Randa Natras, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Home institution: University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Scholarship: Ernst Mach Grant Worldwide
- Duration: 11.2017 - 07.2018
- Motto: Knowledge is the power, whose sources need to be continuously renewed, to ensure the welfare of mankind and progress for a better future.
Randa Natras graduated with a B.Eng. and a M.Eng. in Geodesy from the Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina with the recognition “The Charter of the University of Sarajevo” for the best student of the first and the second cycle of studies at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Sarajevo. She is currently looking for job opportunities, scholarships or grants, which will enable me to continue with research and pursue my PhD. Her research interests are modelling of the Earth’s upper atmosphere – ionosphere utilizing observations of Global Navigation Satellite Systems and studies of associated impacts on the state in the ionosphere, such as solar activity and space weather. During her research stay at Vienna University of Technology, she has developed a first precise GPS-based ionosphere model for the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Besides that, studies of space weather and solar flares impact on the ionosphere over Western Balkan have been carried out.
Her previous work experience includes a 1-year internship as Engineer of Geodesy in the Municipality of Travnik, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2016-2017, a 3-month work as Engineer of Geodesy in the company BNpro, d.o.o Sarajevo in 2016 and a 2-month research internship at University of Oslo, Department of Geosciences, Norway under programme IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience) in 2015. She is furthermore a participant in various non-formal education activities (work-related, soft skills-related and private) such as a volunteer in NGOs and Associations of Citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina in fields of Women’s Human rights, Environmental protection and support of children from SOS Children's Villages. She took part in organizing and implementation of various activities, campaigns, workshops etc.
She received the following international scholarships/grants: European Forum Alpbach Scholarship, 2018; Ernst Mach Grant worldwide, 2017; International Travel Award from International Association of Geodesy (IAG), 2017; Scholarship of BAYHOST - Bavarian Academic Center for Central, East and Southeast Europe, 2016.
Randa Natras is a member of International Association of Geodesy (IAG), European Geosciences Union (EGU), VarSITI program (Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact).
Further Awards and Honors:
- The Charter of the University of Sarajevo, 2016.
- Honorable Mention in xyHt magazine's (USA) global recognition: "40 Under 40, 2017: Remarkable Geospatial Professionals", winter supplement, Outlook, 2017.
- The best pupil of the generation, Grammar school „Travnik“, 2010.
My scholarship in Austria had an enormous impact on my personal and professional development. I had a great opportunity to learn and progress. During the 9-month research stay at Vienna University of Technology, I have learned new scientific software, I had access to the latest literature and all facilities needed to develop first precise GPS-based ionosphere model for the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina and great support from my supervisor Prof. Robert Weber and from other staff in the research area Higher Geodesy. The aim of this model, currently in its initial phase, is the estimation of range corrections to achieve sub-dm accuracy for single-frequency GNSS positioning applications. I was able to present results of the research at an international conference and workshop, to network and collaborate with scientists in Vienna and establish connections with international scientists. Integral parts of the scholarship programme were activities organized by the OeAD, from scholars welcome events to various workshops and excursions in Austria. There I have met scholars from around the world and participated in almost every event, which made my stay in Austria full of wonderful memories. I have enjoyed living in Vienna a lot, in the most liveable city in the world, rich of cultural and historical heritage with easy access to beautiful natural surroundings. Every day I have interacted with international people from around the world, in English or in the German language: at Vienna University of Technology, in German language course at the University of Vienna, in events organized by OeAD and in the student dorm. Through these intercultural experiences, I was able to get to know better other cultures and my own, including cultural-determined personalities, values and beliefs and to understand things from more than one perspective.
My scholarship in Austria positively influenced my life. I have progressed a lot in a scientific sense. I believe that this experience will open up new opportunities and possibilities for further scientific development and career. I have also become more social and open-minded person with broadened horizons and intercultural competencies. My language skills in English and German significantly improved. Many new scientific ideas have been born during my stay in Austria. I have already started with realizing some of them together with colleagues from Vienna University of Technology. Currently the most important for me is that I came up with ideas for my PhD research proposal. In addition, ideas of interculturality, mutual understanding, accepting different and unknown as well as open-mindedness, which I acquired during my stay in Austria, I am applying in my personal life and spreading among people in my environment.
I am sincerely grateful to the OeAD for the grant and all provided support; to my supervisor Prof. Robert Weber for the mentorship, valuable suggestions and comments; to Prof. Johannes Böhm, head of the research area Higher Geodesy, for his time and support; and to other staff in the research area Higher Geodesy for pleasant working environment and enjoyable time at Vienna University of Technology!