King Receives 2013 Ivan I. Mueller Award for Service and Leadership

Robert W. King was selected during the inaugural year to receive the 2013 Ivan I. Mueller Award for Service and Leadership at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting, held 9–13 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes “major achievements in service and/or leadership to the geodesy community.”


king_robert-wThe Ivan I. Mueller Award recognizes major achievements in the field of geodesy, especially in the areas of leadership and service. The award, named for Ivan Mueller of Ohio State University, recognizes the extraordinary importance of international collaboration within the field of modern satellite geodesy. It exemplifies AGU’s motto of unselfish cooperation in research. The Mueller Award was given for the first time in 2013, and the committee hoped to have an outstanding candidate for the inaugural year, setting a high bar for future nominations. The awards committee tells me that Bob made their decision easy—he was the unanimous choice.

Although he has made numerous scientific contributions throughout his career, Bob is now known by thousands of scientists for his role in the development and support of the open-source GPS Analysis at MIT (GAMIT) software. This sophisticated analysis tool is now used by more than 400 institutions around the world to study motions of the solid Earth, estimate changes in tropospheric water vapor, investigate Earth rotation, and measure ice sheet dynamics, to name just a few. Many scientists owe their careers to Bob’s unstinting support for this software and the help he has so generously offered.

To quote one of the supporting letters, “few members of the AGU Geodesy section have worked so hard, so long, or so selflessly as has Bob King on behalf of the geodetic and the broader Earth science community.”

—MATT KING, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


Thank you, Matt. I am honored to receive an award named for someone who has not only been an inspiration to me throughout my career but whose critical role in the formation of the International GPS (now GNSS) Service (IGS) has made possible both my own research and my ability to assist others in the art of GPS data analysis.

None of my work would have been possible without the efforts of colleagues in the development of the GAMIT/GLOBK software. The foundational codes were developed while Sergei Goureviitch, Yehuda Bock, Rick Abbot, and I were a part of Chuck Counselman’s group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tom Jordan and Rob Reilinger encouraged us to make the software freely available to our research partners and, later, researchers worldwide. Tom Herring took the data processing to a new level by writing code to do automatic data editing of phase data and modifying the very long baseline interferometry program GLOBK to combine GPS data sessions. Peng Fang simplified the installation, and Simon McClusky wrote the scripts to facilitate automatic processing.

Important contributions have also been made by Danan Dong, Mark Murray, Kurt Feigl, Peter Morgan, Burkhard Schaffrin, Shimon Wdowinski, Seiichi Shimada, Paul Tregoning, Chris Watson, Mike Moore, Liz Petrie, and Mike Floyd, many of whom have also conducted training workshops for other users. Some of the key models have been adapted from the Bernese and GNSS-Inferred Positioning System (GIPSY) software, whose authors have generously made them available for use by the IGS community.

Having the opportunity to work with these fine collaborators as well as GAMIT users from many cultures and disciplines has been the most rewarding part of my career.

—ROBERT W. KING, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge