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Daniel Friesen

Daniel Friesen

ESR#11 Understanding the use of automation in helicopters


Technical University of Delft
Politecnico di Milano

Short CV

In May 2014, I received a Bachelor of Science degree in “Mechanical and Process Engineering” as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in “Industrial Engineering” from Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany. In May 2017, I received a Master of Science degree in “Mechanical and Process Engineering” from the same university. I spent one year of my master studies in the US at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, during which I completed and received an “Aerospace Systems Engineering” graduate specialization certificate. Besides systems engineering, my studies were focused on avionic system safety and optimization. An internship at Lufthansa Technik AG gave me the opportunity to get to know and work with aircraft systems and aircraft maintenance systems first hand. I returned to Lufthansa Technik AG to work on the topic of my master thesis, the determination of the impact of minor control surface deflections of commercial aircraft during cruise.


During my studies, many aircraft incidents and accidents I analysed often contained, as one of their causes or enabling factors, automation issues. These issues can reach from faulty data on which the automation system relies, to misconceptions about the behaviour or mode of the automation system. During my work at Lufthansa Technik AG, I worked with specific aircraft automated systems, as well as several automated maintenance systems. My research topic in NITROS is understanding the use of automation in helicopters, analysing currently used systems and practices, and working on possible improvements of the automation system and the human-machine-interface, especially in emergency situations.