Date of release: Monday, July 22, 2013

Jack Dangermond and Tariq MustafaJack Dangermond, one of the founding fathers of geographic information systems, and Tariq Mustafa, a mechanical-nuclear engineer and space technologist, are both being honoured by the University of Greenwich today (Monday 22 July).

Mr Dangermond and Mr Mustafa are receiving their degrees of Honorary Doctor of Science (HonDSc) in graduation ceremonies at the Greenwich Campus.

An entrepreneur, technologist and environmental scientist, Mr Dangermond set up his company, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), in 1969 with little more than $1,000 of family savings. Today it is the world’s largest geographic information systems (GIS) software company, with a turnover of more than $1.3billion. ESRI’s customer base comprises over 350,000 organisations, including government agencies and businesses across the United States and Europe.

He is receiving his honorary degree in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the fields of landscape architecture and geography, and his groundbreaking work as a leader, thinker and educator in geographic information systems.

The University’s Orator Alev Adil, who is speaking at the ceremonies, says: “Jack Dangermond’s pioneering work over the last 44 years with his team at ESRI has enabled him to realise his vision of GIS as a way to bring rational science into the crucial decision-making processes that impact on our environment.”

As well as receiving his honorary degree, Mr Dangermond is giving a free public lecture on the subject of Future Trends in GIS. He will discuss technological developments in GIS, both in the United States and across the rest of the world, and their wider implications for science and society in general.

The lecture takes place at 4pm today (22 July) in Room LT315, King William Court, at the Greenwich Campus. All are welcome.

Tariq Mustafa studied at Woolwich Polytechnic, now the University of Greenwich, from 1952 to 1956, while he was earning an engineering apprenticeship at the Royal Arsenal. He graduated with First Class Honours in Mechanical Engineering.

He has served as chief scientist at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, as principal engineer at the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and as a senior government official in Pakistan. He has also worked for NASA, where he played a leading role in developing rocket technology.

Mr Mustafa is currently President of Pakistan’s National Paralympics Committee and Vice-President of the Asian Paralympics Committee.

Alev Adil adds: “Tariq Mustafa led the team that established Pakistan’s space research programme. The university is awarding him an honorary degree in recognition of his outstanding achievements as a mechanical-nuclear engineer and a space technologist.”

Story by Public Relations