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University of Michigan professor appointed as Key National PNT player in Biden administration

US President Joe Biden has appointed Professor Robert Hampshire from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), reported RNT Foundation. DOT is the federal lead for civil positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) issues, making Professor Hampshire a critical player in the national PNT community.

Professor Hampshire’s research and policy engagement focus on understanding the societal, climate, and equity implications of autonomous and connected vehicles and other innovative mobility services. In his new role, he will be responsible for research, development, and technology activities across the department and the 40 University Transportation Centers. He will oversee the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Transportation Safety Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

During last year, the Trump administration had also issued a number of key directives and policies aimed at strengthening US PNT capabilities and developing complementary or alternative PNT solutions to safeguard critical national infrastructure.

The appointment of Professor Hampshire seems to indicate the continuation of the United States’ efforts towards strengthening its Space infrastructure and capabilities and maintaining US leadership in the service, provision, and responsible use of GNSS.

Michael Barr, Dean, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, said, “The Ford School community is very proud of Robert and the values and skills he’s bringing to his important new role with the Biden administration. Robert’s expertise and his deep commitment to equity, access, and justice will improve transportation policy for all Americans.”

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