Hamvention 2016 Award Winners Announced; Joe Taylor, K1JT, is Amateur of the Year


Nobel Laureate Joe Taylor, K1JT, of Princeton, New Jersey, has been named as the 2016 Dayton Hamvention® Amateur of the Year. Frank Beafore, WS8B, chairman for the 2016 ® awards program, announced recipients of the Amateur of the Year, Technical Achievement, Special Achievement, and Club of the Year awards on March 18.

Taylor won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1993 for the discovery of the first orbiting pulsar, leading to observations that established the existence of gravitational waves. Licensed in 1954 as KN2ITP, Taylor served as a professor of astronomy at the University of Massachusetts from 1969 to 1981, and later as a professor of physics at Princeton University, serving as Dean of the Faculty for 6 years. Since his retirement, Taylor has been developing and enhancing digital protocols for weak-signal communication by Amateur Radio, including JT65 and WSPR. He chases DX from 160 meters through the microwave bands.

Hamvention will present the Technical Achievement Award to John S. Burningham, W2XAB, of Morrow, Georgia. A radio amateur since 1970, he has been involved with amateur repeaters for more than 40 years. Following positions in the aerospace industry and for Motorola, he has been in higher education for more than 20 years, and now serves as a senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology at Clayton State University, teaching computer networking. He plans to retire in May. Burningham is a Life Member of the ARRL and QCWA and a member of AMSAT and TAPR. He currently is active in the digital mobile radio community and is the author of the Amateur Radio Guide to Digital Mobile Radio. He also wrote “Introduction to Digital Mobile Radio,” which appeared in the October 2015 issue of QST, and he is a contributing author in the 2016 ARRL Handbook. He also has presented numerous DMR forums, including one at Hamvention.

The 2016 Hamvention Special Achievement Award will go to Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, of Wolcott, Connecticut, for advocating cutting edge technologies now commonly used in Amateur Radio. Horzepa has authored five books and written more than 1200 pieces for ARRL and TAPR, evangelizing the use of home computers, packet radio, APRS, digital signal processing (DSP) and software defined radio (SDR) in Amateur Radio. Licensed in 1969 as WN1LOU, Horzepa has sampled almost every entrée on the ham radio menu and has served in a slew of roles, including ARRL Connecticut Section Manager. Presently, Horzepa is a director and secretary for TAPR and serves as editor of TAPR’s newsletter, PSR. “LOU” has driven the 735 miles to Hamvention most years since 1978, and looks forward to doing so forever. “My fondest memories of ham radio are rubbing elbows and making friends with the makers and shakers of our hobby who show up at Hamvention every year,” Horzepa said.

Rocky Mountain Ham Radio has been named as Hamvention Club of the Year. The organization, based in the Denver, Colorado, suburbs, offers its services to other ham radio clubs and ARES groups to help them be successful. Technical assistance, classroom training on myriad subjects, mentoring, equipment/system design, and public service are among the services it provides. The group owns and maintains fixed analog and digital/DMR repeater assets, including one of the premier private DMR networks in the nation, which is linked with an amateur microwave network that spans the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Cañon City, Colorado.

The group also owns and operates a deployable communications command post in a 26 foot trailer, with capabilities that include satellite Internet, terrestrial 4G Internet, D-Star, IP telephone, DMR, HF, VHF, UHF, and packet/PACTOR. Working hand-in-hand with partner clubs and ARES groups, Rocky Mountain Ham Radio also maintains a volunteer examiner team and works with its associated youth organization, the Cherry Creek Young Amateur Radio Club, to ensure a steady stream of new radio amateurs ready to become the next generation of members. There are no dues; membership is granted through participation in the club’s events throughout the year.