IEEE Walter R. Fried Memorial Award

The IEEE Walter R. Fried Memorial Award for Best Paper is a personalized plaque and a financial honorarium of $750 for the lead author.


Walter Fried was born in Vienna, Austria in 1923. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 17 and first resided in Cincinnati, Ohio. During World War II, he served in the U. S. Army in Europe as a translator and interpreter. After the war, Walter earned his engineering degrees at the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University.

Walter’s first professional job was at Wright Field in the then new field of airborne radar.  His next job was at the General Precision Company in New Jersey where he contributed to the development of multi-beam Doppler radar for navigation system applications. This was followed by an assignment as Chief Scientist for the F-111 avionics at the North American Autonetics Division in California where he was also involved with the beginnings of the GPS program. He then became the Technical Director at Hughes Aircraft for the Relative Navigation portion of the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS).

In recognition of his professional engineering accomplishments, Walter was elected to be a Fellow in the IEEE in 1981 “for contributions and technical leadership in the development of Doppler radar and relative navigation systems.”

During his distinguished career, Walter generously volunteered his time to the IEEE Aerospace Electronics Systems Society (AESS) by serving on the Board of Governors for many years and coordinating the activities of the AESS Technical Panels and the Distinguished Lecturers Program of which he was also a participant. He was the AESS representative on the PLANS Executive Committee since the first conference in 1976 until his death at 75 in 1998.

Walter lectured widely throughout the world on navigation topics and was also well known internationally, for his work as a co-editor of both the 1st and 2nd editions of the important reference book "Avionics Navigation Systems".


The selection criteria includes:

  • technical content
  • innovation
  • importance and timeliness of the subject matter
  • conciseness, clarity and completeness of the written material.

The paper must appear in the proceedings, and must be presented by the lead author (who must be present to receive the award at the PLANS Awards Luncheon on Thursday). 

Past Recipients

  • 2023: Zachary Clements, Todd Humphreys, The University of Texas at Austin; Patrick Ellis, Spire Global for the paper, “Dual-Satellite Geolocation of Terrestrial GNSS Jammers from Low Earth Orbit”

  • 2020: Lakshay Narula, Peter A. Iannucci, and Todd E. Humphreys, Radio Navigation Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin for the paper, "Automotive-Radar-Based 50-cm Urban Positioning"

  • 2018: Joe Khalife and Zak M. Kassas, University of California, Riverside for the paper, “Precise UAV Navigation with Cellular Carrier Phase Measurements” 

  • 2016: Kristopher Kozak and Marc Alban, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) for the paper, “Ranger: A Ground-facing Camera-based Localization System for Ground Vehicles”

  • 2014:  A.D. Challoner, H.H. Ge, J.Y. Liu, The Boeing Company for the paper “Boeing Disc Resonator Gyroscope”

  • 2012:  J.A. Bhatti, T.E. Humphreys, The University of Texas at Austin; B.M. Ledvina, Coherent Navigation for the paper, “Development and Demonstration of a TDOA-Based GNSS Interference Signal Localization System”

  • 2010: Kathryn A. Daltorio, Amaury D. Rolin, Jonathan A. Beno, Bradley E. Hughes, Alexander Schepelmann, Michael S. Branick, Roger D. Quinn, Case Western Reserve University; James. M. Green, MTD Products, Inc. for the paper, "An Obstacle-Edging Reflex for an Autonomous Lawnmower"

  • 2008: J.F. DeNatale, R.L. Borwick, C. Tsai, P.A. Stupar, Y. Lin, Teledyne Scientific Company; R.A. Newgard, R.W. Berquist, Rockwell Collins, Inc.; M. Zhu, Agilent Laboratories for the paper, "Compact, Low-Power Chip-Scale Atomic Clock"

  • 2006: Felix Goldenberg, Goodrich Corporation for the paper, "Geomagnetic Navigation Beyond the Magnetic Compass"