The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) announced that Dr. Franz Leberl will be the first recipient of the newly created ASPRS Outstanding Technical Achievement Award (OTAA). Leberl, founder of Vexcel Corporation in Boulder, Colo. and Vexcel Imaging GmbH in Austria, was selected in recognition of his contribution to the development of the UltraCam large format digital aerial camera.

In naming the winner for this award ASPRS President Gary Florence said, “After a thorough review of each of the nominees submitted for this award, the selection committee unanimously determined that Dr. Leberl was the obvious choice as the inaugural winner for this award. The Awards Committee and I are very pleased to have been involved in the launching of this new and very prestigious award.”

The purpose of the ASPRS Outstanding Technical Achievement Award is to reward the developers of specific breakthrough technology which causes major advances in the practice of photogrammetry, remote sensing, or geographic information systems in the United States. 

The OTAA Committee consists of a panel of judges composed of the ASPRS president and the directors of the six ASPRS technical Divisions. The committee reviewed each nomination using the following rating criteria:
• Practicality, i.e., overall effectiveness;
• Economic Impact, i.e., measurable efficiencies;
• Scientific Impact, i.e., advance the Science of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and GIS;
• Originality, i.e., one of a kind;
• General Interest, i.e., will it be used extensively, and;
• Overall Presentation, i.e., elegance of the design.

The award consists of a silver presentation plaque mounted on a walnut wood panel plus a cash award of $5,000. The presentation of the award will take place at the “Installation of Officers and Awards” meeting held during the ASPRS 2012 Annual Conference scheduled for March 19–23, 2012 in Sacramento, Calif.