Colonel Thomas L. Thurlow Award

Founded by Sherman Mills Fairchild

Sponsored by The Institute of Navigation


The purpose of this award is to recognize an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of navigation with highest consideration given to the following criteria in descending order of importance:

  1. An outstanding invention or design of equipment that applies to the science of positioning, navigation and/or timing.
  2. An outstanding method for use in positioning, navigation, and/or timing.
  3. Outstanding research or study relating to positioning, navigation and/or timing.


Given in memory of Colonel Thomas L. Thurlow, U.S. Army Corps, a brilliant engineer, skillful pilot, and able officer who contributed significantly to the development and testing of navigation equipment and the training of navigators and pilots. COL Thurlow met an untimely death while flight testing a new compass in 1944.


  • Preference in selection of the recipient shall be given to those contributions that assumed prominence and importance, or culminated during the year immediately preceding the award presentation.
  • A recipient does not have to be a member of the Institute of Navigation.
  • Companies, agencies, bureaus, associations or groups of individuals are not eligible for consideration.
  • The award shall be given, at most, once each year. It shall be given only in those years in which an outstanding nominee is considered worthy of such recognition.
  • Previous recipients are eligible for consideration again if their continuing contributions so warrant.


Nominations for this award may be submitted by anyone, but all nominations must be in conformance with ION nomination standards. Recipients need not be ION members. Nominations received in correct form by October 15 will be considered; submissions received after the closing date will not be considered.

Submit a Nomination

Nominations can be submitted online at the link above, or by email to


The award shall consist of a suitable plaque with appropriate wording.


The presentation of this award is a highlight of the ION International Technical Meeting.

Previous Recipients

1999: Prof. Dr Ir Durk van Willigen
1998: Dr. Norman F. Krasner
1997: Dr. A.J. Van Dierendonck
1996: Dr. Per Enge
1995: Dr. William K. Burns
1994: Walter F. Blanchard
1993: Dr. Paul Johannessen
1992: Harold F. Erdley
1991: David M. Gleason
1990: (Award not presented)
1989: Phillip W. Ward
1988: James R. Huddle
1987: Gus Stavis
1986: Bradford W. Parkinson
1985: John S. Lukesh
1984: Benedict O. Olson
1983: Ernest Metzger
1982: Daniel B. DeBra
1981: Milton Trageser
1980: Sanford Cohen
1979: Davis L. Gardner
1978: Roger L. Easton
1977: David Gold
1976: Kenneth Fertig
1975: Clarence R. Gates
1974: Joseph C. Boltinghouse
1973: Ernest Jellinek
1972: Jerold P. Gilmore
1971: John P. Mayer
1970: Emil Ray Schiesser
1969: David G. Hoag
1968: Maurice A. Meyer
1967: Winslow Palmer
1966: W. J. O'Brien
1965: Dr. Ernst Ludwig Kramar
1964: Col. Robert A. Duffy, USAF
1963: Joseph A. Cestone
1962: Thomas E. Curtis
1961: John R. Moore
1960: Victor E. Carbonara
1959: William J. Tull
1958: Charles F. Blair, Jr.
1957: Dr. Samuel M. Burka
1956: Dr. Charles Stark Draper
1955: Captain Phillip VanHorn Weems, USN
1954: Paul D. Schrock
1953: Capt. F. J. Wylie, RN
1952: Alton B. Moody
1951: Squadron Leader K. R. Greenway, RCAF
1950: Dr. E. G. Bowen
1949: Commander T. D. Davies, USN
1948: D. H. Sadler
1947: J. A. Pierce
1946: Dr. John C. Bellamy
1945: Wing Commander K. C. Maclure, RCAF