2004 Distinguished Service Award

Presented to: Dr. Penina Axelrad

Citation: In grateful recognition of her leadership and achievements on behalf of the Institute of Navigation.


Dr. Penina Axelrad has served as the Institute of Navigation’s president from June 2004 to June 2005. Prior to her term as president she served on the ION’s Executive Committee and the ION Council, holding several positions including executive vice president, western region vice president and chair of the Satellite Division. She was also the general chair and program chair of the ION GPS 1997 and 1996 meetings, respectively. 

Dr. Axelrad has been instrumental to the success of the Institute’s collaborative efforts with other professional organizations. During this past year the Institute has reached collaborative agreements with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), International Association of Geodesy (IAG) and International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS). As a direct result of Dr. Axelrad’s tenacious efforts, the IEEE and ION entered into an agreement whereby both organizations would equally sponsor and support the technical program and conference management of the PLANS conference. The significant achievement of a jointly sponsored IEEE/ION PLANS conference will serve both professional communities in the exchange of technical information and networking opportunities. These cooperative agreements will pave the way for future collaborations between the ION and other professional organizations, as well as raise the visibility of the ION’s activities to a wider professiona audience. 

Dr. Axelrad is also credited for the origination of the Satellite Division’s Bradford W. Parkinson Award. The Parkinson Award was presented for the first time in September 2004. The award, which honors Dr. Parkinson for his leadership in establishing both the U.S. Global Positioning System and the Satellite Division, will now be given annually to an outstanding graduate student in the fi eld of GNSS. Other achievements include contributions to the Strategic Planning Committee, participation on the ION Government Fellows Selection Committee and direct management and authorship of the Satellite Division’s education modules. 

Dr. Axelrad is Professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado. She has been involved in GPS research since 1985, including topics in time transfer, aircraft, marine, and primarily space applications of GPS. She received her Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University, and an S.B. and S.M. from M.I.T. Dr. Axelrad has been awarded the ION’s Tycho Brahe Award and the AIAA’s Lawrence Sperry Award for her contributions in GPS.