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István Fejes (1939-2011)

Submitter: Willem Baan
Description: Prof. Dr. István Fejes has passed away on 11 June 2011 after a long struggle with illness, shortly before his 72nd birthday.

István Fejes graduated in mathematics and physics at the Loránd Eötvös University of Sciences (Budapest, Hungary) in 1965. He earned his scientific degrees (PhD and DSc) in radio astronomy topics (The distribution of the interstellar neutral hydrogen in the Virgo region and Observations of SS433 with VLBI).

For three decades he was associated with the Institute of Geodesy, Cartography and Remote Sensing, Satellite Geodetic Observatory (SGO), and served as its head from 1990 until his retirement in 2003. Within SGO he established a successful research group working on the astrophysical and geodetic applications of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) and significantly contributed to the development of the Space VLBI technique.

István was a pioneer of Doppler interferometry technology for satellite navigation, fundamental for the present-day Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), and played a key role in adopting the GPS technique in Hungary. The Academic Prize of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences honored this activity in 1993. He also initiated the Hungarian GPS Geodynamic Reference Network and he was a founder of the Central European GPS Geodynamic Reference Network. His recent interests were in the real-time GNSS positioning services and the European Position Determination System (EUPOS) initiative.

István highly valued international scientific collaborations and spent regular and long periods at foreign research institutions, in The Netherlands (ASTRON and Groningen) and Germany (MPIfR). He was very engaged with educating and teaching the younger generation; Zsolt Paragi (JIVE) and Sandor Frey (SGO) were his students. The scientific topics he advocated still form the research backbone at SGO.

His colleagues and friends and his friends at ASTRON and JIVE will miss him very much as an inventive researcher, a leader who supported young scientists, a valued colleague, and a good friend. His memory and the many accomplishments he achieved will remain with us.

The funeral will be today in Solymár, Hungary.
Copyright: Astron/JIVE
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