Past Officers (Presidents and General Secretaries) of the IAG

Direct link to the entities

  • (Mittel-) Europaeische Gradmessung: Central Bureau / Perm. Commission
  • Internationale Erdmessung / Association Géodésique Internationale
  • International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics - Section Geodesy
  • IUGG - International Association of Geodesy: Presidents
  • IUGG - International Association of Geodesy: General Secretaries

(Mittel-)Europäische Gradmessung

Johann Jakob Baeyer,Director (1864-1885).

Director (1864--1885)

Johann Jakob Baeyer was a student and disciple of Bessel and an officer of the Prussian General Staff. He was admitted to the geodetic institution in 1821 and served as a director from 1835 until he retired in 1857. He had recognized the importance of large-scale astrogeodetic systems for the determination of the figure of the Earth. After his retirement he concentrated on this problem, influenced also by his appointment as Prussian representative to the longitude arc measurements at 52° latitude, which was proposed by Wilhelm Struve, then director of the Dorpat astronomical observatory. In April 1861, Baeyer presented a ‘Proposal for a Central European Arc Measurement’ to the Prussian Minister of War, and justified this project by a comprehensive memorial on the size and figure of the Earth, which he dedicated to the memory of Alexander von Humboldt. At the end of 1862, Baeyer was able to identify 16 states or countries that had entered the project: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France (allowed the use of data necessary for the project), seven German states (Baden, Bavaria, Hannover, Mecklenburg, Prussia, Kingdom of Saxony, Saxe-Gotha), Italy, The Netherlands, Poland (through Russia), Sweden and Norway (in personal union), and Switzerland. This was a great success: an international scientific (governmental) organization had been established within a remarkably short time.

Peter Andreas HANSEN (1795-1874),

President (1864-1868)

The son of a goldsmith, Hansen learned the trade of a watchmaker at Flensburg, and exercised it at Berlin and Tønder, 1818–1820. He had, however, long been a student of science; and Dr Dircks, a physician practising at Tønder, prevailed with his father to send him in 1820 to Copenhagen, where he won the patronage of H.C. Schumacher and attracted the personal notice of King Frederick VI. The Danish survey was then in progress, and he acted as Schumacher's assistant in work connected with it, chiefly at the new observatory of Altona, 1821–1825. Thence he passed on to Gotha as director of the Seeberg observatory; nor could he be tempted to relinquish the post by successive invitations to replace F.G.W. Struve at Dorpat in 1829, and F.W. Bessel at Königsberg in 1847. The problems of gravitational astronomy engaged the chief part of Hansen's attention. A research into the mutual perturbations of Jupiter and Saturn secured for him the prize of the Berlin Academy in 1830, and a memoir on cometary disturbances was crowned by the Paris Academy in 1850.

August von Fliegely (1810-1879)

President (1869-1874)

August von Fligely (26 September 1811, Janów Lubelski – 12 April 1879, Wien) was an Austrian Field Marshal Second Lieutenant, comparable to Lieutenant-General in the United States Army, and a geographer. A pioneer in meridian arc measurement theory, he provided for the creation of quality maps in the third land survey of Austria-Hungary. The northernmost point in Europe, Cape Fligely, was named after August von Fligely. He was director of the military geographical institute in Vienna from 1854 to 1872.

C. Ibáñez e Ibáñez de Ibero (1825-1891)

President (1874-1886)

Carlos Ibáñez e Ibáñez de Ibero was a Spanish General, and a prime mover of geodesy . He entered the Academy of Engineers of the Army, where he studied both military and scientific disciplines. He was the first president of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (1872-1891). He was also the first director of the National Geographic Institute of Spain , founded in 1870, holding this position for nineteen years, dedicating much of his professional activity and contributing to the education of geographers, engineers and surveyors. One of the major works of the Institute was the development and publication of a topographic map of Spain in 1:50.000. Other work under the direction of General Ibáñez were the 'General results of the population census in 1877'. He led the triangulation activities in Spain. A remarkable result was the connection of the Spanish triangulation with Algeria, where triangles with the maximum side length of 270 km were observed from mountain stations.

Internationale Erdmessung / Association Géodésique Internationale

Friedrich Robert HELMERT, Prof. Dr. phil. Dr. Ing. E.h. (1843-1917).

Director of the Central Bureau of the "Europäische Gradmessung" (1886--1887) and of the "Internationale Erdmessung" (1887-1917).

born on 31.07.1843, in Freiberg (Saxony).
died on 15.06.1917, in Potsdam (Germany).

Helmert studied Surveying at Dresden and later Mathematics and Physics at Leipzig and graduated 1868 with the thesis "Studien über rationelle Vermessungen im Gebiet der höheren Geodäsie". 1863 - 1866 he took part in the Saxon first-order-triangulation under Nagel and 1869 - 1870 he was Observator at the Hamburg Observatory. 1870 - 1886 Helmert held a chair at the Technische Hochschule Aachen and was appointed Professor in 1872. Even then he wrote the famous books "Die mathematischen und physikalischen Theorien der höheren Geodäsie".

In 1886, after the death of J.J. Baeyer, Helmert was appointed director of the Geodetic Institute Potsdam as well as director of the Central Bureau of the ”Europäische Gradmessung”, from 1887 “lnternationale Erdmessung",the predecessor of the present International Association of Geodesy. From 1887 he held the chair of "Höhere Geodäsie" at the Berlin University and in 1900 he was appointed Member of the Berlin Academy of Sciences.

During the three decades at Potsdam Helmert performed together with other eminent scientists like Albrecht, Bruns, Galle, Hecker, Kiihnen, Wallach, theoretical and empirical research work of lasting importance in a wide field of Geodesy in close connection with Geophysics and Astronomy: triangulations, deflection of the vertical, arc measurements, Earth rotation and polar motion, gravity and tides, studies on isostasy. Under his leadership Kühnen and Furtwängler performed 1900 - 1906 absolute gravity measurements of highest precision which became the base of the first gravity world net with the reference point at the Geodetic Institute Potsdam.

C. Ibáñez de Ibero

President (1887-1891)

Carlos Ibáñez e Ibáñez de Ibero was a Spanish General, and a prime mover of geodesy . He entered the Academy of Engineers of the Army, where he studied both military and scientific disciplines. He was the first president of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (1872-1891). He was also the first director of the National Geographic Institute of Spain , founded in 1870, holding this position for nineteen years, dedicating much of his professional activity and contributing to the education of geographers, engineers and surveyors. One of the major works of the Institute was the development and publication of a topographic map of Spain in 1:50.000. Other work under the direction of General Ibáñez were the 'General results of the population census in 1877'. He led the triangulation activities in Spain. A remarkable result was the connection of the Spanish triangulation with Algeria, where triangles with the maximum side length of 270 km were observed from mountain stations.

