M. Poutanen | 2023-07-28

IUGG General Assembly 2023 Summary

The 28th IUGG General Assembly was held on 11-20 July 2023 in Berlin, Germany. It gathered a total of 5000 participants which is a record of IUGG General Assemblies. The number of IAG participants was about 580 which is also a record in the General Assemblies.

 Six geodesy-only symposia and seven joint, geodesy-lead symposia were organised with a total of 661 abstracts submitted.  

A summary of the Symposia reports given by the conveners at the IAG Closing Ceremonies can be found here.

Group photo of the IAG participants

Council Meetings

The IAG Council had two meetings during the Assembly, July 12 and July 19. In the meeting of July 12, Secretary General introduced the budget for the last period 2019-2022, and the budget plan for the next period 2023-2026. The 2019-2022 budget showed a considerable surplus due to the Pandemic. Almost all activities were suspended for more than two years without any meetings or travel Award applications. The 2023-2026 budget is planned to have a large deficit to approach the balance in the long term budgeting. The council appointed the Audit Committee for examining the finances of the IAG and the planned budget. The members of the Audit Committee were Mattia Crespi, Italy, Chair), Xiaoli Deng (Australia), Ismael Foroughi (Canada), and Jyri Näränen (Finland).

The Council also appointed the Resolution Committee to prepare the IAG Resolutions. Members of the Committee were Christopher Kotsakis (President of Commission 1), Adrian Jäggi (President of Commission 2, Chair), Janusz Bogusz (President of Commission 3), Allison Kealy (President of Commission 4), and Basara Miyahara (President of GGOS). 

Harald Schuh, Chair of the Cassinis Committee to prepare the changes in the IAG Statutes and bylaws introduced the proposed changes. 

In the second meeting of the Council on July 19, the Audit Committee proposed in its report the discharge of the management and adoption of the budget which were approved unanimously. Also, the changes in the Statutes and the bylaws, as well as the resolution were approved. They can be found here.

Awards and Fellowships

Georges Balmino

Hermann Drewes

IAG Awarded two Levallois medals which were awarded in recognition of distinguished service to the Association and the science of geodesy in general. The medals were awarded to Hermann Drewes for his invaluable impact on the development of the SIRGAS as well as for his more than 25-year-long duties within the IAG as Section Chair, Commission Chair and Secretary General (2007-2019), and Georges Balmino for his outstanding works on the modelling of the gravity fields of Earth, Moon and other planets as well as his key role in the planning phase of the dedicated Earth's gravity field satellite mission GOCE. Laudations, given by Harald Schuh and Gerhard Beutler can be found here and here, respectively.

Matthias Willen

Radoslaw Zajdel
IAG Young Author’s Award 2021 was awarded to Radoslaw Zajdel for his paper: Zajdel, R., Sośnica, K., Bury, G. et al. Sub-daily polar motion from GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo. J Geod95, 3 (2021) and 2022 award to Matthias Willen for his paper: Willen, M.O., Horwath, M., Groh, A. et al. Feasibility of a global inversion for spatially resolved glacial isostatic adjustment and ice sheet mass changes proven in simulation experiments. J Geod96, 75 (2022)  

Jan Martin Brockmann

IAG established the Best Reviewer Award to officially recognize the important work of excellent reviewing for the Journal of Geodesy. The first one was awarded to Jan Martin Brockmann for reviewing extremely challenging manuscripts, including methodological papers with numerous development of ideas as well as for his careful and thorough and most importantly timely reviews.

Amir Khodabandeh
The Guy Bomford Prize is awarded for outstanding contribution to Geodesy. The 2023 Guy Bomford Prize was awarded to Amir Khodabandeh for his research activities in the Geodetic Estimation Theory Applied to GNSS. According to the laudatio, "his research contribution is unique and distinguished because of the mathematical rigour which he employs to develop methodical frameworks addressing research questions from basic principles". Dr Khodabandeh gave the speech in the opening ceremonies, titled Geodetic Mixed-Integer Models.  GNSS Network Estimability, PPP-RTK and Beyond.

