Background and activities

PhD topic: Deployment, search and recovery of marine sensors using a fixed-wing UAV. Main supervisor: Professor Tor Arne Johansen.

I completed my previous education at the University of Minnesota in the USA. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace engineering and Mechanics in 1999, and then with a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering (with a focus on Flight Controls) in 2001.

After graduating, I moved out to Seattle, Washington where I worked in the Autopilot Control Law group with The Commercial Airplane Group at The Boeing Company from 2001 until 2007. There I got to follow the development of a commercial aviation Autopilot from the launch of a new program through control law development, simulations, hardware-in-the-loop testing and finally through the intensive period of the flight test program and certification demonstrations.

When family considerations made me return to Norway at the end of 2007, I started working in the Applied Cybernetics group at SINTEF in Trondheim. My experiences from the safety-oriented Aviation industry, led to several assignments related to techinal safety in the Oil and Gas industry. I remain engaged in a small position with SINTEF in order to follow-up an ongoing project related to mid-term conflict detection and resolution for the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Programme.

I started working on my PhD with the AMOS center of Excellence at NTNU in August 2013. I will research the possibility of using a fixed wing UAV to deploy/place, locate and recover marine sensors.

Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Journal publications

Part of book/report

  • Merz, Mariann; Johansen, Tor Arne. (2017) A strategy for robust precision control of an endbody being towed by an orbiting UAV. AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, AIAA SciTech Forum.
  • Merz, Mariann; Johansen, Tor Arne. (2017) Optimal Path of a UAV Engaged in Wind-influenced Circular Towing. 2017 Workshop on Research, Education and Development of Unmanned Aerial Systems (RED-UAS).
  • Merz, Mariann; Johansen, Tor Arne. (2016) Feasibility study of a circularly towed cable-body system for UAV applications. 2016 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS).
  • Håbrekke, Solfrid; Hauge, Stein; Lundteigen, Mary Ann; Merz, Mariann. (2012) Reliability performance of technical systems: A case study in relation to drilling operations. 11th International Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management Conference and the Annual European Safety and Reliability Conference 2012, 25-29 June 2012, Helsinki, Finland.


  • Hauge, Stein; Håbrekke, Solfrid; Kråkenes, Tony; Lundteigen, Mary Ann; Merz, Mariann. (2012) Barriers to prevent and limit acute releases to sea. Environmental barrier indicators. 2012. ISBN 9788214053968. SINTEF Rapport (A22763).
  • Hauge, Stein; Kråkenes, Tony; Håbrekke, Solfrid; Johansen, Gorm Idar; Merz, Mariann; Onshus, Tor. (2011) Barriers to prevent and limit acute releases to sea. Environmental risk acceptance criteria and requirements to safety systems. 2011. ISBN 9788214052275. SINTEF Rapport (A20727).