Mariana Belgiu receives the Professor De Winter Award

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Today, during the DIES Natalis, Mariana Belgiu (ITC) was presented the 2023 Professor De Winter Award. Dr Mariana Belgiu is associate professor in the department of Earth Observation Sciences (EOS) of the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation. Dr Belgiu won the award for her article entitled PRISMA and Sentinel-2 spectral response to the nutrient composition of grains, which was published in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment: the leading journal in this domain.

Around the world many people suffer from malnutrition, so it is very important that basic products such as rice, soy and wheat are as nutritious as possible. Quality measurements of crops must be carried out to ensure that this is the case. Conventional measurement methods are costly and time consuming and can only be performed after the harvest, which eliminates the option of interventions during growth. Belgiu’s article demonstrates that satellites can collect much more information using remote sensing and at a higher speed, with a greater frequency and for much larger surface areas than before. This makes early fertilisation possible which improves the nutritional quality of grains. The jury praised the inventive research question, the excellent execution and the top-notch presentation of her work.

Background of Mariana Belgiu

Dr Belgiu grew up in Romania and obtained her PhD in the field of remote sensing from the University of Salzburg, Austria, in 2014. She joined the ITC in 2017 as an assistant professor and over the years has become an expert in this field. She has published articles in leading journals and has already received many research grants. She also coordinates important research projects and supervises PhD candidates. In addition to the above, Dr Belgiu has continued broadening her professional development beyond being an excellent researcher; for example as a member of ITC-s Committee on Impact, her involvement in the reorganisation of the curriculum, and she has been nominated twice for the ITC education award.

Professor De Winter Award

The Professor De Winter Award is intended as a recognition of excellent academic talent and an incentive to continue building a successful academic career. The award is presented annually on behalf of the Professor De Winter Fund, a Named Fund established at the Twente University Fund by the late Professor De Winter. After her death in 2013, her heirs, UT alumnus Henk Hoving and his partner Thijs van Reijn, decided to continue the annual award. The award was presented for the 17th time this year.

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