Pair of AAE graduate students named Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellows

Elizabeth Benitez and Jennifer Pouplin were among 35 fellows awarded from 14 countries in 2020, and each will receive a $10,000 fellowship.
Earhart
Elizabeth Benitez and Jennifer Pouplin

Two AAE Ph.D. students were selected as Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship recipients.

Elizabeth Benitez and Jennifer Pouplin were among 35 fellows awarded from 14 countries in 2020, and each will receive a $10,000 fellowship.

Zonta International’s global mission is for women in the aerospace industry to have access to all resources and be represented in decision-making positions on an equal basis with men. The Amelia Earhart Fellowship was established in 1938 in honor of Earhart, who joined Purdue in 1935 as a counselor in the study of careers for women and an advisor in aeronautics. The annual fellowship is awarded to women pursuing doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and space sciences.

For her Ph.D. research, Benitez is studying travelling hypersonic instabilities related to an axisymmetric separation bubble. As part of the research, she has built a laser interferometer to work with the Mach 6 quiet tunnel to make high-speed off-the-surface measurements.

AAE professors Steven Schneider and Joseph Jewell are her co-advisors.

“I'm incredibly honored to be receiving this fellowship, and to be recognized among other women in aerospace engineering around the world,” Benitez said. “I'm happy that Zonta International will be helping to support my research through this fellowship.”

Pouplin is working with David Minton, a professor in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences who has a courtesy appointment in AAE, on the formation of Martian moons. Pouplin, who is French, was attracted to Purdue because of its reputation in space exploration — “What a better place to start a space career than the Cradle of Astronauts?”— and her career goal is to participate in space mission designs as a research scientist.

“This fellowship offers me the opportunity to connect with like-minded space-inspired fellows while supporting me through my PhD studies,” said Pouplin, who earned her master’s from AAE.