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Friday, February 27, 2004
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Ohio University Avionics Engineering Center awarded for excellence

ATHENS, Ohio -- The world's largest aviation, space and defense professional society has awarded the Ohio University Avionics Engineering Center, part of the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology, the Distinguished Institution Award for Avionics. Devoted to engineering and science progress, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) presented the award this fall at the 22 Digital Avionics Systems Conference in Indianapolis.

Institutions that support the AIAA, digital electronics, and the conference are eligible for the award. On top of these criteria, AIAA looks for institutions with outstanding research and achievements in avionics.

"The center is being recognized not only for its technical excellence, nationally and internationally," said James Rankin, center director, "but also for its participation in committees and conferences that further the state of the art. The award is a tremendous honor -- it shows our peers recognize the outstanding research and service of our faculty and staff," Rankin said.

Avionics are the aviation electronics systems that enable safe aircraft operation across the globe. Ohio University was acknowledged for work on navigation landing systems and cockpit displays, and for supporting students. The Avionics Engineering Center has supported the Federal Aviation Administration and NASA with research and flight test for 40 years, actively participating in the development of national and international aviation standards.

Current research includes the expansion of the Global Positioning System and Synthetic Vision, which helps pilots navigate in low visibility by detecting terrain database errors. The center also provides Instrument Landing System technical support, improving reliability and maintenance efficiency.

AIAA was established in 1963 when the American Rocket Society merged with the Institute for Aerospace Sciences. Its members are responsible for most of modern American flight's milestones.

The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, educates well-rounded professionals with both technical and team-project skills. The Russ College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across the traditional engineering spectrum and in technology disciplines such as aviation, computer science, and industrial technology. Research areas currently receiving significant funding include avionics, distributed and secure computing, fuel cells, oil and gas pipeline corrosion, and environmental pipes and culverts. Named for alumnus Fritz Russ and his wife Dolores, the Russ College is home of the Russ Prize, one of the top three engineering prizes in the world.

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Media Contacts: Russ College Director of External Relations Colleen Girton, girtonc@ohio.edu, or (740) 593-1488 or Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, jefferyj@ohio.edu or (740) 597-1793.

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