The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize has been awarded annually by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to outstanding early career researchers since 1977 as both recognition and an incentive to continue pursuing a path of academic and scientific excellence.
Named after the atomic physicist and former DFG president, the prize is regarded the third most important science prize in Germany, after the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, also awarded by the DFG, and the German Future Prize, which is awarded by the German Federal President.
Zhu, a 30-year-old honorary professor at the Technical University of Munich, has been honored for her research concerning Earth observation. She plans to optimise remote sensing data and provide the foundations needed to design new satellite sensors, the DFG said.
As a group leader at the German Aerospace Center, she develops modern signal processing methods, reconstructing poor signal strengths to improve resolution, reducing noise using non-local filters or reconstructing objects using robust estimators.
“It’s a golden era for Earth observation,” Zhu told Xinhua, “Europe has many relevant projects and China is also making great progress. I’d like to make contributions to promoting scientific cooperations between Germany and China in this area.”