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Release: Immediate

Global positioning technology is the subject of April 24 symposium

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Global Positioning System (GPS) and its applications in navigation will be the subject of the 1997 Paul D. Scholz Symposium on Technology and its Role in Society to be held from 1:30 until 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 24 in the Second Floor Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.

Sponsored by the University of Iowa College of Engineering chapter of Tau Beta Pi, a national engineering honor society, the symposium will feature four main speakers: 1:30 p.m., Adam J. Gudat, of Caterpillar, Inc., Peoria, Ill.; 2:05 p.m., Bryan N. Wesner, of Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids; 2:50 p.m., Marc P. Armstrong, University of Iowa associate professor of geography; and 3:25 p.m., Timothy "Bo" Kemper, of Loyola University, Chicago.

Gudat, who holds some 25 patents in the fields of sensing and machine control, has been at Caterpillar since 1978 and currently is the lead engineer responsible for combining new technologies with global positioning technology systems to develop autonomous machines. A Registered Professional Engineer in California and Illinois, he previously spent 13 years with Hughes Aircraft Co. designing and developing communication and spy satellites and radar systems. He earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois in 1965.

Wesner, engineering department manager for the Artillery and GPS Department at Rockwell, develops highly accurate GPS receivers, as well as rugged receivers for use in environmentally demanding applications. Between 1992 and 1996, he was an engineering team leader in developing global positioning midcourse flight guidance systems. He received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1980.

Armstrong, in addition to his geography position, holds a faculty appointment in the Graduate Program in Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences and is a member of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER). He has research interests in developing approaches to help researchers and decision-makers find answers to computationally complex geographic questions through the use of parallel processing. A related research theme involves studying issues that arise when computer-based systems are used to help decision-makers search for solutions to ill-structured geographical problems. He is investigating ways that geographic information systems can be extended so that the groups of people required to work on such complex problems, can effectively use technology to solve problems and work toward consensus. Armstrong received his doctorate in geography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kemper, assistant vice president for government and community relations at Loyola University, works in a variety of fields, including property purchasing and government funding relations. But it is in the field of hot-air ballooning that he has experience with global positioning systems. An integral part of planning for the recent Solo Spirit Around-the-World balloon flight, he relied on GPS in negotiating air rights with 48 countries. Kemper received a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Arizona State University, Tempe.

The 1997 symposium is the 27th annual technology symposium. The event was renamed in 1993 in honor of Paul D. Scholz, who received numerous awards for his teaching and served as advisor to Tau Beta Pi for 20 years and as associate dean of engineering from 1979 until his death in 1992.

The symposium, free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by Tau Beta Pi, the UI College of Engineering, the UI Graduate College, and the UI Student Government Association. For more information or to request special accommodations, contact April Privett , Tau Beta Pi Student Section President, at (319) 353-0794.