2014 Weems Award

Presented to: Patricia Doherty

Citation: For her contributions to the management and encouragement of advanced navigation research and for her service to The Institute of Navigation.


Ms. Patricia Doherty has led international efforts to foster Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) technology and education in developing countries. For the past five years, she has lead an initiative to help developing countries derive social and economic benefits from the satellitebased technology of PNT, by organizing and chairing prominent ION members to teach and interact with teams of professors and scientists from African universities. Due to these outreach efforts, sustainable developments have been made in Africa and numerous academic programs are operational or in the process of development. GPS receivers have been installed in many universities in developing nations, and scientists and students are using the knowledge provided from the workshops and the infrastructure to develop masters and PhD research topics. The scientific community is now seeing the first ionospheric measurements from Africa, a region that has been previously void of information. Perhaps most importantly, these activities have resulted in a general awareness of GPS by local African governments and universities with the hope that GNSS applications will eventually be used to increase food security, manage natural resources, provide efficient emergency location services, improve surveying and mapping, and provide greater precision and safety in land, water, and air navigation systems.

Ms. Doherty has been an active researcher in the area of radio wave propagation for over 20 years, focusing on ionospheric effects in satellite-based navigation including Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) and the FAA’s Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). She is the co-chair of the International SBAS Working Group, has authored or co-authored over 50 technical papers and is a co-recipient of the ION’s Burka Award (1995). She is currently the head of the Institute for Scientific Research at Boston College and president of The Institute of Navigation.