Hervé Auguste Étienne Albans FAYE (1814-1902)

President (1892-1902)

Hervé Auguste Étienne Albans Faye (1 October 1814 – 4 July 1902)[1] was a French astronomer, born at Saint-Benoît-du-Sault (Indre) and educated at the École Polytechnique, which he left in 1834, before completing his course, to accept a position in the Paris Observatory to which he had been appointed on the recommendation of M. Arago. It was during his time at the École Polytechnique that he developed his interest in astronomy.[2] He studied comets, and discovered the periodic comet 4P/Faye on 22 November 1843. His discovery of "Faye's comet" attracted worldwide attention, and won him the 1844 Lalande Prize prize and a membership in the Academy of Sciences. In 1848 he became an instructor in geodesy at the Polytechnique, and in 1854 rector of the academy at Nancy and professor of astronomy in the faculty of science there. Other promotions followed in succeeding decades. He became Minister of Public Instruction in the Rochebouet cabinet in 1877,[1] a position which he held only briefly. His work covered the entire field of astronomical investigation. It comprised the determination of comet periods, the measurement of parallaxes, and the study of stellar and planetary movements. He also studied the physics of the sun. He advanced several original theories on the nature and form of comets, meteors, the aurora borealis, and the sun.

Jean Antonin Leon BASSOT (1841-1917)

President (1903-1917)

He was surveyor, astronomer, Brigadier General, and Director of the Observatory of Nice. General Bassot belonged to an old Burgundian family. Out of the Ecole Polytechnique in 1863, he chose the body of Staff. Ha was appointed to participate in new meridian arc measurements in France. The declaration of war with Germany, in July 1870, interrupted the operations. Bassot was then attached to the 4th Corps, took part in all the great battles and was taken captive in Hamburg, where he remained a prisoner until the peace. After his return, he continued to work on the meridian arc measurements until its completion in 1900. He participated in 22 campaigns observations including those of the extension of the meridian to the edge of the desert of Algeria, Algiers chain for Laghouat. He was appointed the Director of the Geographical Service of the Army in 1898. In 1902, General Bassot became President of the International Association of Geodesy who decided to take the measurement of the meridian arc of Quito, Ecuador. After his retirement from the army, he became the director of the Observatory of Mont Gros, a position he retained until his death. General Bassot was a member of the Academy of Sciences (1893) and member of the Bureau des Longitudes (1897). He was also Commander of the Legion d'Honneur.

Raoul GAUTIER (1854-1931)

President of the Reduced Association (1917-1921)

For many years R. Gautier was a member of the Permanent Commission of the International Geodetic Association. When World War 1 began, and little support was given to the Association by its adhering members, he was largely instrumental in forming what was termed the "Association Géodésique réduite entre Etats Neutres" and served as its President for several years. Through his efforts the results obtained at the variation of latitude stations at Ukiah (California), Mizusawa (Japan) and Carloforte (Italy) were computed and made available for the use of astronomers. After the war the International Geodetic and Geophysical Union was created, where he later became the vice-president of the Section of Geodesy. In addition to his other duties, R. Gautier was for many years the President of Swiss Geodetic Commission.

A. Hirsch

Permanent Secretary (1886-1900)



Henrikus Gerardus van de Sande Bakhuyzen (1838-1923)

Permanent Secretary (1900-1921)

Hendricus Gerardus van de Sande Bakhuyzen (Apr 2, 1838, The Hague – Jan 8, 1923, Leiden) was a Dutch astronomer. After he got his degree, he was a high school teacher from 1864–1867, during which time he wrote a very successful textbook on mechanics. In 1867 he became a professor at the Technical College in Delft. He became director of the Leiden Observatory in 1872 upon the death of Frederik Kaiser. His main scientific work regarded the elimination of systematic errors from astronomical observations (esp. fundamental astrometry), including errors of instruments and personal errors of the observers. He also worked on geodesy. He was one of the organisers of the Venus transit expedition in 1874-1875, although he did not participate in the expedition himself. Bakhuyzen was active in several international organisations, including the Astronomische Gesellschaft, the International Geodetic Association and the Carte du Ciel project, although Leiden did no contribute to the photographic Carte itself. Between 1888 and 1900 he was president of the Royal Academy of Sciences.

International Association of Geodesy and Geophysics - Section Geodesy (Presidents and Secretary General)

William BOWIE (1872-1940).

President of the Section Geodesy of the IUGG (1920 -1933).
President of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (1933 - 1936).

W. Bowie was born May 6, 1872, near Annapolis, Maryland, died August 28, 1940 at Washington, D.C., and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He entered the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1895 and served as its Chief of the Division of Geodesy from 1909 to his retirement at the end of 1936.

In 1913 he persuaded the geodetic agencies of Canada and Mexico to join the United States in establishing a continental network for mapping - the North American Datum. A few years later, this network was readjusted to form the North American Datum of 1927. Bowie had been a delegate to the 1912 Hamburg IGA Assembly, had followed closely the work of the Reduced Association and took an active role in the formation of IUGG and I.A.G. Also, in 1919, he was one of the leaders in the United States to bring together the seven major disciplines of geophysics to form the American Geophysical Union, very comparable to IUGG. Bowie was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1927. Among other honors he received were ScD's from Trinity College (his alma mater) 1919, Lehigh University, 1922; George Washington University, 1937, and Doctor of Laws, University of Edinburgh, 1936. In 1939, the AGU awarded him the first William Bowie Medal, which continues to be the AGU's highest annual award.

Felix Andries VENING MEINESZ, Prof. dr. ir. (1887-1966).

President of the International Association of Geodesy (1933-1946).
President of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (1948-1951).
Professor of Geodesy and Geophysics at the University of Utrecht (1927-1957).
Professor of Physical Geodesy at the Technological University of Delft (1938-­1957).

Felix Andries Vening Meinesz was educated in Amsterdam (his father was mayor of this town) and at the Delft University of Technology. Requested by the Netherlands Geodetic Commission he made a gravity survey of the Netherlands from 1911-1920. He developed a method for making accurate pendulum measurements on the mobile ground in the western and northern parts of his country. Thereafter he developed a method for making accurate gravity measurements at sea, in a submarine, based on the principle of a fictitious pendulum as the difference of the angular displacements of a pair of pendulums, swinging in the same plane. From 1923-1938 he made eleven submarine expeditions covering more than 120 000 miles. Through the results the application of Stokes' theorem (1849) for determining the geoid from gravity became possible at sea and in coastal regions. Strongly connected with these instrumental inventions and applications Vening Meinesz made fundamental theoretical investigations, both in geodesy and in geophysics. His formulae expressing the deflections of the plumbline in gravity anomalies (derived from Stokes' theorem) and his theories about the isostatic equilibrium of the earth's crust and of convection currents in the mantle of the earth are known worldwide.

Georges PERRIER (1872-1946).

Secrétaire Général de la Section de Géodésie de l'Union Géodésique et Géophysique Internationale (1920-1933), et de l'Association Intemationale de Géodésie (1922-1946).