A total of 23 new IAG Fellows were nominated and the certificates were given in the IAG Closing Ceremonies. New IAG Fellows are: 

  • Graham  Appleby  (UK)
  • Kyriakos Balidakis  (Germany)
  • Elmar Brockmann  ( (Switzerland))
  • Sonia Costa  (Brazil)
  • Yamin Dang  (China)
  • Wei Feng (China)
  • Gabriel do Nascimento Guimarães (Brazil)
  • Ryan Hippenstiel   (USA)
  • Xiaopeng  Li  (USA)
  • Martin Lidberg  (Sweden)
  • Ulrich  Meyer  (Switzerland)
  • Basara  Miyahara  (Japan)
  • Emily Montgomery-Brown  (USA)
  • Takuya  Nishimura  (Japan)
  • Jean-Mathieu  Nocquet  (France)
  • Toshimichi  Otsubo  (Japan)
  • Paul Rebischung  (France)
  • Laura Ruotsalainen  (Finland)
  • Alvaro  Santamaría-Gómez  (France)
  • Zheng-Kang Shen  (USA)
  • Wenbin Shen   (China)
  • Rebekka  Steffen  (Sweden)
  • Derek van Westrum  (USA)

The new IAG Fellows present at the IAG Closing Ceremony

IAG President Zuheir Altamimi and Secretary General Markku Poutanen in the period 2019-2023 were promoted to the IAG Honorary President and Honorary Secretary General. 

Zuheir Altamimi being promoted to
the IAG Honorary President

Markku Poutanen being promoted to
the IAG Honorary Secretary General

New Executive Committee

The IAG Council has elected the officers of the Association for the period 2023-2027. The members of the Executive Committee are:

  • Richard Gross (president)
  • Peter .J. Teunissen (vice-president)
  • Daniela Thaller (secretary general)
  • Zuheir Altamimi (immediate past president)
  • Markku Poutanen (immediate past secretary general)
  • Urs Hugentobler (president of Commission 1)
  • Srinivas Bettadpur (president of Commission 2)
  • Rebekka Steffen (president of Commission 3)
  • Pawel Wielgosz (president of Commission 4)
  • Mattia Crespi (president of Intercommission Committee on Theory)
  • Anette Eicker (president of Intercommission Committee on Geodesy for Climate Research)
  • Velérie Ballu (president of Intercommission Committee on Marine Geodesy)
  • Szabolcs Rózsa (president of the Communication and Outreach Branch)
  • Jürgen Müller (chair of the IAG Project Novel Sensors and Quantum Technology for Geodesy
  • Maria Virginia Mackern (Member at Large)
  • Masato Furuya (Member at Large)
  • Laura Sánchez (president of the IAG Global Geodetic Observing System)
  • Vincenza Luceri (Service Representative)
  • Thomas Herring (Service Representative)
  • Riccardo Barzaghi (Service Representative)

The new IAG Executive Committee held its first meeting in Berlin on July 20.

The Executive Committee (2023-2027) after its 1st meeting in Berlin

Reports and Upcoming events

IAG Reports (Travaux de l’IAG) vol 43 (2023) is in the IAG web site (https://www.iag-aig.org/travaux/Travaux2023). It has almost 1000 pages and contains detailed information on the activities of IAG entities in the period 2019-2022.

National reports are placed on the website as they are sent to the Secretary-General (https://www.iag-aig.org/national-reports/NatRep2023). We urge nations to submit the reports for the website.

Authors of IAG-related presentations (orals or posters) in the Assembly are urged to submit papers to the IAG Symposia Series. The submission deadline will be September 30 and the submission is via the Springer portal at http://www.springer.com/series/1345. There is a full peer review process and the accepted papers will be all open access. IAG is paying the fees, so the papers are free of charge to the authors. The page limit for a paper is 8 pages. Individual papers are available openly and citable on the Springer website shortly after acceptance. All papers from each volume will be packaged together as an open-access e-book once all editorial work is done.

The IAG Scientific Assembly 2025 will be held at Rimini, Italy, September 1-5. The event is hosted by the University of Bologna. Please, mark this already now in your calendar.

Markku Poutanen

IAG Events