Kyriakos Balidakis from Section 1.1 Geodetic Space Procedures has been awarded the Fried-rich Robert Helmert Prize. With this award, the Association of Friends and Sponsors of the GFZ (FFGFZ) honours the best doctoral thesis of the year from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. Balidakis received the prize for his work "On the development and impact of the propagation delay and geophysical loading on space geodetic technique data analysis". The dissertation was supervised by Harald Schuh, Director of Department 1 "Ge-odesy" at the GFZ and head of Section 1.1. In his laudation, the second chairman of the FFGFZ Ludwig Stroink praised the achievements of the young scientist. He had succeeded in decisively improving the accuracy of various space geodetic techniques. In addition to the excellent scientific quality of the work (overall predicate "Summa Cum Laude", i.e. passed with distinction), the results will have very practical benefits, e.g. for improved weather forecasting or monitoring sea-level rise. The outstanding relevance for practical use is an important criterion for the award of the Friedrich-Robert-Helmert-Prize, which is endowed with 1500 Euro.
Kyriakos Balidakis (28) studied geodesy and surveying at the University of Thessaloniki and "flute" at the Thessaloniki Conservatory. He was also engaged as a flutist at the National Theatre of Northern Greece in the musical "Die Drei-Groschen-Oper ". In October 2015 he began his doctoral studies at the GFZ and the TU Berlin. In just over three years, Kyriakos Baladakis has not only completed his doctorate, as a monograph and not as a cumulative work. Ludwig Stroink: "All the more reason to praise his enormous publishing activities: 16 ISI publications (peer reviewed papers) were produced during this time, in which he was involved either as first author or as co-author.”