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Last December, just as it does every year, the Athens Academy conferred prizes on outstanding individuals in the fields of the Letters, the Arts and the Sciences. Dr. Vassilis Ghikas, member of the Scholars’ Association Board, along with post-doc Christodoulos Danezis, picked up the Dimitrios N. Lambadarios 1st Prize for the Positive Sciences which comes with a € 3,000 cash prize, for the best research paper in the field of geodesy published by Greeks in Greece or abroad.

Their paper entitled “An iterative LiDAR DEM-aided algorithm for GNSS positioning in obstructed/rapidly undulating environments” presents an innovative methodology for significantly increasing the availability and quality (accuracy and reliability) of satellite positioning in environments which GPS finds difficult, such as dense forests and urban environments. The paper is available from the publisher Elsevier in the Advances In Space Research journal.

Vassilis Ghikas is Asst. Professor at the School of Rural and Surveying Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). His research interests focus on technical and satellite geodesy and vehicle navigation. He studied rural and surveying engineering at the NTUA from 1987 to 1992. Between 1993 and 1996 with the support of the Onassis Foundation, he prepared a doctoral thesis in geodesy at Newcastle University in the UK. In 1998 his doctoral thesis won him a prize from the Athens Academy and was registered as an international patent. After he completed his studies he went on to work as a researcher at Newcastle University.

Between 1997 and 2000 Vassilis Ghikas worked as scientific advisor on geodetic positioning issues for hydrocarbon prospecting companies like Western Geophysical in the UK and Baker Hughes in the US. When he returned to Greece he worked as a consultant geodetic engineer in the private sector on important Olympic projects. In 2002 he was hired by the Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP S.A.) and in 2003 took up the post of head of the Surveying Department.

Vassilis Ghikas has authored more than 80 papers published in international scientific journals or presented at conferences, and is a regular reviewer for more than 15 scientific journals. He has been involved in 18 funded research programmes. He has also been invited to speak at international conferences and has lectured at several foreign universities. He is currently vice chairman of the following committees: Committee 4.1: Alternatives and Backups to GNSS (International Association of Geodesy) and Committee 6.1: Deformation Measurements and Analysis (International Federation of Surveyors).