Dr. Richard B. Kershner Award


In 1986, the PLANS Executive Committee established an award for outstanding achievement. The purpose was to recognize individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the technology of navigation and position equipment, systems or practices.  The committee has established this as a PLANS tradition, thus permitting the IEEE to recognize those who have contributed most significantly to this modern era of electronic navigation.

It is appropriate that the award has been named for Dr. Richard B. Kershner (1913-1982).  Dr. Kershner participated in the initial conception and then led the development of Transit, the world's first navigation satellite system.  His technical contributions and his leadership of the Program at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory are examples of the highest standards of personal and professional performance which this award is intended to recognize.  The Transit Program was first funded in 1959, and the system become operational in 1964.  During this short interval Dr. Kershner directed the development and launch of some of the world's first satellites, developed user equipment for both submarines and surface ships, and founded the science of satellite Doppler geodesy to improve knowledge of the earth's gravity field.  The result was a navigation satellite system which served the U.S. Navy and tens of thousands of civil users worldwide.


Please submit nominations for this prestigious award to meetings@ion.org by January 19. Include all the following information in the nomination email:

  1. the name and contact information of the nominee
  2. your name and contact information
  3. a paragraph explaining why the individual should be considered for this award
  4. a proposed citation (25 words or less)
  5. any other relevant information.


Nominations are due by January 19. Only nominations submitted in entirety by January 19 will be considered.

Past Recipients

2004: Itzhack Y. Bar-Itzhack
2002: R. Grover Brown
2000: Mr. Tom Stansell
1998: Charles C. (Chuck) Counselman III
1996: Charles Trimble
1994: Joseph Killpatrick
1992: Alvin Pierce and Eric Swanson
1990: Bahar Uttam
1988: Fred Aronowitz
1986: Dr. Bradford Parkinson