NPSTC Commemorates PSCR’s Atkinson (6/27/12)
The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) established the Atkinson Technical Award to commemorate David (D.J.) Atkinson, a senior engineer with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), who was recently killed in a tragic motorcycle accident.
Atkinson’s death has been a great loss to NTIA and to ITS, NTIA’s research and engineering laboratory located in Boulder, Colo. Atkinson contributed to the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program, leading the public-safety audio quality project at ITS labs.
In announcing the new award, NPSTC said Atkinson’s work on audio quality and intelligibility guidelines for digital two-way radios helped lead to a “shift within the industry to address issues in loud background noise environments for first responders.” Firefighters who rely on radios built to standards developed through Atkinson’s work called him “brother,” and many openly credit his work with saving lives.
NPSTC awarded the first Atkinson Technical Award posthumously to D.J. at a June national meeting. Deputy Assistant Secretary and NTIA Deputy Administrator Anna Gomez accepted the award on behalf of Atkinson’s family.
Atkinson was a frequent contributor to MissionCritical Communications magazine.
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