Chris Rizos

Emeritus Professor
Sch-Civil & Environmental Eng
Contact details:
(+61 2) 9385 4205
(+61 2) 9385 6139

Civil Engineering Building (H20)
Level 4, Room CE415
Kensington Campus

Professor of Geodesy and Navigation in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Chris Rizos is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a co-director of the Satellite Navigation and Positioning (SNAP) Lab at UNSW.

Professor Rizos’ early fascination with old maps and Australia’s exploring pioneers sparked his own exploration of what we know today as the global navigation satellite technologies of the future. His research in Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), and their applications extends across the whole spectrum of uses from Navigation to Geodesy. With over 20 years of service to some of the most prominent international geodetic organisations, he has had the opportunity to be part of the evolution of a field that has considerable global impact.

As a big picture thinker he has watched Geodesy rapidly evolve with its tools and datasets helping geoscientists monitor global change (including natural and climate change), changes in the environment (to ice sheets and atmosphere) and geohazards (volcanos and earthquakes), and surveyors and engineers applying these technologies from small-scale building works to international mapping projects. Through his research, Professor Rizos’ aims to “spatially enable” all aspects of life, through the further development of technologies and systems that provide continuous, seamless, high accuracy positioning of objects, people and every feature on the surface of the Earth.


PhD (Satellite Geodesy), UNSW, 1980
BSurv (Honours), UNSW, 1975

Research Interests

Professor Rizos’s expertise and research interests include:

  • Geospatial technology, modern geodesy technologies and applications, digital mapping
  • GNSS and geospatial information management policy
  • Technology and application of satellite-, wireless- and inertia-based sensors for high accuracy positioning
  • GNSS for all classes of uses from navigation to geodesy
  • GNSS positioning infrastructure, geodetic and height datums
  • Professor Rizos has supervised to completion over 35 PhD and 8 Masters in Engineering students, and currently supervises 2 PhD students in the research areas of: Geoid studies in Costa Rica, Radar remote sensing for archeology applications; GNSS reflectometry

Projects he is currently looking for students to undertake:

  • Geodetic Infrastructure & Reference Frames: International reference frame & scientific geodetic applications; new Australian geodetic datum studies; ground deformation monitoring & modelling; design of permanent GNSS reference networks; opportunities of Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS); new IGS products & services; impact & opportunities of multi-constellation GNSS.
  • High Accuracy GNSS Systems, Algorithms & Applications: GNSS receiver design; GNSS measurement modelling; open-source Precise Point Positioning (PPP) techniques; low-cost GPS sensors for structural monitoring and other applications; GNSS survey systems; algorithms & systems for high performance (accuracy & integrity) machine guidance applications; testing the Japanese Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) augmentation signals; advanced/cooperative-ITS.
  • Non-Satellite Navigation & Positioning: Augmenting GNSS with inertial sensor technology; Locata terrestrial positioning system; indoor positioning; WiFi-based positioning; attitude determination; integration of multi-sensor, RFID; personal navigation; multi-sensor integration.
  • Other Geospatial Technologies, Systems & Applications: GNSS reflectometry, GNSS-based atmospheric remote sensing; airborne & terrestrial laser scanning; UAV mapping systems & applications; CubeSat payloads & missions; vehicle-based mapping; vehicle-based positioning systems for highly automated driving systems.

Professor Rizos has been researching the technology and high precision applications of GPS since the mid-1980s, and has authored or co-authored over 650 journal and conference papers across the technological and scientific fields of geodesy, satellite oceanography, GPS and precise navigation (view list at


Professor Rizos has been a CI or PI on over 30 Australian Research Council (ARC) grants since 1995. In the last 10 years he has been a CI on research grants that have included 10 from the ARC; 3 from the CRC for Spatial Information (CRCSI); 2 from the Australian Space Research Program; and 4 from UNSW or federal government schemes; for a total value of over $6M.

Professor Rizos currently is a CI on three ARC and one CRCSI grants:

  • Trustworthy Positioning for Next Generation Intelligent Transport Systems, Australian Research Council, Discovery, 2017-2020, $460,000
  • Tracking Formation-Flying of Nanosatellites Using Inter-Satellite Links, Australian Research Council, Discovery, 2019-2022, $390,000
  • Third Generation of Positioning System for Underground Mine Environments, Australian Research Council, Linkage Grant, 2015-2019, $363,000
  • Fit-for-Purpose, High-accuracy, Spaced Based Augmentation Services Applied to Precision Guidance, Remotely Piloted and Safety Systems for Construction and Utilities Industries in Australia and New Zealand; Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information, SBAS Project, 2017-2019, $50,000


  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, 1981-83
  • Senior Fellow, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, 1999
  • Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1999, 2003
  • Honorary Professor, Wuhan University, China, 2006
  • Excellence & Eminence Award in Spatial Information, Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute, 2013


Professional Affiliations/Organisations

  • International Association of Geodesy, Fellow
  • Australian Institute of Navigation, Fellow
  • US Institute of Navigation, Fellow
  • Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute, Member

Editorial Boards

  • GPS Solutions, 2002 - present
  • Journal of Geospatial Engineering, 2002 - present
  • Journal of Global Positioning Systems, 2003 - present
  • Inside GNSS, 2005 - present
  • Sensors, 2019 - present
  • Journal of Applied Geodesy, Editor-in-chief, 2008 - present

Current Service Roles

  • International Union of Geodesy & Geophysics (IUGG), President-elect, 2019-2023
  • National Committee for Earth Sciences of the Australian Academy of Science, Observer, 2015-2019
  • National Committee for Space and Radio Sciences of the Australian Academy of Science, Member, 2017-2020
  • International Centre for Research & Development of Satellite Navigation in S.E. Asia (NAVIS), Hanoi, Vietnam, Member, Executive Committee, 2012 - present
  • National Satellite Navigation Technology Symposia, Co-organiser and member of Organising Committee in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018