2008 Distinguished Service Award

Presented to: Dr. Christopher Hegarty

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

Dr. Christopher Hegarty

Dr. Christopher Hegarty served as ION president from January 2008 – January 2009. Prior to his term as president he served on the ION Executive Committee and ION Council. 

During his year as President, Dr. Hegarty continued the work he had started as the ION’s Executive Vice President on the ION’s Strategic Plan. In this capacity he helped the ION modernize its mission and introduced the ION’s new Premium Level Professional membership, which increased the amount of on-line paper retrievals for ION members with research needs. He also supported an agreement between the ION and the IEEE AESS for ION to perpetually host the Positioning, Location and Navigation Symposium (PLANS) every other year as well as for the ION to become the official co-sponsor of the Joint Navigation Conference (JNC) with the Joint Services Data Exchange (JSDE). Under his leadership the ION also facilitated a new workshop with the Air Force Research Lab on the Guidance, Navigation and Control for Miniature Autonomous Systems. 

Dr. Hegarty has also continued the tradition of ION being an ardent supporter of student programs with his continued support of the ION’s Graduate Student Awards Program, Robotic Lawn Mower Competition, and the ION’s recently announced Mini-Urban Challenge which will challenge high school students to design and operate a robotic unmanned car built from a LEGO MINDSTORMS kit that can accurately navigate through a LEGO city (the first competition will be held in the spring of 2009). Additionally, the ION produced its first online technical tutorial, which will be used as a model for future online tutorials. 

Several international initiatives were also passed by ION Council under Dr. Hegarty’s leadership. Partnering with The Partnership for Sustainable Development in Navigation Science and Technology in Africa, the Council approved funding for ION member instructors to travel to teach and promote a knowledgeable GNSS workforce in Africa. Additionally, Dr. Hegarty has chaired numerous sessions at ION conferences. He is a past ION GNSS program chair and general chair. He is an ION Fellow and past recipient of the ION Satellite Division’s Johannes Kepler Award (2005).