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ANT Director becomes first ever Fulbright Scholar from AFIT

Dr. John Raquet (Courtesy photo)

Dr. John Raquet (Courtesy photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Dr. John Raquet, director of the Advanced Navigation Technology Center at the Air Force Institute of Technology, was selected to become AFIT's first ever Fulbright Scholar and recently returned from spending six months conducting research and teaching the fundamentals of the Global Positioning System at the Tampere University of Technology in Tampere, Finland.

Dr. Raquet attended TUT in Finland from January 18 to June 30.

As an associate professor of electrical engineering at AFIT, Dr. Raquet was one of only 29 U.S. scholars selected to foster this education exchange in the engineering discipline during 2009-2010.

"It was more valuable than I had even anticipated," said Dr. Raquet.

As Director of AFIT's ANT Center, Dr. Raquet works on developing GPS and non-GPS navigation systems for military use. As a Fulbright Scholar at TUT in Finland, he conducted research and worked with graduate-level students in the Department of Computer Systems.

"This great honor acknowledges the remarkable research and study of one of our own, and provides the worldwide recognition of the academic prestige of AFIT. I am very proud of Dr. Raquet's accomplishment," AFIT Commandant Brig. Gen. Walter Givhan said.

The Fulbright Scholar Program is the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program in the world, supported for more than half a century by the American people through an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress and by the people of partner nations.

Today, the program works with universities, schools, bi-national Fulbright commissions, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to actively seek out individuals of academic achievement with leadership potential who represent the full diversity of their respective societies.

Each year, the U.S. Fulbright Program sends approximately 1,100 American scholars abroad to lecture and conduct research in an array of academic and professional disciplines. Nominees are selected through open, merit-based competitions.

Going to TUT was a natural fit, Dr. Raquet said, because the research the university does is so similar to the ANT Center.

"I found Tampere to be a lot like Dayton, which started as essentially an industrial city, but has been transitioning towards more high-tech activity. Also, both cities are similar in size and have a strong university presence," Dr. Raquet said.

But there is one big difference. While the ANT Center is striving to provide navigation solutions for the warfighter, TUT is focused on navigation for mass-market consumer use.

"I found it very professionally helpful because it's looking at the same problems with a different set of constraints," Dr. Raquet said.

Finland is, home of cellular-phone maker Nokia. Working just across the street from Nokia research facilities and its subsidiary companies, Dr. Raquet was able to consider his research in a new way.

"I really came away with a lot of ideas that I could bring back to AFIT, and, in fact, we've already started implementing some of them," he said.

Extensive use of in-class exercises to improve student understanding is one idea that has already been implemented.

Dr. Raquet plans to continue the education exchange spawned by his Fulbright experience, keeping in touch with the faculty and researchers in Tampere and using the relationship to support AFIT and the ANT Center.

To learn more about the Advanced Navigation Technology Center visit http://www.afit.edu/en/ant/.