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Grady Tuell

Dr. Grady Tuell, CEGE MS ’87 and PhD ’02, was presented with the 2015 SPIE George W. Goddard Award at SPIE DSS on 20 April in Baltimore.    The George W. Goddard Award is presented annually in recognition of exceptional achievement in optical or photonic instrumentation for aerospace, atmospheric science, or astronomy. The award is for the invention and development of a new technique, photonic instrumentation, instrument, or system.

The award recognizes Dr. Tuell’s foundational research and development in bathymetric lidar and data fusion, and his work in further advancing airborne lidar remote sensing in other ways including real-time calculation of total propagated positioning error. His contributions span from algorithms to commercial airborne systems.

Tuell serves as SPIE Senior Member and Associate Director of the Electro-Optical Systems Lab (EOSL) at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI).  Tuell co-founded Optech International, where he oversaw the evolution of Optech’s bathymetric lidar technologies. At Optech, he transformed airborne bathymetric lidar from a depth-measuring technique to true environmental mapping and imaging of the sea floor.

In the course of that work, he pioneered the technique of fusing hyperspectral image data with lidar data to yield a whole new suite of data products. His visionary work resulted in a commercial instrument, the Coastal Zone Mapping and Imaging Lidar, which is now being manufactured and flown.

Tuell was a commissioned officer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 1980 to 2000. During his 20-year tour of duty, he managed all R&D efforts associated with the adoption of new technologies into NOAA’s coastal mapping efforts.  He was recognized with the U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal for introducing imaging spectroscopy, lidar, and SAR into NOAA’s nautical charting program.

Tuell has served on SPIE the organizing committee for the SPIE conference on Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery.

Excerpted from SPIE Press Release – 29 April 2015