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ARCS Foundation announces 2016 inductees to ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame

Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Accomplishments of leading U.S. scientists illustrate the key role of early-stage ARCS funding in ensuring a robust STEM pipeline

Artesia California, June 13, 2016 - ARCS Foundation (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation, Inc.), announced two new inductees into the ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame:

-Dr. Stephen Lichten: Inventor of GPS Navigation Technology and Division Manager for Communications, Tracking and Radar; NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory;

-Dr. Jeanne Van Briesen: Environmental researcher; recognized expert in water policy, and Duquesne Light Company Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Center for Water Quality in Urban Environmental Systems (WaterQUEST) at Carnegie Mellon University.

The ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame honors ARCS Scholar Alumni who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of science and U.S. competitiveness in STEM-based innovation. All Hall of Fame Members are past recipients of the highly regarded ARCS Scholar Award, a cash award given to the most promising students pursuing advanced degrees in STEM and medical research fields.

Members are selected based on demonstrated leadership in one or more of the following areas:

  • Scientific innovation as evidenced by exceptional technical advancement, patents, and/or uniqueness of scientific findings
  • Scientific discovery that has the potential to improve lives and our economy
  • Recognition by peers demonstrated by prestigious awards and/or significant peer-reviewed publications
  • Founding or leadership of an organization with significant impact on the U.S. economy
  • Inspiring and/or mentoring future scientists to fill the STEM pipeline
  • Promoting greater awareness of the importance of national scientific competitiveness

Dr. Lichten received his ARCS Award from the Los Angeles Chapter in both 1981 and 1983 while studying at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He says,

“The ARCS award was personally very impactful for me, as I had very limited financial resources at the time. ARCS is a wonderful organization that helps students and early career individuals when they need such help the most. I am very grateful to ARCS for this support.”

Dr. Van Briesen received her ARCS Award from the Illinois Chapter annually from 1992 through 1997 while studying at Northwestern University. She says,

"Knowing that an organization like ARCS recognized my potential and now wants to reward the years of effort I have put into science has strengthened my resolve to work on critical problems and make a difference in the world."

ARCS Foundation National President Lynne Brickner says,

“The evidence of ARCS impact on the advancement of science is powerful. ARCS Foundation invests in the futures of brilliant young American scientists, and this announcement of Dr. Lichten’s and Dr. Van Briesen’s induction into the ARCS Hall of Fame is an opportunity to show the results of that investment. In honoring accomplished and internationally recognized US scientists, the Hall of Fame emphasizes how vital ARCS’ funding support has been to those pursuing careers in STEM and medical research.” 

About Dr. Stephen Lichten. Dr. Stephen Lichten leads a division of 550 engineers and scientists that provide scientific and technological expertise to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for deep space and planetary communications, navigational tracking, and active radio frequency (RF) remote sensing. Since joining JPL in 1983, he has developed precision tracking systems using Very Long Baseline Interferometry and the Global Positioning System (GPS). He led a group to determine Earth satellite orbits to better than 1 centimeter accuracy and led JPL’s critical GPS software delivery to the FAA’s GPS Wide Area Augmentation System. This widely-used GPS technology ensures reliability and accuracy of aircraft navigation and is one of the most successful JPL commercialization efforts ever. He also managed the JPL/NASA Deep Space Network Technology Program Work Area for Tracking and Navigation for 15 years.

Dr. Lichten’s organizations have successfully delivered dozens of science and telecommunications payloads for NASA missions to the Earth, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, and have supported missions to other planetary bodies, including Pluto. Dr. Lichten has 35 refereed publications, 100+ conference papers and presentations, numerous NASA Awards, and four tracking systems-related patents: 3 for GPS, and 1 for formation flying sensors. He was on winning teams for the 1995 NASA Software of the Year (Runner-Up), 2000 NASA Software of the Year (Winner), and was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame (2004 for GPS Precision Software).

About Dr. Jeanne Van Briesen.  Dr. Jeanne Van Briesen has conducted important research on water quality that impacts local, state, national, and international policy and engineering practices. Her research is in environmental systems, with an emphasis on the role water plays in energy and urban environments. She is a recognized expert in both water sustainability and biogeochemistry in drinking water and natural water systems, and her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and The Heinz Endowments.

Dr. Van Briesen serves on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board, and is active in the Association for Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Her many awards include the 2015 Carnegie Science Center Environmental Award and the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2015 Margaret Petersen Award. She has presented at hundreds of conferences and seminars and published more than 50 scientific papers with 2,800+ citations.

Dr. Van Briesen demonstrates a passion for teaching and mentoring the next generation of engineers – especially women. Toward expanding this commitment, she became a founding member of the ARCS Foundation Pittsburgh Chapter in 2003. 

About ARCS® Foundation  

ARCS Foundation is a national nonprofit volunteer women's organization that promotes American competitiveness by supporting talented U.S. citizens working to complete degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and health disciplines at the nation's leading research colleges and universities. Since 1958, the organization has awarded more than $96 million to more than 9,000 students. ARCS Scholars have produced thousands of research publications and patents, secured billions in grant funding, started science related companies, and played a significant role in teaching and mentoring young people in the STEM pipeline. More at