A sa sortie de l'Ecole Polytechnique G. Perrier choisit la carrière d'artilleur qui lui permettra de bientôt rejoindre le Service Géographique de l'Armée pour y poursuivre l'oeuvre de son père. Ainsi dès 1898 le Lieutenant G. Perrier est détache à ce Service dans la Section de Géodésie et d'Astronomie. Ses qualités d'homme de science et d'orga­nisateur infatigable ont trouvé là l'occasion de se manifester pleinement. Jeune officier il participe à tous les travaux géodésiques délicats et notamment à la reprise de la mesure de l'arc méridien en Equateur. Il se donne à fond de 1901 à 1906 dans leg travaux de terrain de cette mission, puis rentré en France il assure lui-même les calculs, la rédaction et la discussion des travaux de la mission. En 1919 il est nommé chef de la Section de Géodésie du Service Géographique de l'Armée et doit réorganiser complètement cette Section cruellement éprouvée par la guerre. Il formera alors une nouvelle pépinière d'officiers géodésiens qui iront mettre en pratique en France et dans leg colonies françaises de l'époque les idées de leur chef.

Les talents d'organisateur de G. Perrier se sont manifestés aussi sur le plan international. Dès 1900 il participe très activement à l'Assemblée Générale de l'Associa­tion Géodésique Internationale tenue à Paris. Et après la guerre il est l'un des artisans de la renaissance de cette Association qui deviendra une Section, puis une Association au sein de l'Union Géodésique et Géophysique Internationale. Il en est nommé le Secrétaire Général en 1920 et le restera jusqu'à sa mort en 1946, Il a créé Ie Bulletin Géodésique (1922), la Bibliographie Géodésique Internationale et a beaucoup oeuvré pour l' adoption de références internationales (ellipsoïde , formule de pesanteur, exécution des triangulations primordiales, compensation d'ensemble du réseau géodesique européen, …). Il a été l'ami et le guide de toute une génération de géodésiens.

International Association of Geodesy - Presidents

Walter Davis LAMBERT (1879-1968).

Vice-President of the International Asso­ciation of Geodesy (1933-1946).
President of the International Association of Geodesy (1946.-1951).

W.D. Lambert was born January 12, 1879, in New Brighton, New York, died October 27, 1968, in Washington, D.C., and is buried in Salisbury, Connecticut. Following his graduation from Harvard University in 1900, with highest honors in mathematics, magna cum laude, he continued graduate study at Harvard (MA-1901), taught at Purdue University, 1901.-1902,at University of Maine, 1902-1904 and entered the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1904 where he remained until his retirement till 1949. Lambert served I.A.G. in many capacities, scientifically and administratively. A unique record is his 30-years as "International Reporter for Earth Tides", 1924 -1954. In 1949 he was honored by election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the William Bowie Medal by the American Geophysical Union. In 1950 he was invited by Prof. Heiskanen, the Director of the Institute of Geodesy at the Ohio State University, to join their research group. This fortunate association continued for several years. In 1957, OSU conferred on Lambert the degree of Doctor of Science.

Carl Fridolin BAESCHLIN (1881-1961).

Presidentof the International Association of Geodesy (1951-1954).

Professor C.F. Baeschlin, citizen of Schaffhausen and Glarus, was born on 5th August 1881 in Glarus, Switzerland. Already at the age of 26 he was given, as an engineer of the Federal Office of Topography, the extraordinary task to layout the L6tschberg railway tunnel, since after a terrible break-­in of water and mud the straight line of the tunnel had to be abandoned. 1908 he was elected Professor of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, where he taught until -1947 many hundreds of civil engineers and surveyors in geodesy and topography and where he was also rector from 1935 to 1939.

1912 he was appointed member of the Swiss Geodetic Commission, which he presided in the years 1932 - 1958. After that long period he was elected honorary president of the Commission.

He accomplished an important scientific work and, in addition, was personally engaged in the integration of the world-wide geodetic community. Especially after World War II, at the meeting of the Permanent Commission of the I.A.G. in 1946, his voice of a citizen of a neutral country was of great importance. He then was elected Vice-President of the LA.G. At the General Assembly 1951 in Brussels he was an engaged promotor of the adoption of the Federal Republic of Germany as a member of the IUGG. In the period from 1951 to 1954 (General Assembly in Rome) he acted as President of the I.A.G. He died on 6th December 1961 in Zollikon, near Zürich.

James de GRAAFF-HUNTER (1882-1967).

President of the International Association of Geodesy(1954-1957).

J. de Graaff-Hunter, CIE, ScD, FRS took first class honours at the University of Cambridge both in Mathematics in 1903 (12th Wrangler) and in Mechanical Sciences in 1904. He then became private secretary and scientific assistant to Lord Kelvin and in 1907 was appointed Mathematical Adviser to the Survey of India.

His early work in India was concerned with atmospheric refraction and geodetic computation. After two years of military service in World War I as a captain, surveying in Mesopotamia and Western Persia, he returned to India where he constructed the first chart of the geoid in India in 1922, using astro-geodetic observations. He was also concerned with field-work, constructing inter-­alia an analogue computing device for assessing the strength of triangulation figures, and the "Hunter shutter", an impersonal device for field astronomical observations for time. In 1928 he was promoted Director of the Geodetic Branch of the Survey of India.

On retirement in 1932 he worked on Stokes' theorem and its practical application. During World War II he returned to India where he was Assistant Surveyor-­General and Director of War Research, retiring for a second time in 1946. His final years were spent in further study of the most suitable form of gravity reduction for determining the irregularities of the geoid, devising the "de Graaff-Hunter Model Earth".

Gino CASSINIS ( 1885-1964) .

Gino Cassinis a été Président de l'Association Internationale de Géodésie, 1957-­1960, après avoir toujours joué un rôle d'une extrême importance dans l'Association depuis 1922. Né à Milan le 27 janvier 1885, il est mort le 13 janvier 1964 à Rome.

Il était Professeur à l'Ecole Polytech­nique de Milan depuis 1932, puis Recteur de 1944 à 1960. Président de la Commission Géodésique Italienne depuis 1940, Membre du Conseil Supérieur de l'Instruction de la République Italienne de 1945 à 1954, du Conseil National des Recherchesdepuis 1927, du Conseil Supérieur des Travaux Publics de de 1954 à 1957, Gino Cassinis avait été élu Membre de l'Académie Nationale dei Lincei en 1936. Il en a été pendant trois ans Ie Président assidu et dévoué. Il était aussi President de la Commission Italienne de Métrologie; Membre du Comité International des Poids et Mesures depuis 1946, comme représentant de l'Italie, Secrétaire en 1952; Membre ou correspondant de très nombreuses Académies, soit dans son propre pays, soit dans le monde entier, il avait été élu le 13 juin 1955 correspondant de l'Académie des Sciences de l'Institut de France pour les Divisions des Académiciens libres et des Applications de la Science à l'Industrie. Dans le même temps il était aussi Adjoint au Maire de Milan depuis 1931, et Maire depuis 1961. Tout cela a été possible grâce à son jugement clair et son exceptionnelle connaissance des hommes : toutes qualités essentielles dans la direction de toutes les organisations possibles, qu'elles soient nationales, municipales ou internationales.

Ses études personnelles ont porté depuis 1907, sur tous les domaines de la Géodésie, de la Topographie, du Calcul numérique, de la Métrologie et de la Photogram­métrie.

En Géodésie, le nom de Gino Cassinis reste indissolublement lié aux progrès considérables réalisés en Gravimétrie, qu'il s'agisse de Gravimétrie théorique ou de mesures expérimentales. La formule internationale dite de la pesanteur normale, adoptée par l'Association Internationale de Géodésie en 1931, est en grande partie son oeuvre. Et les tables d'application de cette formule sont et restent "les tables de Cassinis". Son oeuvre expérimentale n'est pas moins importante, qu'il s'agisse de nombreuses déterminations relatives auxquelles il a procédé lui-même, ou des croisières gravimétriques en sous-marin dans le bassin de la Méditerranée qu'il a dirigées en 1931 et en 1935.

Son esprit essentiellement pratique l'avait directement amené à s'intéresser à réglementer et à discipliner le Calcul numérique : son oeuvre est importante et durable, ses études et ses leçons sur les Calculs numériques sont condensées dans un Traité qui fait autorité.

Très important était aussi son rôle dans la Photogrammétrie aérienne, où il fut Président de la Société Internationale de Photogrammétrie de 1934 à 1938, et où son influence est demeurée considérable jusqu'au bout. A partir de 1923, ses articles scienti­fiques théoriques et expérimentaux alternèrent avec une oeuvre fervente de propagande, de divulgation, d'appui en faveur de la photogrammétrie et de ses pionniers. Mais tout autant que le Savant, c'était l'Homme et le Chef qui étaient remarquables en Gino Cassinis, Chef à l'autorité d'autant plus incontestée qu'elle était plus souriante et bienveillante. Tout autant que l' "esprit de géométrie", il possédait au plus haut point cet "esprit de finesse" que Pascal plaçait si haut.

Charles A. WHITTEN

President of the International Association of Geodesy (1960-1963).

Dr. Charles A. Whitten was born in Redfield, South Dakota, USA, and graduated from Carthage College, Illinois in 1930. He then began his long career with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (USC&GS), predecessor of the National Ocean Service, a component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He served in various positions within USC & GS including Chief, Triangulation Branch and Chief Geodesist. He has been recognized for his worldwide leadership in geodesy, especially for advancing new concepts to improve understanding of crustal motion. His methods for analyzing precise geodetic measurements have made significant contributions to the investigation of large-scale seismic mechanisms.

Dr. Whitten has been active in the International Organizations, serving as President of the International Association of Geodesy from 1960 to 1963 and on the Finance Committee of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics from 1963 to 1979. He has also been a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) since 1934, serving as the President of the Section of Geodesy from 1965 to 1967 and as General Secretary of AGU from 1967 to 1974. For his work within the U.S. Department of Commerce he was awarded the Department's Silver Medal in 1949 and Gold Medal in 1972. He has also received honorary ScD.'s from Carthage College, 1965, and the University of New Brunswick, 1974. The University of Karlsruhe conferred an honorary Doctor of Engineering on him in 1975. Other honors include the first Levallois Medal of the I.A.G. in 1979 and the William Bowie Medal of the AGU in 1980. His many scientific writings and positions of leadership in major national and international geodetic organizations have brought to a sharp focus the interdependency of all the earth sciences.


President of the International Association of Geodesy(1963-1967).

G. Bomford was born in 1898, the younger son of Sir Gerald Bomford, KCIE, Surgeon General of the Indian Medical Service.

He was educated at Marlborough College and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich from which he was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1917. He served in World War I and later went to Queens' College, Cambridge. He joined the Survey of India in 1921, gravitating towards the Geodetic Branch where he worked with Dr. James de Graaf - Hunter, FRS. He contributed to the Annual Geodetic Reports from 1926-1939 and was the author of several of the Survey's Professional Papers, including a "Readjustment of the Indian Triangulation", published in 1939.

During the 2nd World War he served with the 14th Army in Burma becoming Director of Survey for South East Asia Command and rising to the rank of Brigadier.

He retired from the Army after the war and was appointed Reader in Surveying and Geodesy at the University of Oxford in 1948, where he became a Doctor of Science in 1953. Here he stayed until retirement in 1966. The period from 1948-1980 saw the production of the 4 editions of "Geodesy", each substantially re-written as the subject rapidly evolved. He was particularly interested in the geoid, published many papers on it, became President of Section V of the I.A.G. in 1951 and then President of the I.A.G. 1963-1967.

Antonio MARUSSI (1908-1984).

President of the International Association of Geodesy (1967-1971).

Born in Trieste 12 oct. 1908, died 26.04.1984. Doctor degree in Mathematics at the University of Bologna in 1932, has begun his scientific career at the Geophysical Institute of Trieste, for passing very soon at the Instituto Geografico Militare as Geographical Engineer. Here started his geodetic interest, from the big geodetic and astro-geodetic surveys (in Italy and in Ethiopia, Albania and Greece) to the solution of the main theoretical geodetic problems. Full professor of Geodesy at the University of Trieste from 1951, created in the Faculty of Science the Istituto di Geodesia e Geofisica, which became soon the best geodetic school in Italy, well known also abroad. His main contribution was in the field of physical geodesy, where he introduced the "intrinsic geodesy", free from the conventional reference systems and based only on the geometric and mechanical quantities having physical reality and therefore accessible at least in principle to be observed.

Other important contributions are pertinent to the extension to the third dimension of the classical principles of Mathematical Cartography. He studied the structure of a microgravitational field as existing in the interior of a spatial vehicle considering its eventual rotation, and has made application to the case of a gravitationally stabilized satellite. Application has been made to the "thetered satellite" proposed for the study of the microgravity field.

In the experimental field, he created the well known Earth Tide Station at Grotta Gigante, near Trieste, designed and constructed tiltmeters and also, in collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory of Teddington and the Cavendish Laboratory of the Cambridge University, U. K., conceived and constructed an apparatus for the measurement of the gravitational constant and organized and led some relevant Italian geo-expeditions to Karakorum and Hindu Kush.

Youri Dimitri BOULANGER

President of the International Association of Geodesy (1971-1975).

Born in 1911, Prof. Y.D. Boulanger is corresponding Member of U .S.S.R. Academy of Sciences, Professor and Head of Gravime­tric and Geodetic Departments of Institute of Physics of the Earth of the Academy of Sciences, President of Astrogeodetic Society of U. S . S . R. for many years. He has established fundamental gravity networks covering whole territory of U.S.S.R. and their intercontinental gravity connections; he inspired for years activity of I.A.G. in absolute and relative fundamental gravity observations on world­wide scale. He initiated establishment and was vice – president of Permanent International Commission on Earth Tides and also initiator, vice - president and president 1971-1983 of Commission on Recent Crustal Movements.


President of the International Association of Geodesy (1975-1979).

Born October 11, 1909 in Heinola, Finland. Studied mathematics, physics, and astronomy at Turku University. Doctoral dissertation 1933 on Väisalä interference method. Since 1935 in Finnish Geodetic Institute, 1963 -1976 its Director.

Main research areas: establishment of standard base lines (Argentina 1953, Holland 1957, USA 1966), spatial triangulation, precision leveling (well-known Kukkamäki formulas on leveling refraction), Fennoscandian land uplift. leader of solar eclipse expeditions to Gold Coast (1947) and Greenland (1954). 1958 as UN expert in Burma. Member of Finnish Academy of Science and letters since 1951, and of Academy of Technical Sciences since 1959. Secretary and Chairman, IUGG Finance Committee. I.A.G. Study Group Chairman, Section Secretary, Section President, Vice-President, and President. I.A.G. Honorary President since 1979.


President of the International Association of Geodesy (1979--1983).

Born November 1, 1933 in Graz, Austria.

Studied surveying and geodesy at Technical University, Graz. Doctoral dissertation 1959 on error theory in Hilbert space. 1958-1961 with Austrian Federal Geodetic Survey, 1962-1963 at Ohio State University, 1964 Docent, TU Hannover, 1964-1971 Professor, TU Berlin, since 1971 TU Graz.

Main research areas: theoretical, especially physical geodesy, earth rotation. Since 1969 Adjunct Professor, Ohio State University. Member, Austrian, Finnish, Hungarian and Italian Academy of Sciences. 1981 Honorary Doctorate, TU München.

I.A.G. Study Group Chairman, Section President, Vice-President, and President. lAG. Honorary President and IUGG Bureau Member since 1983.

Peter Angus Leppan

President of the International Association of Geodesy (1983-1987).

Peter Angus-Leppan was born in 1930 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and studied surveying at the University of the Witwatersrand. After practical experience, he lectured at the University of Natal, from 1954 to 1962, in geodesy and astronomy.

While an undergraduate he was inspired by a visit to Witwatersrand University of Dr J. de Graaff Hunter. As a result he later undertook research on atmospheric refraction, and in 1959 was awarded a Ph D on the basis of these studies. He moved to Australia in 1962 as Senior Lecturer in the University of New South Wales, and was appointed as Foundation Professor of Surveying in 1963.

He developed geodesy in the Department, later the School of Surveying, and was largely responsible for developments which have led to the current international reputation in geodesy, of both the University and Australia. He supervised numerous doctoral students, and assisted and encouraged many in their geodetic research, including the late Ron Mather and other who are active in geodesy today.

Peter Angus-Leppan's major contributions in research are in aspects of geodetic refraction, though his publications and studies are widespread. In 1960 he helped to organize the first Conference of Southern African Surveyors (CONSAS), which continues to be organized at four-year intervals. He was Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the very successful 1979 IUGG General Assembly held in Canberra. Offices held in Australian Academy of Science, include Chairman of the National Committee on Geodesy and Geophysics 1974-1980, and Chairman of the Geodesy Subcommission, 1969-1980.

He travelled widely to represent his School and conducted research at the University of New Brunswick (1966); at the Topocom Research Institute, US Dept. of the Army (1971); under an Alexander Von Humboldt Fellowship, at the Geodetic Institute, University of Karlsruhe (1978); and at the Canadian Geodetic Survey, Dept. of Surveys and Mapping, (1981).

In 1983, as Senior Visiting Scientist at the US National Geodetic Survey he undertook studies of refraction in geodetic levelling.

Peter Angus-Leppan has always been a proponent of the widest possible applications of geodesy, and in 1985-90 he worked as Project Coordinator in implementing the 20-year Land Titling Project, in Thailand. This included designing systems whereby modern techniques of geodesy were applied in accelerating the issuance of title deeds to the 85% of farmers whose tenure of the land was not documented.


President of the International Association of Geodesy (1987-1991).

Ivan I. Mueller is a Professor and Chairman in the Department of Geodetic Science and Surveying, The Ohio State University.

He was born January 9, 1930, in Budapest, Hungary. He received the Dipl. of Engineering from the Technical University of Budapest in 1952. Emigrating to the U.S. in 1957, he earned a PhD in Geodesy from The Ohio State University in 1960.

His teaching and research career focussed on geodetic astronomy and satellite geodesy during which he was principal advisor to 25 PhD graduates. His book Spherical and Practical Astronomy As Applied to Geodesy became a standard text in the English-speaking world. His fifth book Earth Rotation: Theory and Observation was coauthored with Professor Helmut Moritz of Graz, Austria. Ivan I. Mueller served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research and was President of the Geodesy Section of the American Geophysical Union. He was Chairman of the Editorial Board of the journal manuscripta geodaetica, and Editor-in-Chief of Bulletin Géodésique for 12 years.

IAG activities in which he was a moving force are Project ADOS (African Doppler Survey), Project MERIT and COTES - leading to the establishment of the International Earth Rotation Service, and the International GPS Service. He was the first President of IAG Commission VIII-CSTG. Honors include Fellows of the American Geophysical Union; Alexander Von Humboldt Award; Distinguished Scholar of the Ohio State University; Corresponding Member of the German Geodetic Commission, Bavarian Academy of Sciences, and of the Austrian National Academy of Sciences, Vienna; Honorary Member, Hungarian Geodetic and Cartographic Association, and of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Wolfgang Reinhold Julius TORGE

President of the International Association of Geodesy (1991-1995).

Wolfgang Reinhold Julius Torge was born on June 4, 1931, in Laubusch, Germany. He studied surveying engineering and geodesy at the Technical University of Hannover, Germany, where he received a Dipl.-Ing. Degree in 1955, and promoted to a Dr.-Ing. in 1966, with a thesis on long-range gravity measurements. In his professional and scientific carreer, he hold positions in exploration geophysics, state survey agencies, and at the Hannover Geodetic Institute, and he served as a technical expert in a Central American surveying and cadastral project. In 1968, he was appointed full professor for geodesy at the University of Hannover, where he directed the "Institut für Erdmessung" until his retirement in 1996. His teaching and research activities covered geometric and physical geodesy with special emphasis on gravimetry and gravity field modeling, and he gave lecture courses at numerous universities and research institutes in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and China. Research projects on the establishment of fundamental gravity networks and the detection and interpretation of gravity variations with time, employing relative and absolute techniques, led to a collaboration with many institutes and agencies in several parts of the world, including Iceland, South America, and China, while local and regional geoid computations concentrated on Europe. During the last few years, Torge concentrated on the history of geodesy, including that of the IAG, one outcome being a monograph on the history of geodesy in Germany published in 2007.

He engaged himself early in IAG, and served as Secretary (1976-1983) and President (1983-1987) of the "Gravimetry" respectively "Gravity Field Determination" Section. After the IAG-Vicepresidency (1987-1991) he was elected as IAG President, and appointed Honorary President in 1995. In his position as the Chairman of the National Committee of Geodesy and Geophysics (1979-1983), Torge was responsible for the organisation of the IUGG General Assembly in Hamburg 1983. As the IAG representative to the Instituto Panamericano de Geografia y Historia (1991-2003), he succeeded in activating a number of IAG related projects and scientific conferences in Latin America, including the IAG Scientific Assembly in Rio de Janeiro (1997).

Torge has published about 180 scientific papers mainly on gravimetry, determination of the geoid and of deflections of the vertical, and gravity variations with time, and he is the author of a textbook on "Geodesy". This started in German language in 1975, with a second edition in 2003, and includes three editions (1980-2001) in English, as well as translations into Spanish, Chinese, and Greek. His monograph on "Gravimetry" (1989) was translated into Chinese and Russian. Torge is member of the German Geodetic Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, and honorary resp. corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Academia Nacional de Ingenieria, Argentina. He has been the scientific editor of the "Zeitschrift für Vermessungswesen" (1971-2002), and he received (1991) the "Helmert medal" being the highest award of the "Deutscher Verein für Vermessungswesen (DVW)".

Klaus-Peter SCHWARZ

President of the International Association of Geodesy (1995-1999).

K.P.Schwarz is professor emeritus and former Head of the Department of Geomatics Engineering at the University of Calgary, Canada.

He was born on February 1, 1938 in Königsberg, Germany. After working for three years in mining surveying, he enrolled in the geodetic program at the University of Bonn, Germany, from which he graduated with a Dipl.-Ing. degree in 1965. He continued his studies and received degrees from universities in Canada (M.Sc. New Brunswick, 1967), Germany (Dr.-Ing. summa cum laude, Berlin, 1971), and Austria (habilitation, Graz, 1975). After returning to Canada in 1977, he worked at the University of New Brunswick before joining the newly established program at the University of Calgary in 1979. The program soon received international recognition and he stayed with it for the next twenty-three years. He had the privilege to serve as Head of the Department during the period 1990-1995.

His research and teaching was focused on the use of inertial and satellite techniques in geodesy, with special emphasis on the combination of GPS and strap-down inertial systems (SINS). Major progress was made in two areas, airborne digital mapping and airborne gravimetry. The first required the optimization of GPS/SINS integration with respect to position and orientation accuracy. The second required the optimization of the GPS-SINS difference with respect to the accuracy of the gravity disturbance vector. As a by-product the simultaneous determination of position and gravity is feasible because all measurements are obtained from the same sensors. To further explore this area of research, a series of symposia on kinematic geodesy were held between 1981 and 2001 in Banff, Canada. The contributions of K.P. Schwarz to geodesy have been recognized by honorary degrees from the Wuhan Technical University, China and the University of Hannover, Germany; he also was elected to full membership in the Russian Academy of Navigation and Motion Control and is a corresponding member of the German Geodetic Commission.

K.P. Schwarz has been active in the IAG for about 30 years, starting in 1973, when he was asked to participate in organizing the First IAG International Summer School in Ramsau, Austria - at that time a novel way of teaching advanced research subjects. About ten years later, he was asked to be the program director of the Beijing International Summer School on Local Gravity Field Approximation - the first IAG-sponsored event in China. After serving as president of a number of Special Study Groups and as a member of the first Cassini Committee, he was elected as President of Section IV in 1987. Four years later he became First Vice-President of the IAG and in 1995 IAG President. During his tenure the need for change in the IAG structure was identified as a high priority. The scope of geodetic science had enormously expanded, technological change was rapid, and the need for more flexibility in the organizational structure was urgent. First steps towards resolving these issues were initiated before 2000, but the bulk of the work was done during the next period.

Fernando SANSÒ

President of the International Association of Geodesy (1999-2003).

Born in 1945 he got a degree (cum laude) in theoretical physics in 1967.

After a 2 years fellowship at the Institute of Mathematics of Politecnico di Milano, he became assistant professor of Surveying at the Institute of Surveying, Photogrammetry and Geophysics where he taught statistical methods for surveying and geodetic applications up to present years.

After full professorship in 1981, he became director of the Institute till 1992.

His interest in physical and mathematical geodesy was strongly stirred after a 6 months stage at the Graz University, with prof. H.Moritz in 1978. During this stage the first researches on geodetic boundary value problems were started, leading to many new results and a systematization of this tool for the gravity field analysis.

Bomford Prize awarded in 1979. He entered into the IAG Executive Committee in 1983, as secretary of Section IV on theory and methodology of which he was elected President in 1991. He became Vice-President of IAG in 1995 and then President for the period 1999-2003.

Meanwhile he has organized international schools of theoretical geodesy as well as a series of formerly so-called Hotine, then Hotine-Marussi Symposia.

Furthermore he founded already in 1992 the IAG International Geoid Service on account of which also another series of Geoid-schools was initiated, which still continues with one course every couple of years. He has been editor of various international journals, awarded the Doctor Scientiarum honoris causa degree in Geodetic Science by the University of Copenhagen, the full membership of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and the fellowship of the Royal Astronomical Society.

He is presently chair of the PhD doctorate in Geodesy and geomatics of Politecnico di Milano. He has been author or co-author of about 300 scientific publications.


President of the International Association of Geodesy (2003-2007).

Gerhard Beutler was born in 1946 and is married to Ruth M. Schweizer since 1979. Daughter Marianne was born in 1981.

Gerhard Beutler received his elementary and secondary school education in Kirchberg (Canton of Bern, Switzerland), and high school education in the city of Bern (Gymnasium Humboldtianum).The high school studies were completed by acquiring the "Eidgenössischer Maturitätsausweis" (type C, Mathematics / Natural Sciences)" in 1964. In the years 1964-1971 he studied physics, mathematics, and astronomy at the Phil.-nat. Faculty of the University of Bern. In 1971 he received the diploma in astronomy. Between 1971 and 1983 he was research assistant at the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern (AIUB). The Ph.D. thesis entitled Integrale Auswertung von Satellitenbeobachtungen (1976) and the second doctorate (Habilitation) entitled Lösung von Parameterbestimmungsproblemen in Himmelsmechanik und Satellitengeodäsie mit modernen Hilfsmitteln (1983) were completed in this time period.

In the years 1983-84 Gerhard Beutler was a research assistant at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton, Canada, where he gained first experience in the scientific exploitation of the Global Positioning System (GPS). From 1984 to 1991 he was research associate and lecturer (with courses in astronomy, celestial mechanics, numerical analysis) at the AIUB. The foundations of the Bernese GPS Software were laid in this time period.

In 1991 Gerhard Beutler was elected Associate Professor and Director of the AIUB as successor of Prof. Paul Wild. In 1996 he was promoted to the position of full professor. The two-volume work "Celestial Mechanics, Theory and Applications", published in the Springer Astromy&Astrophysics Library, was written between 2000 and 2005 with the help of Prof. Leos Mervart (Technical University of Prague) and Dr. Andreas Verdun (AIUB).

Between 1991 and 1993 Gerhard Beutler chaired the IGS (International GPS Service) Oversight Committee. Between1994 and 1997 he served as the first Chairman of the IGS (now called International GNSS Service). He is still member of the IGS Governing Board. Gerhard Beutler is fellow of the IAG (International Association of Geodesy) since 1995, fellow of the AGU (American Geophysical Union) since 1996. In addition to the chairmanship/membership of the IGS Governing Board Gerhard Beutler held a series of offices in the IAG, in particular President of CSTG (committee on the coordination of space techniques) between 1995 and 1999, IAG Vice President between 1999 and 2003, IAG President between 2003 and 2007. In this time span the IAG accomplished a profound review of its structure.

In 2006 Gerhard Beutler received the Vening-Meinesz Medal of the EGU (European Geophysical Union) and the honorable degree of "Dr.-Ing. Ehren halber" of the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

Since 2007 he is member of the US Presidential Committee on Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT). He also became Hans Fischer fellow of TUM's Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), where he conducts, together with Prof. Reinhard Rummel, the three-year project "satellite geodesy".

Michael G. SIDERIS

President of the International Association of Geodesy (2007-2011).

Michael George Sideris was born on August 16, 1958, in Pireaus, Greece. He received his Dipl.-Ing. (honours) degree in surveying engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, in 1981. In 1982 he moved to Canada to continue his studies in geodesy at the Department of Surveying Engineering (now Geomatics Engineering) of the University of Calgary (UofC) under the supervision of former IAG President Klaus Peter Schwarz. He obtained his MSc degree in 1984 and his PhD degree in 1988. After he graduated, he was offered a tenured faculty position at UofC, where he is currently full professor of geodesy. He has also served in major administrative positions at UofC, as Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Engineering (1999-2005) and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Graduate Studies (2003-2011).

His research work is focused primarily on physical geodesy problems, such as gravity field approximation, precise geoid determination, vertical datums, satellite altimetry, terrestrial, satellite and airborne gravimetry and gradiometry, geodetic applications of wavelets and spectral methods, and geodetic methods for hazards monitoring and resource exploration. His pioneering research on efficient spectral methods for precise geoid determination and geodetic boundary value problem (Stokes and Molodensky) solutions earned him an international reputation, and the FFT-based software he developed has been commercialized by UofC’s technology commercialization office and is being used internationally by many universities, national agencies and the geophysical industry.

He has published over 180 articles in scientific journals, fully refereed conference proceedings, books and encyclopedias, and has graduated over 30 PhD and MSc students, 5 of whom are now professors at other universities. For his contributions to geodesy, he has been awarded an Alexander von Humboldt International Research Fellowship (hosted by Prof. Eric Grafarend at the Geodetic Institute of the University of Stuttgart in 1998) and a Dr. honoris causa honorary doctorate degree (2004) by the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Michael Sideris was first involved with the IAG in 1984 during the International Summer School on Local Gravity Field Approximation in Beijing, China, where he was asked to present a seminar on the novel research work he did for his MSc degree on the computation of terrain corrections by FFT techniques. At the IUGG General Assembly in 1987 in Vancouver, he was appointed President of IAG’s Special Study Group 3.113 on Spectral Gravity Field Modeling Methods. Since then, he has served the IAG in many leadership positions, including as Secretary (1995-1999) and President (1999-2003) of IAG’s Section III (now Commission 2) “Determination of the Gravity Field”, IAG Vice President (2003-2007) and IAG President (2007-2011). As President of Section III, he organized the very successful IAG International Symposium on Gravity, Geoid and Geodynamics, in Banff, Canada, July 31 – Aug. 4, 2000. He has also organized and convened numerous sessions at IAG, IUGG, EGU and AGU assemblies. He has taught at nine of the ten IAG Schools on the Determination and Use of the Geoid, as well as at the First IAG School on Reference Frames in 2010.

During his IAG presidency, changes in the IAG Bylaws in 2007 resulted in recognizing the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) as a major component of the IAG along with its Services and Commissions. For his services to IAG, Michael Sideris was named Fellow of the IAG and Fellow of the International Geoid Service. Currently he is the Chair of GGOS’s Theme 1: Unified Global Height System. At the 2011 General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) in Melbourne, Australia, he was elected Vice President of the IUGG for the period 2011-2015.


President of the IAG 2011 -

International Association of Geodesy - Secretary Generals

Pierre TARDI (1897-1972).

Secrétaire Général de l'Association Intema­tionale de Géodésie (1946-1960).

Né à Bastia (Corse) le 4 juin 1897 et mort à Paris le 5 Août 1972. Le lieutenant Pierre Tardi rejoint le Service Géographique de l'Armée en 1918. En 1920 il est affecté à la Section de Géodésie et devient l'élève et le disciple de Georges Perrier. Tout en participant à de nombreuses missions de terrain, il s'initie à la géodésie théorique et poursuit des études supérieures à la Faculté des Sciences. En 1934 il publie son premier traité de Géodésie qui lui vaut un prix de l'Académie des Sciences. En 1942 il est nommé Directeur de l'Ecole Nationale des Sciences Géographiques du jeune Institut Géographique National qui a remplacé le Service Géographique de l'Armée. Ses qualités d'organisateur et de pédagogue trouvent là l'occasion de s'exprimer pleinement. Il fut également professeur d'astronomie à l'Ecole Polytechnique, correspondant du Bureau des Longitudes; élu membre de la Section de Géographie et Navigation de l'Academie des Sciences, il devient président de cette Académie en 1970.

Sur le plan international il consacra son énergie et son sens de l'organisation et du contact humain à l'amélioration du fonctionnement de l'Association Internationale de Géodésie. E lu secrétaire général en 1946 à la disparition de son maître G. Perrier, il s'attacha à faire revivre l'Association après l'interruption due à la deuxième guerre mondiale. Il prit une part très active à l'elaboration des nouveaux Statuts et Règlement Intérieur adoptés en 1952 qui, avec les retouches nécessaires, restent toujours les règles de fonctionnement de notre Association.

Jean-Jacques LEVALLOIS

Secrétaire Général de l'Association Interna­tionale de Géodésie (1960-1975).

Ne le 26 juin 1911, J.J. Levallois est ingénieur de l'Ecole Polytechnique (1931­1933), diplôme du certificat d'Etudes supé­rieures d'astronomie approfondie. Il a eu une carrière d’enseignant, Professeur de topomé­trie et géodésie supérieure et appliquée (1947-1962), Examinateur pour l'Astrono­mie a l'Ecole Polytechnique (1958-1976), parallèle à sa carrière a l'Institut Géographi­que National où il fut notamment Directeur de la Géodésie de 1961 à 1974, Ingénieur Général Géographe depuis 1963, il est aussi Membre Correspondant du Bureau des Longitudes depuis 1961 et de l'Academie des Sciences depuis 1974.

