Per Enge memorial webcast this Saturday

November 7, 2018  - By

On Saturday, Nov. 10, Stanford colleagues of Professor Per Enge will host a celebration of his life. A live webcast of the event will be available here at  at 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

The video will be available afterwards on this site.

GPS World extends this invitation to join Per’s family and friends in celebrating the wonderful life that he led and the extraordinary impact he had on those around him. Guests at the live event will be invited to share their favorite memories.

The following statement was recently read into the minutes of the Stanford Faculty Senate:

Per K. Enge, the Vance D. and Arlene C. Coffman Professor in the School of Engineering and one of the world’s foremost experts in GPS technologies, passed away on April 22, 2018, at his home in Mountain View, California. He was 64.

Per Enge, Professor and Director, Stanford university Center for Position Navigation and Time

Per Enge, Professor and Director, Stanford University Center for Position Navigation and Time. (Photo: Stanford University)

Per was born Oct. 29, 1953, in Bergen, Norway. He immigrated at the age of 2 to the United States with his father and mother.

He earned his B.S. in electrical engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1975 and his MS and PhD at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1979 and 1983, respectively. He met his wife of 38 years, Elaine, while at UMass. His son, Nick, a Stanford graduate and now a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, said that despite his academic upbringing, his dad was a middling student until Elaine introduced him to the library at UMass, where she was most often found.

While pursuing his advanced degrees, Per worked in industry, where he first gained experience using radio signals for terrestrial navigation. He then took a position as assistant professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he designed a radio-navigation positioning system that today has more than 1.5 million marine and land users. He also started to work on augmenting GPS so that it could be safely used for aeronautical navigation. Due to this effort he was recruited by Stanford University for a one-year visiting professorship in 1993 that was ultimately extended to full professorship.

While at Stanford, Per became one of the FAA’s most trusted advisors on the provision of aircraft guidance. He oversaw the development of two different systems that today allow airplanes to safely determine their positions within meters regardless of the weather conditions.

Per was a member of the National Academy of Engineers, a Fellow of the Institute of Navigation, and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Per is particularly remembered as a teacher and mentor. He designed a freshman course in electric cars and aircraft and helped launch a popular massive open online course (MOOC) for the GPS community outside Stanford. He leaves behind a strong legacy of more than 40 Ph.D. students, co-workers and colleagues who have been inspired by his genuine joy in being able to work in such an exciting field.

Per is survived by his wife, Elaine, of Mountain View, and a son, Nick, of Austin. In lieu of flowers, donations in Enge’s memory can be made to a new graduate student scholarship fund under the Stanford department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Donations can be made at



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About the Author: Alan Cameron

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