Mark Psiaki receives the 2020 Meir Hanin International Memorial Prize
Virginia Tech professor Mark Psiaki has been awarded a prestigious international prize in recognition of his contributions to the aerospace sciences.
The Meir Hanin International Memorial Prize was recently presented to Psiaki at the 60th Israel Annual Conference on Aerospace Sciences at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel. The prize honors prominent researchers from around the world who have made substantial scientific and/or technological contributions to the advancement of aerospace sciences.
Psiaki is the Kevin Crofton Faculty Chair of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech and a distinguished scholar in the fields of dynamics and control, GPS/GNSS navigation, GPS/GNSS spoofing and jamming, and spacecraft attitude and orbit determination.
He delivered the 2020 Hanin Memorial Plenary Lecture and was honored in early March with an award and a cash prize of $10,000. His keynote lecture focused on the functionality of Kalman filtering, an estimation technique used for guidance, navigation, and control of vehicles, including aircraft, spacecraft and ships. Kalman filters are algorithms that use a series of measurements observed over time, containing statistical noise and other inaccuracies, to produce state estimates which would be less accurate or impossible to form based on a single measurement.
While in Israel, he also presented a lecture at the Technion in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. In this setting, his lecture was geared toward a much more technical audience and focused on the challenges of nonlinear Kalman filtering. These algorithms have applications in autonomous vehicles, satellite tracking, smart phones, rocket launches, and even numerical weather forecasting.
Psiaki has had long ties to the Technion. He served as a visiting associate professor under the Lady Davis Fellowship program for the 1994-95 academic year, and he returned to the Technion as a visiting professor for one semester in 2001. He was a keynote speaker at the Memorial Symposium on Estimation, Navigation, and Spacecraft Control in memory of the Technion’s Prof. Itzhack Bar-Itzhack in 2012 and served on an external review panel for the Technion’s aerospace program in 2015.
The Hanin prize, awarded once every two years, was established in memory of the late Professor Meir Hanin, who was a prominent scientist in theoretical aerodynamics and a member of the Technion’s Faculty of Aerospace Engineering from 1955 to 1999.
Psiaki is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and a Fellow of the Institute of Navigation. He was the recipient of the Burka Award in 2005 and the Tycho Brahe Award in 2013, both from the Institute of Navigation.