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Ceremony honors newly named Distinguished University Professor

Distinguished University Professor and Distinguished Scholar Award

A special ceremony this week honored one of The Ohio State University’s most respected scholars.

President Michael V. Drake joined College of Engineering Dean David B. Williams and Senior Vice Provost Kay Wolf to honor Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska, College of Engineering associate dean for research, for being named a Distinguished University Professor — an honor bestowed on no more than three exceptional faculty per year. Grejner-Brzezinska was also a recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Scholar Award.

“So I came here 29 years ago … on a Fulbright scholarship for one year just to learn about this fantastic tool called GPS,” she said. “And 29 years later, I’m still here because there’s a lot to learn.”

Grejner-Brzezinska came to Ohio State from Poland to study geodetic science, which, among other things, focuses on the size and shape of the Earth and the estimation of spatial coordinates – critical to creating reliable global positioning systems. She went on to earn a PhD and become a faculty member at the College of Engineering.

A professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering, Grejner-Brzezinska is an expert on global positioning systems and global navigation satellite systems, as well as multi-sensor integrated systems for navigation and autonomous vehicle navigation.

Grejner-Brzezinska led an Ohio State team in the groundbreaking Airborne Integrated Mapping System project, which delivered a first-in-the-world fully digital directly georeferenced high-accuracy airborne mapping system prototype based on tight integration of GPS and inertial navigation system.

In October, she was the first woman from Ohio State to be inducted into the National Academy of Engineering. She was recently named to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Drake said Grejner-Brzezinska’s research has not only changed the way people travel the world, but has also changed the way leading researchers look at the science of navigation.

“To be elected to one of the national academies, you have to change the way the experts think about the thing they are experts in and that’s a real contribution,” he said.

Drake pointed out that Grejner-Brzezinska’s work has been done in collaboration with her colleagues in the College of Engineering. He said her effort helped “make it a place where great ideas come forth and great careers can flourish.”

“Every once in a while we have a chance to pause and acknowledge someone for having done that. To thank our colleague for having elevated the quality of our world and to look forward to the collaborations that occur in the future,” he said.

Williams congratulated Grejner-Brzezinska for her work and leadership in the college. He said the national recognition she has received shows the value of diversity.

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