2019 Distinguished Service Award

Presented to: Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh

Citation: For extraordinary service to The Institute of Navigation.

Suneel Sheikh

The ION Satellite Division’s Autonomous Snowplow Competition supported ION’s mission of advancing the art and science of Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) by challenging university and college students to design, build and operate a fully autonomous snowplow capable of removing snow from a designated path. The competition encourages university students, and their university and industry mentors, to advance engineering solutions in the areas of vehicle navigation and control in real-world applications.

Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh had the visionary foresight to create and organize the first competition. Over the next ten years, his leadership developed and expanded the technical complexity of the challenge, requiring students to continually innovate and improve their use of navigation technology. Additionally, Dr. Sheikh donated his time and energy to make all local arrangements and organize the ION North Star Section’s volunteer efforts, which were required to sustain and staff the competition. He is now committed to supervising the competition during its transition to Dunwoody University.

Dr. Sheikh’s passion for the competition built bridges between local ION members, the rising generations of potential PNT engineers, and industry supporters, through mentorship and outreach. Additionally, it provided an opportunity for various universities, not-for-profit and commercial organizations to work together in pursuit of common goals. His efforts resulted in substantial monetary support from organizations including the ION’s Satellite Division, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, John Deere and significant staff and monetary contributions from his own company, Aster Labs. Dr. Sheikh is truly an ambassador of ION volunteerism.

Dr. Sheikh received his BS from the University of Minnesotatwin cities, a MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University and a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland.