GNSS leaders honored at GPS World dinner

October 13, 2017  - By

It is a beautiful, crisp afternoon, the last of the summer, as I write and as we prepare for next week’s ION GNSS+ conference, where GPS World and sponsors Harris Corporation, Rockwell Collins and Spirent Federal Systems will host the 2017 Leadership Dinner and confer this year’s Leadership Awards in Satellites, Signals, Services and Products.

The engraved glass awards nestle snug in their boxes beside me, the names upon them known only by a few.

However, as you read this, it is early October — and hopefully another beautiful crisp afternoon among autumn’s best — and those glass awards are safe at home with their new owners. Their names are known by all 125 Leadership Dinner attendees, and now by you as well. We will publish their spoken remarks in the December issue. Here now are the basic details.

The voting ballot for the awards was assembled by polling a group of roughly 25 industry VIPs for their nominations, and that same group plus another 40 voted for the final recipients.

The 2017 Leadership Award for Satellites went to Wolfgang Paetsch, director of Navigation for OHB, primarily responsible for the space projects that the company executes for the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union. He was nominated for his leadership in setting up the routine production of the Galileo satellites leading to Galileo constellation deployment, including the quadruple Ariane 5 launch in November 2016. As one voter remarked as he cast his ballot, “The quadruple launch capability is a key enabler for the future.”

The Leadership Award for Signals was conferred upon Christopher Hegarty, director for Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Engineering and Spectrum at The MITRE Corporation, for contributions to the Department of Transportation’s GPS Adjacent Band Compatibility Assessment. Said Compatibility Assessment has been a long and winding road, and has required several sure hands, Chris’ among them, to guide it. We hope to publish something on its outcomes soon.

The Leadership Award for Services was given to Patricia Doherty, director and senior scientist at the Institute for Scientific Research at Boston College, for initiating and leading the Africa GNSS Outreach program since 2009. The program’s mission is to help developing countries derive social and economic benefits from satellite-based positioning, navigation and timing. Each year, around 50 graduate students and faculty from African and other countries attend these GNSS workshops. The faculty reads like a Who’s Who of satnav scientists and teachers, testifying to both Doherty’s formidable recruiting talents and the dedication of this community to knowledge-sharing around the world.

2017 GPS World Leadership Awards.

The Leadership Award for Products was a tri-partite affair, going to colleagues Charles Abraham and Andreas Warloe, vice president of Engineering and senior director of GPS Engineering, respectively, at Broadcom. As the chief designer and the architect of the first dual-frequency L1/L5 E1/E5 GNSS chip for smartphones, they are helping to usher in a new era of high-precision GNSS in mass-market products. See this article for more details on the just-launched product.

The two shared the award with Javier de Salas, director of Software Engineering at Broadcom, for leadership in establishing Galileo-ready receiver products.

A good time was had by all at the Leadership Dinner, which also included the PNT Powerplay Puzzle and Pig-in-a-Poke Live Auction. Details in December!

About the Author: Alan Cameron

Alan Cameron is the former editor-at-large of GPS World magazine.