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Awards & Patents


  • Commerce Department’s Highest Commendation, Gold Medal, 1990

The Gold Medal, established in 1949, is the highest honorary award granted by the Secretary of Commerce for distinguished performance characterized by extraordinary, notable, or prestigious contributions that impact the mission of the Department of Commerce and/or one operating unit, and that reflects favorably on the Department.

The Gold Medal was awarded to Howe for work completed in 1984, for the implementation of several global high-accuracy two-way satellite-based time-synchronization experiments in collaboration with other national laboratories for the maintenance of Universal Coordinated Time (UTC).


  • IEEE Walter G. Cady Award, 2013

The W. G. Cady Award is to recognize outstanding contributions related to the fields of frequency control, selection and measurement, and resonant sensor devices.

Citation: “For the analysis, design, and development of low noise, vibration-immune, and frequency stable frequency control devices.”



  • IEEE Outstanding Paper of the Year in Ultrasonics, Ferroresonance, and Frequency Control (UFFC), 2013

OutstandingPaperThe Outstanding Paper Award is presented to the author(s) of a paper published in the full-year IEEE UFFC-Society Transactions which exemplifies clearly written, excellent technical contributions. Each year, one winning paper is selected on the basis of: originality, impact to the field, clarity of writing, and timeliness.

Winning paper: “State-of-the-Art RF Signal Generation,” vol. 60, no. 9, September 2013, pp. 1796-1803.

  • NIST Astin Measurement Sciences Award, 2015 

The Department of Commerce Allen V. Astin Measurement Science Award is granted for outstanding achievement in the advancement of measurement science or in the delivery of measurement services developed within NIST, in cooperation with other Government agencies or private groups, or in cooperation with international metrology organizations.

  • Two NIST Bronze Medals for Achievements in Atomic Clocks and Time and Frequency Metrology, 1980 and 2012

DOCBronzeGiven for exceptional service and performance characterized by outstanding or significant contributions that have increased the efficiency and effectiveness of NIST.

For exceptional conduct in atomic clock research for the Primary Standards Section, which maintains UTC(NIST) from an ensemble of laboratory atomic frequency standards (1980); For development of the TOTAL and THEO variances which attain highest-accuracy frequency-stability estimation (2012).

  • IEEE Fellow (Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Society) 2017

David A. Howe, NIST and Colorado University Professional Research Advisor, has been named an IEEE Fellow. He is being recognized for contributions to global time synchronization.

Over 33 years ago in NIST’s Time Dissemination Research Group, Howe developed and advanced what is called “two-way satellite time transfer” (TWSTT). TWSTT was over 100 times better than GPS’ best capabilities at that time and so was, and still is, adopted as the calibration and assurance for GPS signal timing and integrity during the ensuing 3-1/2 decades of GPS developments and upgrades. The original technical scheme was recommended and adopted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Standards Working Group 7 in Geneva in 1991. In 1993, TWSTT became the standard method of worldwide realization of coordinated time, or UTC.

  • IEEE Distinguished Lecturer (Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Society) 2017-2018

This peer-elected recognition is for engineering professionals who help lead their fields in new technical developments that shape the global community.

Recognized members are given the honor of traveling to speak at various seminars and conferences in their specialization.  All costs paid by IEEE.


May 2015: Phase modulation noise reducer that detects an oscillating signals AM noise to correct the PM noise

July 2006, High Spectral Purity Microwave Oscillator Using Air-Dielectric Cavity that generates state-of-the-art ultra-low phase noise to this day, using air or vacuum as the cavity dielectric

March 1987: Howe Technologies Corporation: “Phase Chaser” that time-aligns low-level correlated spectra of two independent signals

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