Bruyninx Receives 2014 Ivan I. Mueller Award for Service and Leadership

Carine Bruyninx received the 2014 Ivan I. Mueller Award for Service and Leadership at the 2014 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, held 15-19 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “major achievements in service and/or leadership to the geodesy community.”


Bruyninx_Carine_Mueller_Award_SIZEDThe Ivan I. Mueller Award for Distinguished Service and Leadership recognizes major achievements in service to and leadership of the geodesy community that go beyond scientific and research contributions. Inspired by the role model of Ivan I. Mueller, an AGU Fellow and Waldo E. Smith Medalist, the award is intended to recognize a body of work that enhances the visibility of geodesy within AGU as well as within the international associated bodies.

We are honored to be invited to write the citation for this year’s recipient of the award, our distinguished colleague Carine Bruyninx of the Royal Observatory of Belgium. Carine was chosen by the international geodetic community to take on the role of network coordinator of the Reference Frame Sub-Commission for Europe (EUREF) Permanent Network (EPN) in 1996. She is broadly recognized for her vision in transforming Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) networks for scientific applications. Today, she continues her tireless and skillful service as head of the EPN Central Bureau. By employing rigorous scientific principles, Carine has shown the world how one can develop and actively stimulate the use of common guidelines in a GNSS network involving more than 30 countries. In large part owing to Carine’s efforts, the EPN became a shining example for other networks to follow, and a preeminent pillar in the International GNSS Service (IGS), which has its roots in the vision and leadership of Ivan I. Mueller. The community recognizes Carine’s dedicated service to geodesy through her appointment to the IGS Governing Board, and to other leadership roles within the International Association of Geodesy.

To quote one of the supporting letters, “Dr. Bruyninx has played a major role in enabling and promoting the GNSS transformation. In so doing, she has exemplified par excellence all the qualities of leadership and service that the Mueller Award is intended to recognize.”


—Geoff Blewitt, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada;
—Véronique Dehant, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium; and
—ZUheir Altamimi, Institut Géographique National, Paris, France



Thank you for your kind words. I am extremely honored to receive this award and would like to thank all of those involved in the process.

After finishing my studies in astrophysics at the University of Leuven, faith drove me in the direction of GPS when I was hired at the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) to “integrate Belgium in international terrestrial reference frames.”  We installed permanent GPS stations and integrated one of them in the International GPS (now Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)) Service (IGS). I started to attend the meetings of the International Association of Geodesy subcommission for the European Reference frame (EUREF), and when EUREF decided to set up a regional densification of the IGS, I was asked, at the end of 1995, to become the network coordinator. Without fully realizing the consequences, I answered positively. Since that time, my team and I have been responsible for the daily management of the EUREF Permanent Network (EPN). This position has given me the opportunity to interact with a lot of colleagues, to learn from them, and to have interesting discussions on how to upgrade the EPN in response to evolving technological developments, such as real-time data streaming, multi-GNSS, and individual antenna calibrations while maintaining reliable station metadata (my battle horse for many years).

I am fortunate to have worked with numerous colleagues over the years. I would like especially to thank the former director of ROB, Professor P. Pâquet, my mentor in the early years, who will always have my full respect. The discussions with the members of the EUREF Technical Working Group, with whom I’ve worked closely together for 2 decades, were constructive and challenging. Finally, I would like to thank my colleagues within the GNSS research group at ROB: we complement each other, and it is a joy every day again to work with each of you.

—Carine Bruyninx, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels