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GGE News - 2014

Fall Graduate Seminar and Student Technical Conference

The GGE Fall 2014 Graduate Seminar and Student Technical Conference was held on Wednesday, 19 November. The well-attended activity showcased the work of two Ph.D. and five M.Sc.E. students making presentations of their selected topics previously submitted in formal papers. This round included high quality presentations covering topics from four of our GGE disciplines: three on GIS, two on geodesy, one on remote sensing, and one on ocean mapping. The sessions were chaired by Danar Pratomo, a GGE Ph.D. student. Through this event, GGE celebrated the 2014 GIS Day. Download the seminar agenda by clicking here.

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Former GGE Advisory Committee Chair Passes

Mike Eaton, scientist emeritus of the Canadian Hydrographic Service and a former chair of GGE's Advisory Committee, passed away on 9 October at the age of 86. He is known as the father of the electronic chart display and information system, commonly known as ECDIS.

Prof. David Wells, who worked with Mike Eaton at the CHS before becoming a faculty member at UNB, noted that "He led the world on setting standards [for electronic charts], so it wasn't that every ship had its own standards."

On reflecting on Mike Eaton's passing, Adam Kerr, past director of the International Hydrographic Organization and a regional director of CHS as well as a former chair of the GGE Advisory Committee, said "Mike was a man of ideas and was involved in numerous developments from sounding through ice to a long interest in improving navigation. I was a great admirer of his work and he made great contributions to hydrography and marine science in general and he well deserves the several awards he received."

Dr. Mathias Jonas, vice-president of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency of Germany and chair of the IHO's Hydrographic Services and Standards Committee, said "Mike Eaton was an astute but humble gentleman with dedication to hydrography. He will belong to my personal stars for life." At a recent meeting of the committee in Valparaiso, Chile, Mike Eaton was commemorated as the father of hydrography standards.

In recognition of his innovative work, Mike Eaton was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2005. The citation read at his investiture stated:

"With vision, innovation and ingenuity, Michael Eaton has made outstanding contributions to the advancement of hydrography in Canada. Scientist Emeritus with the Canadian Hydrographic Service, he developed techniques to accurately map frozen bodies of water and combined various positioning systems to more precisely survey ocean waters. Renowned nationally and internationally as the "father of the electronic chart," he envisaged a computerized version of the traditional marine chart. This electronic chart has become a common navigation tool for many shipping and recreational vessels, contributing to greater marine safety around the world."

Globe and Mail obituary:

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Adam Chrzanowski: A Celebration of 50 Years at UNB

On Thursday, 30 October, the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering celebrated Emeritus Professor Adam Chrzanowski's 50 years at the University of New Brunswick. Prof. Chrzanowski arrived at UNB in 1964 as a postdoctoral fellow. He subsequently became a faculty member in the fledgling Department of Surveying Engineering and rose through the ranks to become a tenured full professor and chairman of the department, and officially retired in 1998. But that wasn't the end of his relationship with UNB. He was awarded the title of professor emeritus, established the Canadian Centre for Geodetic Engineering at UNB, and has continued his active research program right up to the present.

To mark the occasion, Prof. Chrzanowski delivered a lecture entitled "50 Years of Research and Development in Engineering and Mining Surveys at UNB." It reviewed the history of major developments in engineering and mining surveys at UNB and summarized their world-wide applications. Starting with the participation in the Mt. Kennedy expedition in 1965, the work progressed from the implementation of emerging laser technology into development of new surveying techniques of high precision, through pioneering applications of GPS in ground subsidence studies in the 1980s and the development of a generalized method of geometrical analysis of structural and ground deformations, to the development of fully automated deformation monitoring systems and the development of integrated analysis of structural and rock mass deformations.

Prof. Chrzanowski was introduced by UNB President Emeritus (and GGE faculty member) John McLaughlin. Prof. McLaughlin noted that Prof. Chrzanowski "represented the very best of what our department was about ... bringing a wealth of experience, lots of professional details, case studies, and threading all of that into the academic narrative with gusto and passion and with a commitment to the students. It was quite remarkable."

Prof. Chrzanowski highlighted his contributions to engineering and mining surveying with brief reviews of his subsidence studies in the oil fields of Venezuela; the monitoring of tectonic movements in Peru; the design of geodetic control and tunnelling surveys for the Superconducting Super Collider; the monitoring and analysis of dam deformations in Canada, Pakistan, and the U.S.; and the monitoring of slope stability in open pit mines in Canada, Chile, and Poland.

Following the lecture, a small reception was held for invited guests.

Prof. Chrzanowski is still an active researcher with a current focus on integrated analysis and physical interpretation of rock mass deformation for the mining and energy industries.

The Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering is proud of Prof. Chrzanowski's contributions to the field of engineering and mining surveying over the past 50 years. As Prof. McLaughlin mentioned, Prof. Chrzanowski "is one of the giants in engineering and mining surveying." The department wishes him continued success in the years to come.

A video of Prof. Chrzanowski's lecture is available on YouTube. Thanks to Prof. Yun Zhang and Dr. Attila Komjathy.

Click on the thumbnail to see some photos taken at the reception.

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Simon Banville Wins ION Parkinson Award

Simon Banville, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering on the University of New Brunswick Fredericton campus, has won this year's Institute of Navigation Bradford W. Parkinson Award. It was presented during The Institute of Navigation's GNSS+ meeting in Tampa, Florida, this week.

The Parkinson Award recognizes an outstanding graduate student in the field of global navigation satellite systems, such as the Global Positioning System. The winner is selected based on the theses and dissertations submitted by supervisors from the global GNSS research community. In determining the awardee, a selection committee looks for outstanding contributions that represent truly significant innovations in the technology, application, or policy of modern satellite navigation systems.

The award honours Dr. Brad Parkinson for his leadership in establishing both the U.S. Global Positioning System and the Satellite Division of the ION.

Mr. Banville received the award for his dissertation entitled Improved Convergence for GNSS Precise Point Positioning. He was supervised by Prof. Richard Langley.

Precise Point Positioning or PPP is a relatively new single-receiver positioning technique that uses precise information on the orbits of navigation satellites and the atomic clocks they carry in a rigorous mathematical model for analyzing receiver measurements. It permits positioning accuracies down to the few-centimetre level and Mr. Banville's improvements to the technique will have significant economic benefits for those using GNSS in high-precision applications.

Mr. Banville will receive his Ph.D. degree at UNB's Fall Convocation next month.

Click on the thumbnail image to get a better look. (Photo: Attila Komjathy, 2014-September-12)

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Prof. Emmanuel Stefanakis Authors Book on GIS

A new textbook on geographic information systems by GGE's Professor Emmanuel Stefanakis has just been published by CreateSpace. Entitled Geographic Databases and Information Systems, its aim is to present geographic information systems from a technological perspective. Emphasis is given to the core of these systems, which is the geographic database along with the corresponding database management system. These two components largely control the performance and efficiency of a GIS. The fundamental methods and algorithms to analyze geographic data are also clearly described.

Most of the content of the economically priced 386-page-paperback book is the product of a series of continuous improvements to lecture notes distributed to university students in the context of undergraduate or graduate courses over the past decade. The book also includes outcomes of the theoretical research recently carried out by the author. Therefore, this resource aims to provide an aid and reference to both students (at the undergraduate and graduate level) and professionals alike.

The book is organized into fifteen chapters, which are grouped into three parts: Part I discusses the nature of geographic data, the coordinate systems associated with the earth's surface, the projection of the earth's surface onto paper and digital maps, and concludes with an introduction to geographic information systems.

In Part II, the discussion focuses on the technology of database systems. After presenting the basic concepts of these systems, the process of their design is elaborated. Then, some advanced database system design topics are visited along with the mechanisms of structuring data to support efficient management.

In Part III, the discussion relates to geographic databases. The representation and data models for geographic data are presented followed by a classification of geographic data analysis operations. The principles of computational geometry, spatial data structures, and optimization strategies for the execution of geographic procedures are discussed, before the state-of-the-art in geographic database systems technology is presented.

The book, dedicated to the late Prof. Y.C. Lee, may be obtained from a number of outlets including,, and CreateSpace. CreateSpace is a publishing division of

Click on the thumbnail to see the book's cover and the illustration "Thematic Layers in Space", by E. Ioannidou.

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World of Maps Summer Camp

During the week of 11-15 August, the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering held a summer camp for middle school students called "World of Maps." The camp was part of the summer program for school students organized by the UNB's College of Extended Learning.

A group of ten campers were instructed on how to use and make paper and digital maps; measure positions using tapes, total stations, and GPS receivers; search for historical maps in the UNB Library and in the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick; use remote-sensing images; and create map content in Earth browsers for geographic information science and share it with family and friends.

A series of game activities were also included in the campers' training such as geocaching, flight simulation with 3D maps, construction of stick maps, mapping of earthquakes, architectural drawing, and much more.

The camp was coordinated by Dr. Emmanuel Stefanakis, associate professor in GGE, and instructed by Heather McGrath, a GGE Ph.D. student. Several other GGE students were also involved in the activities including Ryan White, Shabnam Jabari, Aditya Roshan, and Amir Abouhamzeh. David Fraser, GGE's GIS technologist; Siobhan Hanratty, the UNB Data/GIS librarian; Ann Timmermans, an instructor/curator in the Quartermain Earth Science Centre; and Mary-Ellen Badeau, a PANB archivist also helped to initiate and entertain the campers in the world of maps.

Click on the thumbnail image to look at photos taken during the camp.

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Science Minister Visits GGE

The federal Minister of State for Science and Technology, Ed Holder, visited the University of New Brunswick on 28 July to announce the awarding by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of $2.4 million to 28 UNB researchers.

He was joined by Keith Ashfield, member of Parliament for Fredericton and Craig Leonard, the New Brunswick Minister of Energy and Mines.

A highlight of the visit was a tour of the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering to see the work of Prof. Richard Langley and his students. Prof. Langley received NSERC funding in the latest competition to support the work of his group in improving augmented multi-constellation satellite-based precise positioning in a wide range of environments.

Although GPS was the first widely available satellite navigation system, it has now been joined by the Russian GLONASS system, and will soon be accompanied by the European Galileo system, the Chinese BeiDou system, and the Japanese QZSS-all of which have test satellites now in orbit. There are a number of interesting problems to be solved in gaining maximum benefits from this plethora of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) for precise positioning and navigation, and Prof. Langley and his team will address a number of them.

The team is also involved in the analysis of data from the GPS-based instrument on the Canadian CASSIOPE scientific satellite launched at the end of September 2013. The instrument, which precisely determines the position of the satellite and provides information on the state of the Earth's ionosphere, was designed at UNB.

See also:

Click on the thumbnail image to look at photos taken during the visit.

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Peking University Professors Visit GGE

Three professors, Dr. Qiming Qin, Dr. Qiming Zeng, and Dr. Peijun Li, from the Institute of Remote Sensing and GIS of Peking University, China, visited the University of New Brunswick's Fredericton campus on 21 July 2014. On the morning of their visit, they delivered a special seminar on remote sensing information extraction to staff and students in the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering.

The seminar included topics in the areas of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) image processing, remote sensing for ecological applications, and remote sensing for urban applications. (InSAR is a high-resolution radar technique used in geodesy and remote sensing, which involves transmitting and receiving timed radar pulses using, typically, instruments on aircraft or low-Earth-orbiting spacecraft. Canada's RADARSAT satellites have played a leading role in providing InSAR imagery.)

In the afternoon, the visiting professors participated in a group meeting hosted by Dr. Yun Zhang. Dr. Zhang is the Canada Research Chair in Advanced Geomatics Image Processing at UNB. Thirteen students, including master's and Ph.D. graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, along with a research technologist, presented their research outcomes and discussed their work with the three professors. During the visit, the professors also had a short tour of GGE and the rest of the UNB campus.

About Peking University:
Peking University is a major Chinese research university located in Beijing. It was the first modern national university to be established in China, founded as the "Imperial University of Peking" in 1898. By 1920, it had become a centre for progressive thought. Today, Peking University is frequently listed by many domestic and international rankings as one of the top universities in China. In addition to academics, Peking University is especially renowned for its campus grounds, and the beauty of its traditional Chinese architecture. Several Peking University students have come to UNB for further studies.

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Geodetic Research Lab Receives ESA Certificate

The global navigation satellite systems research group in the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering's Geodetic Research Laboratory has received a certificate from the European Space Agency for its pioneering work with the Galileo In-Orbit Validation satellites.

Galileo is the GPS-like global navigation satellite system being developed by the European Commission and the European Space Agency. There are currently four test or In-Orbit Validation satellites in space with the first two full-operation-capability satellites scheduled for launch in August.

The IOV satellites began transmitting valid navigation messages early in 2013 and in March 2014, ESA announced that it would award certificates to the first 50 organizations who could document their achievement of a positioning fix using the Galileo IOV signals.

Ryan White, a graduate student in the GNSS group mentored by Prof. Richard Langley, had modified a version of GGE's precise point positioning software to process data collected from the IOV satellites by continuously operating GNSS receivers situated in the University of New Brunswick's Head Hall engineering building. Rather than using the broadcast navigation messages, this software makes use of precise Galileo satellite orbit and clock data derived from the observations made by a global network of tracking stations participating in the International GNSS Service's Multi-GNSS Experiment. And so Mr. White was able to obtain Galileo-only position fixes even before the satellites started to transmit usable navigation messages.

He submitted a position fix achieved with data collected on 1 January 2013, one of the earliest Galileo IOV satellite fixes obtained worldwide. And it is for this fix that ESA award one of the certificates.

Mr. White is continuing his research on the use of Galileo data and how best to combine it with that from GPS to improve accuracy and continuity of GNSS position fixes especially in poor signal reception areas such as urban centres.

ESA's press release on the awarding of the certificates can be found here:

See also:

Click on the thumbnail image to see the certificate.

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Sue Nichols Becomes Professor Emerita

At the University of New Brunswick's 185th Encaenia on 29 May 2014, GGE's Dr. Sue Nichols was awarded the rank of professor emerita in recognition of her distinguished career at the university.

According to university regulations, "Distinguished service shall consist of teaching performance recognized by colleagues and students to be of exceptional merit, extensive research and publication of unusually high quality, contribution to the administration and development of the university of a creative kind, or a combination of some or all of these, and a record of professional conduct that indicates fair and ethical treatment of students and other members of the academic community."

Dr. Nichols is widely regarded as an expert in land administration, gender rights and access to land, aboriginal and first nations' ownership rights, maritime policy and marine boundary delimitation, and land registry reform.

Her expertise in land administration systems and user requirements was recognized and sought by the United Nations, the World Bank, and other international development organizations, and she brought several important international training programs in land administration to UNB.

And amongst many other accomplishments, she was the first female president of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics and is the past-chair of the Canadian National Committee for the International Federation of Surveyors.

Full citation.

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GGE's Cisco Systems Chair for Big Data Announced

A special event was held on 15 May to celebrate the official announcement of the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering's latest research chair: the Cisco Systems Chair for Big Data. The chair is held by Dr. Monica Wachowicz, who works on the discovery and mapping of human mobility behaviour through the synergy between the physical and virtual worlds of big data.

Big data refers to data sets that are too large and complex to handle with standard methods or tools and so requires the development of specialized software.

Held in the Long Hall of UNB's iconic Richard J. Currie Center, the event was hosted by UNB's president and vice-chancellor, Dr. Eddy Campbell, and Dean of Engineering, Dr. David Coleman. Also present were Mike Ansley, managing director for business markets at Cisco Systems Canada and Rod Murphy, the company's vice-president Atlantic.

Video highlights of the event can be found here:

See also: and

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GGE: Still One of the Best

UNB's Office of the Vice-President (Research) recently released the results of the 2012-2013 research ranking exercise. Each department on the Fredericton and Saint John campuses is ranked according to the intensity of the research activities of its faculty members and their staff and graduate students including number and quality of publications, funding success, awards, and other performance measures. Once again, GGE received a top ranking of #1, a ranking achieved by only three other departments on the Fredericton campus this time. Notably, we are the only department on either campus to have consistently obtained a #1 ranking since the ranking exercise began a number of years ago!

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Employment Opportunity - We're Looking for a Geomatics Technologist

The Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering (GGE) at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) (Fredericton Campus) invites applications for a Geomatics Technologist.


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A Belated Welcome to Two New GGE Faculty Members

UNB's Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering welcomes two new full-time members of the faculty who joined us in January: Dr. Robert Kingdon and Dr. Monica Wachowicz.

Dr. Kingdon joins us as our new instructor in surveying. Dr. Kingdon was born in Ontario, and grew up in Nova Scotia. He did his higher education at the University of New Brunswick: first with a bachelor's degree in geomatics engineering with a focus on cadastral surveying, and later with a Ph.D. degree in geodesy under the supervision of Prof. Marcelo Santos and Prof. Petr Vaníček. He is a geodesist with vast knowledge about the intricacies of the Earth's gravity field and a surveying engineering expert.

As a student, Dr. Kingdon had the opportunity to collaborate in our department's effort supporting the surveying program at Mzuzu University in Malawi, where he spent a summer developing their land surveying curriculum and delivering lectures in geodesy, GPS, geographic information science (GIS), and land surveying. After receiving his Ph.D., he worked as a research geodesist for Fugro Airborne Surveys and CGG Canada Services Limited, in Ottawa, where he developed software for geoid computation using airborne gravity data.

In his short scientific career so far, Dr. Kingdon has published nine refereed papers. He joins the department with the duty of continuing and enhancing its excellence in teaching related to surveying.

Dr. Wachowicz is now an associate professor in the department. In addition to being an associate professor, she holds the CISCO Research Chair in Advanced Learning in Big Data Analytics. She had previously been an adjunct professor in the department, teaching some of our GIS courses.

Dr. Wachowicz came to the department in 2011 from the Centre for Geo-Information at Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands. Dr. Wachowicz obtained her bachelor's degree in geomatics engineering from the Federal University of Paraná in Brazil and subsequently obtained a master's degree in GIS from the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (now part of the University of Twente) in Enschede, The Netherlands. For her Ph.D., Dr. Wachowicz went to the University of Edinburgh in Scotland where she completed a dissertation on integrating space and time in an object-based GIS in the Department of Geography under the supervision of Drs. Richard Healey and Michael Worboys.

Dr. Wachowicz's research work is closely associated with the prospect of global real-time acquisition of massive amounts of data by the increased availability of affordable technologies capable of identifying, locating, sensing, networking, and processing the mobility of things in the physical and virtual worlds. She works at the intersection of mobile location analytics (which explores how to synthesize the mobile location, context, and interaction information of real-time massive data streams) and ambient cartography intelligence for making maps of the future, which will be culturally, linguistically, and nationally designed for providing a greater "sense of place" for people and things in motion.

We are fortunate to have Dr. Kingdon and Dr. Wachowicz in our ranks, and we look forward to their further contributions to the department, the university, and the global geomatics community.

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Former GGE Professors Do Us Proud

With the formal induction of Dr. Salem Masry into the Order of Canada on 27 March 2014, he joins Professor Emeritus and President Emeritus John McLaughlin as a member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of New Brunswick.

Dr. Masry was a faculty member in the former UNB Department of Surveying Engineering (now Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering) from 1966 to 1986 when he left the university to form CARIS, the geospatial software company headquartered in Fredericton, NB. CARIS (originally called Universal Systems Ltd.) has over 140 employees working in offices in Canada, The Netherlands, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Dr. McLaughlin has been a faculty member in the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering (and its forerunner, the Department of Surveying Engineering) since 1972 and served as the University of New Brunswick's president between 2002 and 2009.

The Order of Canada, one of the country's highest civilian honours, was established in 1967 to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community, and service to the nation.

The Order of New Brunswick was established in 2000 and it is the highest honour of the Province of New Brunswick. The object of the Order of New Brunswick is to recognize individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement and who have made outstanding contributions to the social, cultural, or economic well-being of New Brunswick and its residents.

The Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering can indeed be proud that two of our faculty have been so honoured by Canada and New Brunswick.

Backgrounder: See the Governor General's proclamation of Dr. Masry's investiture here.

Click on the thumbnail image to get a better look. (Photo: Mark Doucette, 2014-March-27)

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Graduate Seminar and Student Technical Conference

The GGE Spring 2014 Graduate Seminar and Student Technical Conference was held on Tuesday, 15 April. The well-attended activity showcased the work of four Ph.D. and four M.Sc.E. students making presentations of their selected topics previously documented in formal papers. This round included high quality presentations covering topics from three of our GGE disciplines: one on geographic information science, one on geodesy, and six on remote sensing. The sessions were chaired by Heather McGrath, a GGE Ph.D. student. Download the seminar agenda, including the presentation abstracts, by clicking here.

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Technical Report Presentations 2014

The Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering annual student technical report conference was held on 3 April 2014. It took place in the Dineen Auditorium in Head Hall on the University of New Brunswick's Fredericton Campus.

This year's conference was divided into two sessions, which were chaired by Tyler Allison and Kate Sonier respectively. The final session was the annual Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG) undergraduate student competition.

There was a lunch break between the first and second session, a BBQ, which was organized by the Geomatics Undergraduate Engineering Student Society (GUESS). Additionally, there was a reception following the presentation, sponsored by the GGE department.

There were five undergraduate presentations involved in the CIG competition, competing for three awards. The competitors were John Benere, Tyler Allison, Ryan Billard, Nicholas Parrot, and Gregory MacDonald. There were three judges from CIG present for the competition: Remy Reyjal, Robert Harris, and Sarah O'Rouke.

The winners of the undergraduate student paper competition were announced at the reception. The first place $1000 award, offered by the CIG, went to Nicholas Parrot who spoke about the impacts of the adoption of a new vertical datum in New Brunswick. The second place $700 award, offered by McElhanney, went to Tyler Allison, who spoke about a weighted visibility classification of the Aitken University Centre. The third place $500 award, offered by Midwest Surveys (headquartered in Calgary, AB), went to Gregory MacDonald who spoke about non-tidal water boundary law in New Brunswick and Alberta.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank CIG, McElhanney, Midwest Surveys, GUESS, and the department for their generous sponsorships. Furthermore, we would like to thank Michelle Ryan for enabling the success of this event.

Click on the thumbnail image to get a better look at the winners.

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GGE Joins the Open Geospatial Consortium

UNB's Dept. of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering has become an associate member of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). The OGC is a voluntary consensus standards organization with over 470 members from industry, government, research, and academic communities worldwide. OGC's goal is to define and deliver industry-standard platforms for geospatial interoperability across the Web, wireless, and mainstream information and communications technology.

According to an OGC document, "Much of the university members' involvement takes place in OGC testbeds, interoperability experiments and pilot projects. Members with technical expertise prototype and test candidate interface and encoding standards and build reference implementations and compliance tests. Through discussions of requirements and through technical work, university participants gain industry exposure, contacts, work experience, funding and a window into leading-edge geospatial technology developments."

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Former GGE Professor Receives C.C. Kirby Award
Updated 30 July 2014

Dr. Salem Masry has been awarded the 2014 C.C. Kirby Award, by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick, in recognition of his world-beating land and marine mapping software. The award was presented on 21 February 2014 at the 94th Annual Meeting of the APEGNB in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Dr. Masry was a faculty member in UNB's Department of Surveying Engineering (now Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering) from 1966 to 1986 when he left the university to form CARIS, the geospatial software company headquartered in Fredericton, NB. CARIS (originally called Universal Systems Ltd.) employs over 140 people working in offices in Canada, The Netherlands, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

The C.C. Kirby Award is given in recognition of outstanding service or contribution to both the engineering profession and the province of New Brunswick. Named in honour of Charles C. Kirby, a distinguished engineer who was the founder of the Association and co-founder and first President of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, the C.C. Kirby Award is the most prestigious award a professional engineer can receive from the Association.

In 2006, Dr. Masry received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from UNB.

In 2012, he became a member of the Order of New Brunswick and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions as an innovator and entrepreneur in digital mapping technology.

Click on the thumbnail to get a look at the award presentation.

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GGE Students Score at the ACES Atlantic Engineering Competition

Four GGE undergraduate students won prizes at this year's Atlantic Engineering Competition organized by the Atlantic Council of Engineering Students. The event was held at the Université de Moncton over the 24-26 January weekend.

Melissa Rousselle's team came first in the consulting event. As she said in an e-mail, "The consulting engineering category at AEC is to design a solution, create a budget, a schedule, a report, and a presentation for an engineering problem. The real-world problem given was for upgrades that needed to be investigated for a soda-pop plant. Our team (one from Mechanical Engineering, one from Chemical, one from Civil, and one from Geomatics) solution was to refurbish and reroute old underground waste water pipes and install a pH neutralization system to follow future regulatory standards the government could set."

Prizes were also won by GGE students Nicholas Ingalls, Eric Root, and Kyle Landry in the extemporaneous debate category. Eric described the category as an activity "in which two teams compete in a fast paced, high energy debate and strive to convince their listeners. The topics included 3-D printing, autonomous vehicles, and the incorporation of project management into the engineering curriculum." The students reported that they learned a lot in the event. And by the third round of the debate, they were able to present strong, logical, and competitive arguments.

The winners will be heading to the Canadian Engineering Competition at Western University in London, Ontario, in March.

Congratulations to the winners and to all the competitors who took part.

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Why We (the Professors) Decide to Stay at the University of New Brunswick

On the first leg of the flight home from San Diego last Thursday (from a GPS conference in San Diego), I frequently glanced at the in-fight entertainment system of the passenger ahead of me. She was watching the movie "It's a Wonderful Life." Yes, it's more of a Christmas movie - but go figure.

Anyway, one scene showed George (of course, played by Jimmy Stewart) giving up his dreams of moving away from Bedford Falls and finding fame and fortune elsewhere. And it reminded me of why those of us from away decided to stay in Fredericton and to continue teaching and doing research at the University of New Brunswick.

We might have had offers to move on and to take appointments at other, possibly more prestigious universities, but we decided to stay at UNB because we thought that UNB was already the best university in Canada for our field (as it is for GPS and geomatics) or that we wanted to help make it the best. And just as George ended up, despite adversities, helping make Bedford Falls a better place to live, work, and bring up a family (despite the efforts of Mr. Potter to take over Bedford Falls for himself), so we have managed to make UNB a better place to teach, to do research, and to better equip our graduates for their future careers.

I do believe that UNB has some of the best faculty members in the country and that we can transform the university into the next Waterloo. After all, we are only one position behind them in the most recent Maclean's ranking. We shouldn't be small-minded (as a few New Brunswickers unfortunately are) and resign ourselves forever to second-tier or have-not-province status. We can do a lot better than that!

-- Prof. Richard Langley

(A version of this article appeared as a letter to the editor in The Daily Gleaner, the Fredericton daily newspaper, on 10 February 2014.)

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UNB Strike/Lockout Over

Operations at the University of New Brunswick have returned to normal pending the ratification of an agreement between the Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers and the university administration. UNB e-mail addresses and computer servers should be functional again. We regret the disruption to GGE-related operations for the previous three weeks. For any continuing access problems, please contact Terry Arsenault at

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UNB Faculty on Strike: Some E-mail Disruptions

As of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, 13 January, UNB professors, librarians, lecturers, and researchers are on strike due to an impasse in negotiations for a new collective agreement. The administration has responded by locking out the faculty (barring them from entering the university). For the faculty's side of the story, see: For the administration's side of the story, see:

The administration has shut off all access to e-mail and campus computers and servers by faculty. However, staff access remains unaffected.

