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AESS Board of Governor Member George Schmidt Passes

1 month 1 week ago
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We regret to share the passing of AESS Board of Governors Member and Distinguished Lecturer George Thomas Schmidt passed on February 22, 2024. 

George T. Schmidt, of Lexington, MA and Alton Bay, NH passed away on February 22, 2024. Beloved husband to Judy Miller. Loving father to Damon Schmidt and his wife Kristen of Bedford, MA and Jonathan Schmidt and his wife Melissa of Las Vegas, NV. Dear grandfather to Kathryn, Alyssa, Brendan, Jonathan and Elizabeth. Relatives and friends are invited to visit in the DeVito Funeral Home 1145 Mass Ave., ARLINGTON, on Wednesday, February 28th from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations in George's name may be made to the Jimmy Fund.

George was widely recognized for his Guidance, Navigation, and Control expertise throughout his entire career. He was awarded his Doctorate of Science (ScD) from MIT and joined MIT's Instrumentation Laboratory run by Doc Draper. While there, he was proud to have been a member of the Apollo program landing men on the moon and safely bringing them back to Earth, solving one of the most difficult navigation problems at that time. After the Instrumentation Lab was divested and became The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in 1973, George then worked there for over 45 years. He had a series of significant positions throughout his lengthy career: Division Leader, Director of the Guidance Technology Center, and Education Director.

He was part of the Draper team to visit Russia shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He was instrumental in trying to bring them into the international guidance and navigation community. He also developed and led a team of experts providing technology updates and trends to NATO countries for several years. He was very interested in the international navigation community and the benefits to be gained from navigation availability, such as GPS-aided. He pursued this goal during many years on the board of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEEE). His concern for bringing talented people into the guidance, navigation and control community was exemplified when he was Education Director at Draper. He selected potential students from different colleges, but especially MIT, and encouraged them to come to Draper to get an advanced degree in navigation-related technology advancement. Many students today will thank him for that.

George spent his time in Lexington, MA, and Alton Bay, NH. His home on Lake Winnipesaukee was a very welcoming place for family and friends. There was always something going on and a boat trip was always a treat. He was also an avid skier until injury put an end to that. He was a wonderful family man, a great friend, and a great engineer. He will be missed by family, friends, and colleagues.

About George