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Monday, September 15, 2003
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Faculty Feature
Frank Van Graas kicks off Bicentennial Colloquia

Compiled by Adrienne Gavula

Ohio University researchers regularly get to share their work with colleagues in their field through journal articles and conference presentations. Rarely, however, do they get the opportunity to explain their work to such a diverse audience as they will for the Bicentennial Colloquia to be presented in Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium at 4:10 p.m. on Tuesday afternoons.

The series of Colloquia is open to the campus community and public in an effort to encourage a greater understanding and appreciation faculty research.

Frank van GraasFrank van Graas, the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, will be speaking Sept. 16. His lecture, "Why Do Pilots and Astronauts Not Need to Look Out the Window?", grew from his research in electronic navigation systems, as well as satellite positioning and inertial navigation.

Van Graas has been a faculty member at the University since 1988, which is when he earned his doctorate in electrical engineering from Ohio University. He also holds a bachelor's and master's degree in electrical engineering with specialization in avionics from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. His current research projects include the Global Positioning System satellites, inertial navigation and integrated navigation systems.

While working toward his engineering degrees, his research focused on satellite navigation. He was drawn to Ohio University because during that time, the University was the only one in the world that was involved with the development of differential Global Positioning System (GPS) for aircraft. Under a NASA research grant, van Graas was able to continue his research and expand into the development of satellite-based landing systems to replace existing Instrument Landing Systems.

Van Graas will be speaking about this satellite-based landing system Sept. 16 in Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium at 4:10 p.m. For more information on his research, visit www.ohiou.edu/perspectives/9802/landing002.htm.

Adrienne Gavula is a student writer with University Communications and Marketing.
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