Dr Bettina Bajaj

Dr Bettina Bajaj

Teaching Fellow

Translation Studies


Joined UCL
1st Oct 2013

Research summary

My research concerns the specific radio communications between pilots and air traffic controllers and how any miscommunications between these two groups can be minimised. I argue that such miscommunications would be reducible by developing an ASR/MT communication system built with very Deep Neural Networks (DNNs), Neural Machine Translation (NMT), and other state-of-the-art AI techniques. I also investigate the concept of communication awareness in general, and in particular in safety-critical communication settings. In addition, I carry out research into critical human factor elements in flight, such as stress, workload, and situation awareness, with particular reference to how these can affect pilot-controller communications. Recently, I have started to look into the relationship of human factors and the work of translators. I have co-supervised PhD research in the area of explicit semantic analysis in translation memory systems.

Teaching summary

I have taught on the MSc in Scientific, Technical and Medical Translation with Translation Technology since 2008 when it was still based at Imperial College London. I joined UCL in 2013, where the MSc course was transferred to during that year. Over the years I have taught various subjects on the MSc, including Concepts in Lexicography, Introduction to Terminology, Introduction to Language Engineering, and Introduction to Term Extraction. At the University of Surrey, I taught both scientific/technical translation and economic/business translation from English into German on the MA in Translation as well as de/en specialist translation at undergraduate level. My PhD was in Terminology Science and Professional Communication and this is where my main interests in teaching and research lie. In the present academic year I teach Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) as part of the Language and Automation module, for which I am also the course convenor. I supervise MSc dissertations in practical and theoretical terminology, professional communication, safety-critical communication, specialist translation, and ASR-related topics.


University of Surrey
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2003
University of Surrey
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 1993


I hold an undergraduate degree in French Translation and Law from the SDI München in Germany. After finishing my degree, I moved to the UK to do an MA in Translation at the University of Surrey. Following this, I was employed as a Research Officer in the Artificial Intelligence Group within the Department of Mathematics & Computing Science and the then Department of Linguistic & International Studies at the University of Surrey. It was during that time that I discovered my passion for terminology science and unimpeded professional communication, as a result of which I started a PhD at Surrey in these fields, which I combined with my interests in aviation communication and aircraft accident investigation. Since finishing my PhD, I have taught at the University of Surrey and also at Imperial College London, where I was also given the opportunity to learn about and gain knowledge in the area of human factors relating to communication issues in aviation. At present, I am a Teaching Fellow and researcher in CenTraS at University College London.