PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Contact: Mary Hardin
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENovember 21, 1997
JPL'S VAN ZYL NAMED YOUNG ENGINEER OF THE YEAR BY IEEE
Dr. Jakob J. van Zyl, manager of the Radar Science and
Engineering Section at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is the
recipient of the 1997 Fred Nathanson Memorial Radar Award
presented to the Young Engineer of the Year by the Institute of
Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).
Van Zyl received the award at the annual IEEE meeting held
last month in Edinburg, Scotland. In addition to the
commemorative plaque, he receives a $1,000 honorarium.
In his present position at JPL, van Zyl directs the efforts
of more than 120 technical engineers and scientists involved in
the research and development of air- and- spaceborne synthetic
aperture radar hardware and processors. He is also the project
manager of GeoSAR, a three-year effort to develop a dual
frequency interferometric synthetic aperture radar system that
could penetrate vegetation to precisely map the Earth's surface
The Young Engineer of the Year Award was established to
grant international recognition for outstanding contributions to
the radar art by engineers under the age of 40. The IEEE grants
the award to encourage individual technical effort and to foster
increased professional participation by developing radar
Born in Outjo, Namibia on February 24, 1957, Van Zyl
received his first degree in electrical engineering from the
University of Stellenbosch, South Africa in 1979. He followed
that with a master of science degree in electrical engineering
in 1983 and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1986, both from the
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. He holds two
patents and 17 NASA certificates of recognition.
Van Zyl's research interests include electromagnetic
theory, wave propagation, diffraction and scattering, remote
sensing techniques, radar polarimetry and interferometry, and
antenna and sensor theory and techniques.
He and his wife, Kalfie, are residents of Pasadena, CA.