Vale - Will Featherstone

May 22, 2022

Members may have heard the sad news of the recent passing of Will Featherstone. 

Will’s primary research area was physical geodesy, especially geoid determination and vertical datums. A particular impact of Will’s research was his leadership of three computations of the Australian geoid, AUSGeoid98, AUSGeoid09 and AUSGeoid2020,  adopted by AUSLIG/Geoscience Australia for the free provision of orthometric heights for end users throughout Australia. Most of Will’s research was prestigiously funded by the Australian Research Council continuously for nearly 30 years. 

Will's drive, enthusiasm and hard work was fundamental to the initiation and building from scratch of a major geodetic research group at Curtin, particularly in physical geodesy, attracting new staff, research students and visiting researchers from all over the world.

At Curtin, Will took on substantial administration and management duties, including Head of Department, Associate Dean for Research, Graduate Studies coordinator, and member of both Academic Senate and Academic Board. Will’s core teaching duties included running a popular residential fieldwork course in geodetic surveying at Guilderton, Western Australia. This ‘field camp’ ran for over 25 years for 2-4 weeks every September, and, it is fair to say, provided a ‘baptism by fire’ for most of Perth’s professional surveyors.

Will was an excellent speaker and presenter, able to articulate complex problems and concepts simply and concisely. He was quick-witted, fun to work with, and incredibly trustworthy and loyal. 

Thank you to Dr Nigel Penna, Newcastle University (UK) and John Kirby, Curtin University for these words. The upcoming edition of Position Magazine will include more details about Will's life. 

Funeral details
Please join Will's family in celebrating his life on FRIDAY 03.06.2022 at FREMANTLE Cemetery, East Chapel. Guests are requested to gather at the main entrance to the cemetery (Samson Pavilion) between 2:30 and 2:45pm for the procession to the chapel. The service will then commence at 3:00pm.
The service will be livestreamed - click here for further details

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