Professor Washington Yotto Ochieng, FREng, is the Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Chair in Positioning and Navigation Systems. He is also the Senior Security Science Fellow at the Institute for Security Science and Technology (ISST) at Imperial College London. Formerly, he was the Head of the Centre for Transport Studies and Co-Director of the ISST at Imperial. He is the current Vice President of the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN).
With a background in industry and academia, Ochieng worked at Racal Electronics Limited as a Principal Engineer where he participated in various international industrial consortia developing satellite navigation systems and products. He moved to Imperial in October 1997. Ochieng is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng). He is also a Fellow of the UK Institutions of Civil Engineers, Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation, RIN and Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors.
Ochieng has undertaken award-winning research in critical infrastructure resilience, user-centric mobility and positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) systems. Examples of his works include the design of positioning and navigation systems (including Europe's EGNOS and GALILEO systems) for land, sea, air and space applications; Air Traffic Management (ATM) and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). In 2013, Ochieng was elected Fellow of the RAEng in recognition of his exceptional contribution. In 2019, he received the Harold Spencer-Jones Gold Medal (the highest award from the RIN) in recognition of his ‘extensive valued advice to policy makers and for pioneering research in safety-critical navigation and positioning systems’.
Ochieng contributes to professional, government and related entities, advising on various activities. In the UK, he worked on the RAEng report on Global Navigation Space Systems: reliance and vulnerabilities. Under the Leadership of the then UK Government Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Sir Mark Walport and his Deputy, Professor Chris Whitty, Ochieng played a major role in the UK Government Office for Science (GoS) Blackett Review on Satellite-derived Time and Position: A Study of Critical Dependencies. He was also invited by GoS to a Special Forum on Transport Security and served as an advisor on the report on the Future of Mobility launched by GoS in January 2019. In January 2020 Ochieng was appointed to the Science Advisory Group (SAG) at the UK Department for International Development (DFID) with a particular responsibility for infrastructure. He continues in this role within the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). SAG provides independent and impartial strategic advice on departmental science and research policy and programmes to help FCDO meet its objectives by assuring the quality and appropriateness of its substantial research portfolio.
In Europe, Ochieng led a report to the European Parliament on the Status of the Deployment of Single European Sky ATM programme (SESAR) and was an advisor to the European Court of Auditors on the deployment of SESAR. Beyond Europe, Ochieng is a Member of the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services Special Group 134 (RTCM SC-134) on Integrity Monitoring of High Accuracy GNSS-based applications, and the United States Institute of Navigation.
In Africa, Ochieng is a Member of the Program Steering Committee (PSC) of FCDO’s Sustainable Urban Economic Development (SUED) program. The PSC helps oversee programme implementation through the provision of strategic direction and insights on new interventions and innovations. He is also a Member of the Royal Academy of Engineering Higher Education Partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa - HEP SSA and Global Talent Visa Panels. He serves as an advisor on the UK-Kenya Technology and Innovation Challenge Board Chaired by the UK High Commissioner in Nairobi.
Ochieng holds a Bachelor of Science (First Class) in Engineering from the University of Nairobi, and Master of Science (Distinction) and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Nottingham.
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