This spring term, CIRFA and the Earth Observation group at UiT hosted four international students for their internship or study projects: Lotte Wendt from Lund University (Sweden), Catherine Taelmann from Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands), Marine Mercier from TelecomParis (France) and Quitterie Chambon from Ecole de l’Air (France). The students were supervised by Antony Doulgeris and Andrea Marinoni. All four were were lucky to get into Norway despite limited travel, where they enjoyed a time full of new experiences, discovered new sides in themselves, forged new friendships, and followed the magnificient transition from the “”mørketida” to long days with midnightsun in Tromsø. We are proud that they chose to spend their time with us, and we wish them the best on their promising way ahead.

Lotte, Catherine, Quitterie and Marine tasted many different sides of Tromsø. All photos are private.

What is your study background? 
Lotte: I am a Physical Geography bachelor student from Lund University. The internship was the final part of my degree after having written my thesis.

Catherine: I did all my studies at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. I started with a bachelor in Biomedical Engineering. Afterwards, I wanted to focus more on data analysis in general, so I took a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, which I am now about to finish.

Quitterie: I am a French student in my 3rd year of engineering school in the French Air Force. I’m working to get a degree in aeronautical engineering and thus become a mechanical officer. Before that, I did 3 years of preparatory classes in physics and engineering sciences.

Marine: I am in a French engineering school for computer science where I study computer vision and machine learning.

What did you dedicate your work time in Tromsø to?

Lotte: My internship was focused on learning about basic SAR image analysis. I worked on tasks to gain knowledge of SAR physics and statistics, as well as polarimetry and applications in sea ice mapping. During the last half of the internship, I developed a sea ice classifier in python which was based on the method from Lohse et al. 2020.

Catherine: For the last 7 months I have been working on a label propagation algorithm for multimodal remote sensing data. More specifically, I have applied my method to remote sensing data sets that contain both hyperspectral and LiDAR images. By combining these complementary information sources, more accurate classification maps were obtained.

Marine: During my internship, I focused on the use of geometric deep learning for remote sensing.

Quitterie: Here at CIRFA, I worked on the detection algorithms present in airborne and satellite radars, I tried to test their reliability and robustness and to optimize them. I chose CIRFA to do my end of study master internship because it is a structure that proposed interesting projects focused on the Arctic, the physical changes that can be observed from the sky of the earth, and therefore proposed an accessible vision of scientific research on radars.

Why did you choose to do your internship/study project with us?

Lotte: I wanted to learn about SAR remote sensing and as CIRFA works a lot with SAR imagery, I got in contact with Anthony Doulgeris and he offered to supervise me.

Catherine: After a really good experience at CIRFA during my internship in spring last year, I decided to come back for my master’s thesis. I chose CIRFA in the first place for its research expertise in remote sensing in the Arctic. This was for me a completely new topic compared to the projects I worked on at my home university and I really enjoyed learning more about both remote sensing and the Arctic. I was also curious to experience life so far up North and so close to nature.

Marine: I wanted to discover the world of research, and I chose CIRFA because I found its projects on environment and ice very interesting and necessary.

Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years (professionally)?

Lotte: I hope to work within environmental monitoring, using GIS and remote sensing techniques.

Catherine: I will graduate in July, which means that my time as a student will soon be over. In the future I would like to keep working in a field where science and engineering come together, preferably in Tromsø so that I can keep exploring all the amazing mountains of our backyard.

Marine: In 3 to 5 years I would like to work in innovation, if possible for sustainable projects.

Quitterie: I’m going back to France in June, with this experience, I hope to get my diploma when I go back to France and within 3 years to be a hangar chief ideally in a helicopter squadron to contribute to the research, support and information missions developed by the Air Force.