Dans le domaine des activités de recherche on peut citer: Méthodes de calculs et de compensations des grands réseaux géodésiques; études sur la réfraction terrestre dans les mesures zénithales, sur le potentiel terrestre, sur le géoïde européen. Nombreuses publications scientifiques dont les ouvrages sur la réfraction géodésique (1953), Cours sur la Théorie des erreurs accidentelles et les Méthodes de compensation, Cours de Topométrie, et surtout "Géodésie Générale" (1968-1970) en 4 volumes: ouvrage fondamental qui aborde tous les domaines de la géodésie traditionnelle et de la géodésie moderne,

Parallèlement à ses activités professionnelles et de recherche, J.J. Levallois a su mener une brillante carrière internationale : Secrétaire adjoint, puis Secrétaire Général de l'Association Internationale de Géodésie (1960-1975) et Secrétaire Général Honoraire depuis 1975, Directeur du Bureau Gravimétrique International (1975-1979), Président du Groupe Spécial d'Etude : "Histoire de la Géodésie" (1979-1983),

En 1979 fut créée la Médaille Levallois pour récompenser les géodésiens qui ont oeuvré pour le rayonnement de l'Association Internationale de Géodésie. Cette récompense rend particulièrement hommage à l'oeuvre immense accomplie par J.J. Levallois pour l'A.I.G.

Michel LOUIS

Secrátaire Général de l'Association Internationale de Géodésie (1975-1991).

Né le 21 septembre 1930, Michel Louis est ingénieur de l'Ecole Polytechnique ( X 51) et ingénieur géographique diplômé de l'Ecole Nationale des Sciences Géographiques. Il débuta sa carriére à l'Institut Géographique National (1956) comme géodésien de terrain en participant à des missions d'établissement de canevas astronomiques et géodésiques en Afrique. Dès 1960, il introduit les mesures électro-magnétiques des distances dans la réalisation des canevas géodésiques. Il organisa de 1966 à 1970 les missions françaises du l2ème parallèle en Afrique avec l'A.M.S.

A partir de 1962, il prit une part très active l'utilisation des techniques spatiales à l'IGN (cameras balistiques) pour les liaisons à grande distance (rattachement de l'archipel des Açores à l'Europe, jonctions Europe-Afrique du Nord-Afrique de l'Ouest). En même temps, il dirigea l'unité chargée de l'application des techniques géodésiques au génie civil: implantations de haute précision, contrôles de ponts, barrages, tunnels, antennes de grande dimension, etc.

Non seulement il forma les opérateurs à ces techniques nouvelles, mais il enseigna ces parties de la géodésie appliquée l'Ecole Nationale des Sciences Géographiques et au Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers.

Elve et disciple de J.J. Levallois au Service de la Géodésie à l'IGN, il fut aussi son adjoint à l'Association Internationale de Géodésie: secrétaire adjoint de 1963 à 1975 et rédacteur du Bulletin Géodésique de 1965 à 1975. En 1975, il fut élu Secrétaire Général de l'AIG en remplacement de J.J. Levallois.

A l'IGN, Michel Louis devint Chef du Service de la Géodésie en 1976, puis Directeur de la Production en 1981, enfin il est Directeur Général Adjoint depuis 1983.


Secretary General from 1991 - 1995.

Né le 8 juillet 1949 à Troyes (France), C Boucher est ancien élève de l'Ecole Polytechnique (X 69) et Ingénieur Général des Ponts et Chaussées (canal géographique).

Diplômé d'Etudes Approfondies de l'Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris VI (Astronomie Fondamentale et Mécanique Céleste) (1973-1974), il a été ingénieur à l'Institut Géographique National (IGN) de 1974 à 1999, exerçant les fonctions successives suivantes: chercheur au Service de Géodésie et Nivellement (SGN) puis chef de ce service, directeur Technique de l'IGN et termina sa carrière à l'IGN comme chargé de mission auprès du Directeur général.

En 1999, il est nommé chargé de mission au Département Espace et Aéronautique du Ministère de la Recherche et des Nouvelles Technologies, et devient en 2004 membre permanent du Conseil Général des Ponts et Chaussées (3e section).

Il a été Directeur Exécutif du Groupe de Recherche de Géodésie Spatiale (1985-1991) ainsi que Secrétaire de la Section de Géodésie du Comité National Français de Géodésie et de Géophysique (CNFGG) puis Président de cette Section (1997-2003)

Membre correspondant du Bureau des Longitudes, il est également Fellow de la Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS) Dans le cadre international, il a exercé les fonctions de secrétaire adjoint de l'Association Internationale de Géodésie (IAG) de 1975 à 1991,en soutien à Jean- Jacques Levallois, puis Michel Louis, de Secrétaire de la Fédération des Services de données Astronomiques et Géophysiques (FAGS) (1980-1986) et enfin de Secrétaire Général de l'IAG (1991-1995) avec Pascal Willis comme secrétaire adjoint.

Il a par exercé de multiples activités, notamment président de la Commission X de l'IAG Réseaux Géodésiques Globaux et Régionaux (1995-2003 ) et responsable de la réalisation de l'ITRF (International Terrestrial Reference Frame) dans le cadre du Service International de Rotation et des Références Terrestres (IERS), depuis sa création en 1988, et ceci jusqu'en 2004.

Carl Christian TSCHERNING

Secretary General 1995 - 2007.

Born May 21, 1942. Mag. Scient. in geodesy, May 1970, University of Copenhagen. During military service 1960-1962 trained as Field Artillery survey group leader. Worked 1964 1988 at the Geodetic Institute of Denmark initially as a student assistant. Lecturer (part time) in physical geodesy at the University of Copenhagen 1977-1988. From 1988 professor of geodesy. He has stayed several periods at the Ohio State University and at the German Geodetic Research Institute (Munich) and been a visiting senior scientist, U.S.National Geodetic Survey in 1981.

Was secretary International Association of Geodesy (IAG) Section III (Gravity Field) 1983-1987, Associate Editor Reviews of Geophysics 1984-87, Editor-in-Chief Bulletin Geodesique 1986 1995 and Manuscripta Geodaetica 1992-1995. Secretary International Geoid Commission, 1987. Member Directing Board International Gravity Bureau 1986-1994. IUGG representative to CODATA, 1987-1995. Secretary General IAG 1995-2007. Associate Editor Studia Geophysica et Geodaetica from 2005.

Has hold many offices in professional organizations: President of the Geo Section of the Danish Union of Masters and Ph.D.'s in Science and Humanities (Dansk Magister forening) 85-87 and president the Science Faculty section 1989-1995. Vice Pres. Danish Geophysical Society 1984-1989 and President 1990-1991, secretary 1991. Secretary, 1985, Danish National Committee for the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, President 1992-1999.

He's research has primarily been in physical geodesy and in the geodetic use of space methods (satellite radar altimetry, GPS), resulting in more than 240 publications in national and international scientific journals, symposium proceedings and report series. Received Ole Rømer award (Danish), 1971, and W.A.Heiskanen Senior Award (Ohio State University), 1976. Fellow American Geophysical Union, 1991, Foreign Associate Royal Astronomical Society (UK), 1999, IAG Levallois Medal, 2007.

Hermann DREWES

Secretary General 2007 -

Source: The Geodesist's Handbooks

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