John Brian Schleppe of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, passed away on January 7, 2020 after a short illness. From 2006 until his passing, he worked at NovAtel, Inc. of Calgary (now Hexagon|NovAtel) progressively as team leader software receiver development, engineering fellow, manager of research and NovAtel research fellow.
Born in 1959, he graduated in the inaugural class of Survey Engineering at the University of Calgary in 1981 and was awarded the APEGGA Gold Medal for highest academic standing. He started his career as a survey engineer, spending much of his time on ships in Eastern Canada, Haiti, Indonesia, and Africa. He returned to Calgary in 1990 and in 1996 completed his Masters in Geomatics Engineering at the University of Calgary. As a professional engineer, he was viewed as a leader in the field of geomatics engineering, authoring eighteen technical papers and being named on five patents.
Sandy Kennedy, vice president of innovation at Hexagon|NovAtel , said “John’s passing is both a professional and personal loss for Hexagon|NovAtel and many in the geomatics community with a connection to Calgary. He was a good engineer, and a good man who always did the right thing – right for company, right by the people around him, and right technical solutions. We miss him immensely.”
Michael Ritter, president of the company, added “Hexagon|NovAtel lost one of its greatest engineers. A true renaissance man and such a humble person.”
Gérard Lachapelle, professor emeritus at the University of Calgary, recalled “I had the chance to first interact with John as his advisor during his Master degree studies in our department in the 90s, and again in the mid 2000s when I offered him to join our PLAN Group as a senior researcher and mentor to numerous graduate students. These students expressed sadness when informed of John’s passing; they remembered him well for the advice and unconditional support they received from him. These relationships continued long after he left the department for NovAtel where he continued to excel. John’s extensive engineering knowledge, thoroughness and skills were remarkable and his numerous contributions are still used frequently by researchers around the world. John served for 20 years as volunteer in the Alberta Section of the Institute of Navigation where his bookkeeping rigor was well known. He will be missed by all of us who had the chance to know him.”
John was a dedicated husband, father, woodworker, outdoor enthusiast, hunter, archer, volunteer, and camper.
His recent research interests included interference and jamming geolocation.