If you need to get in touch with any GGE faculty members during the strike, please contact Michelle Ryan,

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GGE Alumnus and Retired Professor, Eugene Derenyi, Passes

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Eugene Derenyi on 8 January 2014. Dr. Derenyi had a long association with the Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering (formerly Surveying Engineering) at UNB. He was awarded the first UNB M.Sc.E. degree in surveying engineering back in 1963. He started out working in geodesy and the title of his thesis was Deflections of the Vertical in Central New Brunswick. He became an assistant professor in the soon-to-be-created Department of Surveying Engineering but he switched his interest to photogrammetry, completing a Ph.D. in the subject in 1970. His dissertation was titled An Exploratory Investigation Concerning the Relative Orientation of Continuous Strip Imagery. Later on, he wrote Photogrammetry: The Concepts, a venerable publication still available as a department lecture note.

Dr. Derenyi subsequently became an acknowledged expert in the field of remote sensing, working with imagery from the LANDSAT and SPOT satellites. From 1983 to 1985, for example, he helped organize and supervise four different projects funded by a special remote sensing technology transfer program for the Maritimes.

Dr. Derenyi also served as the Director of Graduate Studies in the department for many years and oversaw the large growth in the department's graduate programs.

Professor Emeritus Angus Hamilton, who was chairman of the department between 1971 and 1985, has this to say about Dr. Derenyi: "Academically, as is apparent in his résumé, he was talented and versatile. In one discussion of the curriculum in the 1970s he casually mentioned that, at one time or another, he had taught every course in the program. No one else could come close to being able to make that claim."

And President and Professor Emeritus John McLaughlin noted that "Dr. Derenyi's research was of the highest international standard. He made significant contributions to both the applied science and professional dimensions of the discipline, mentored two generations of graduate students who went on to become leaders in their own right, and applied his research findings to major mapping programs across Canada and internationally."

On a personal note, Prof. McLauglin stated "I was both a student and colleague of Eugene's. From an undergrad's perspective (having taken courses from him between 1967 and 1969), I can attest that Professor Derenyi cared deeply about his discipline and about his students, and that his courses were rigorous, current and terribly important."

Dr. Derenyi formally retired from UNB in 1995 and spent a further couple of years in Fredericton before moving back to Toronto where he first lived after emigrating from Hungary in 1956. He continued to serve the department as an honorary research associate up to the time of his death.

We express our condolences to Dr. Derenyi's wife, Sylvia, his son, Eugene Jr., and the rest of his family. Donations may be made in his memory to the University of New Brunswick's Eugene E. Derenyi Alumni Prize in Remote Sensing.

(For Prof. McLaughlin's full tribute to Dr. Derenyi, click here.)

Click on the thumbnail image to get a better look.

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GGE Grad Alumnus Authors Book on GIS

"Rj" Zimmer, who obtained his M.Eng. degree in UNB's Department of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering, has published GIS for Surveyors: A Land Surveyor's Introduction to Geographic Information Systems.

The book, written by a surveyor for surveyors, explains how surveyors use geographic information systems (GIS) technologies to support land surveying activities and how GIS helps surveyors work more effectively and efficiently. Additionally, the book covers how surveyors support GIS data development, integrity, and spatial accuracy. GIS concepts, overviews, and specific examples are presented on a variety of topics relevant to land surveying.

Mr. Zimmer is a registered professional land surveyor and geomatics consultant located in Helena, Montana. He has written for The American Surveyor magazine, the Surveying and Land Information Systems journal, and Professional Surveyor magazine.

The book can be obtained from in Canada and in the U.S.

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Cartographica: New Editors-in-Chief

Two Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering faculty members, Emmanuel Stefanakis and Monica Wachowicz, are taking over the editorial duties of the journal Cartographica effective 1 January 2014.

Cartographica: The International Journal for Geographic Information and Geovisualization (formerly, Canadian Cartographer) delivers cutting-edge international research in all aspects of cartography (including the production, design, use, cognitive understanding, and history of maps), geovisualization, and GIScience. It is one of the most recognized journals in geomatics.

Cartographica was founded by Bernard V. Gutsell in 1965 (and edited by him until 1994). It is published by the University of Toronto Press and is associated with the Canadian Cartographic Association. In addition to regular issues, Cartographica also appears in monograph form, comprising a collection of articles or a single piece of work on a particular topic.

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