ECDIS Lifetime Achievement Award for Lee Alexander

Congratulations to Research Associate Professor Emeritus Lee Alexander on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at World ECDIS Day in September. Lee was recognized for his involvement in the development and implementation of Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) and e-Navigation during the past 25 years.

Lee received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is a captain (now retired) in the U.S. Navy. Before coming to the Center, Lee was a Research Scientist with the U.S. Coast Guard and a Visiting Scientist on Electronic Charts with the Canadian Hydrographic Service. His area of expertise is applied research, development, test and evaluation of electronic chart and e-Navigation-related technologies. He has served on several international committees and working groups dealing with maritime navigation—including the International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA). He has published more than 200 papers and reports on electronic chart and e-Navigation-related technologies, and is a co-author of a textbook on Electronic Charts.

The World ECDIS Day is a non-profit industry initiative. The goal of the event is to bring stakeholders together for the exchange of ideas, as well as the evaluation of problems and visions related to e-Navigation and ECDIS. This year's event was held in Hamburg, Germany. Lee was unable to attend but he sent a short video with his remarks (watch below). A recently published book, ENC 25, that was published in conjunction with the event can be seen in the background of the photo of Lee's award. In the book, a chapter called “Voices on the Future” includes a write-up about Lee and some remarks he made about the past, present, and future of electronic charting and e-Navigation. Those remarks can be read on the World EDCIS Day's blog.

Lee Alexander's Remarks Upon Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award

I am both humbled and grateful to receive this Award. I only wish I could be present to receive it. But being semi-retired, it was not possible for me to travel to Hamburg for this year’s World ECDIS Day 2017 event.

Like many persons nearing the end of their professional career, I look at ECDIS development and implementation from three perspectives: past, present, and future. Put in navigator’s terms 1) where we started, 2) where we are now, and 3) where we would like to go. Looking at the Programme Speakers and the Blog Posts by some of my colleagues, these “Voices of the Future” offer useful insight on the accomplishments, challenges, and future opportunities for ECDIS.

For me, any accomplishments related to ECDIS were the result of a team effort. Being knowledgeable or knowing the best way forward is usually not enough. More important was working with others to help make things happen -- for the better. It’s now time for the next generation to take over.

Again, I am grateful to receive this award, and for having been involved with ECDIS.