2004 Burka Award

Presented to: Dr. Christopher R. Carlson, Dr. J. Christian Gerdes and Dr. J. David Powell

Citation: For their paper “Error Sources When Land Vehicle Dead Reckoning with Differential Wheelspeeds” published in the Spring 2004 issue of NAVIGATION, The Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 51, No. 1, pp. 13.


Dr. Christopher R. Carlson is currently the controls engineering manager at Hansen Medical Inc. He earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in the Dynamic Design Lab while at Stanford University in 2003. His research interests include modeling, identification and control of dynamic systems with classical as well as computational tools. His current favorite experimental platforms are land vehicles and medical robots.

Dr. J. Christian Gerdes

Dr. J. Christian Gerdes is currently an assistant professor in the Design Group of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stanford University. He is also the director of the Dynamic Design Laboratory (DDL), which focuses on the integration of dynamic modeling and control into the mechanical design process. Current activities in the DDL include the development of GPS-based techniques for ground vehicle state estimation and control, the diagnosis of steer-by-wire systems and control of Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition engines. He received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and, in 2002, was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Dr. J. David Powell

Dr. J. David Powell received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from MIT in 1960 and his Ph.D in Aero/Astro from Stanford University in 1970. He joined the Stanford Aeronautics and Astronautics Department and the Mechanical Engineering Department Faculty in 1971 and is currently an emeritus professor. Recent focus of research is centered around applications of GPS: GPS-based attitude determination augmented with inertial sensors, applications of the FAA’s WAAS for enhanced pilot displays, the use of WAAS and new displays to enable closer spacing on parallel runways, and the use of WAAS for flight inspection for conventional navigation aids. He has co-authored two text books in control systems design.