!”  She is already hoping to return to Canada for graduate school, and hopes to receive the Mitacs Globalink Graduate Fellowship when she does.

Around Montreal, she has had many interesting and new experiences so far. Her favourite experience has been to visit Montreal’s famous Place des Arts: “I was going there every night after I first arrived. The [outdoor] music was so good that I had to move my hips and start dancing!”

With the other Globalink research interns, she enjoyed an exclusive visiting tour of the Montreal offices of technology giant, Google, as well as ETS Centech — a local technology commercialization facility.

Elaine is grateful for such an unforgettable internship. “I love Montreal! Everything here is perfect — the research, the people, and the experience that I am getting. I can’t wait to come back.”

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec for their support of the Globalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Saskatchewan, and Research Manitoba.

Mitacs is pleased to work with international partners to support Globalink, including Brazil’s le Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, the China Scholarship Council, Campus France, India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development, and Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

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