2008 Weems Award

Presented to: Prof. Gérard Lachapelle

Citation: For sustained contributions to advances in the area of navigation research and development, education, and training.

Gérard Lachapelle

Prof. Gérard Lachapelle's pioneering efforts were a major part of Canada's international success and presence in the commercialization of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) products and services. He was a founding member and the executive vice president of Nortech (Surveys) Canada Inc. and Norstar Instruments (later sold to NovAtel).

Since joining the University of Calgary in 1988, Prof. Lachapelle and his team have developed numerous novel algorithms, software, applications and patents related to GPS and mobile telephone location which have been licensed worldwide. His work on Loran-C accuracy enhancements (1989- 1994) through calibration by differential GPS was used as input to marine charts published by the Canadian Hydrographic Service. In the mid 1990s, he became involved in the development of a ground-based RF method for mobile phone location. His GPS R&D efforts have focused on kinematic carrier phase based positioning and the co-development of numerous software.

As a professor he has been involved with the development and teaching of navigation curriculum and related research and development. Since 2001, his work has focused on GNSS signal processing enhancements for indoor location, including fusion with other sensors and the development of an advanced software receiver. Prof. Lachapelle and his team have won awards worldwide for their GNSS contributions. The 75 MSc, PhD and post-doctoral/ research engineers that he has trained to completion to date, are playing major roles in growing the Canadian and U.S. industry and in leading research programs of their own at other academic and industrial institutions, and have won numerous awards of their own for their contributions. Since 2001, he has held the Canada Research Chair/Informatics Circle of Research Excellence Chair in Wireless Location. His research includes the development of kinematic carrier phase positioning and indoor location technologies, related novel signal processing methods and new applications in areas as diverse as agriculture, transportation, military, kinesiology and sports.

Prof. Lachapelle remains, active in numerous professional organizations. He is a past president of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics, a past ION western vice-president, and he has led the ION's Alberta Section since 1999. During the past twenty years, he has received some 25 major awards, including the ION's Johannes Kepler Award in 1997. He holds fellowships in the Royal Society of Canada, The Institute of Navigation, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Royal Institute of Navigation and the International Association of Geodesy.