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AMSAT President Joe Spier, K6WAO, Awarded Russian E.T. Krenkel Medal


AMSAT President and ARRL Life Member Joe Spier, K6WAO, has been awarded Russia’s E.T. Krenkel Medal, a prestigious honor bestowed on individuals and organizations for outstanding global contributions to Amateur Radio. A longtime supporter of Amateur Radio in space and of international cooperation, Spier has also served AMSAT as Executive Vice President, and Vice President, Educational Relations.

The award’s namesake, Ernst Teodorovich Krenkel, was a radio amateur who, over the years, used the call signs RAEM, U3AA, and UA3AA. Born in Poland, Krenkel was an Arctic explorer who took part in the first Soviet “drifting station,” North Pole-1. He was made a “Hero of the Soviet Union” in 1938 for his exploits.

Krenkel’s son, T.E. Krenkel, is among the four signatories to the award certificate. The younger Krenkel, a professor at the Moscow Technical College of Telecommunication and Informatics, pointed out that his father served as the first chairman of the Central Radio Club in the USSR.

Spier became AMSAT President in 2017. He’s a supporter of Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) and of scientific, technical, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Spier also is a Life Member of the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA).

Krenkel’s image appears on postage stamps from the USSR and Russia, and he authored a biography, My Callsign is RAEM. In the era when all radio amateurs received QSL cards via Box 88, Moscow, Krenkel was allowed to have his own postal address on his QSLs and was issued the non-standard RAEM call sign, which lacked a numeral.

ARRL Headquarters staff alumna and Life Member Ellen White, W1YL, was awarded the Krenkel medal in May. — Thanks to AMSAT