Establishment of an
IAG Secretariat at BEV

The International Association of Geodesy (IAG) is a beacon of cooperation and innovation in the field of geodesy and promotes research and cooperation worldwide. Since its foundation in 1862, Austria has been a cornerstone as one of the three founding members, and numerous Austrian institutions and universities have contributed to its further development.


BEV – Federal Office of Metrology and Surveying of Austria (Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen)

Among these institutions, the Federal Office of Metrology and Surveying (BEV – Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen) in Austria is a loyal supporter of geodesy. In particular, the BEV continues to make an important contribution by analyzing various geodetic space technologies such as GNSS and VLBI and regularly participates in international comparative measurements of its absolute gravimeter. Since 2016, the BEV has also been home to the Coordination Office of the IAG’s Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS).

Building on the success of the GGOS Coordination Office in recent years, the IAG proposed the establishment of an IAG Secretariat at BEV – an idea warmly embraced by all parties involved. On April 16, 2024, an important milestone was reached when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the IAG and the BEV, initiating the establishment of this IAG Secretariat. This milestone was announced and celebrated at the Geodesy Reception on April 17, 2024, at the BEV headquarter in Vienna during the EGU General Assembly, which was attended by more than 140 international geodesists.

After the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, which initiated the establishment of the IAG Secretariat at BEV on April 16, 2024. ©BEV – From left to right: Wernher Hoffmann (BEV President), Harald Schuh (past IAG President), Richard Gross (IAG President), Franz Blauensteiner (Head of Reference Systems Department, BEV), Daniela Thaller (IAG Secretary General), Martin Sehnal (Director of GGOS Coordination Office and Executive Secretary at IAG Secretariat, BEV), Peter Teunissen (IAG Vice-President).

The future IAG Secretariat will take over the long-term tasks of the IAG Secretary General (IAG Office) as well as all IAG public relations tasks currently performed by the IAG Communications and Outreach Branch (COB). In future, this will enable seamless cooperation with the GGOS Coordination Office and reduce duplication of work. Plans are underway to formalize the establishment of the IAG Secretariat by the next IUGG General Assembly in 2027, subject to final confirmation by the IAG Council. BEV and the prospective Executive Secretary of the IAG Secretariat, Martin Sehnal, look forward to taking on an enhanced organizational role in international geodetic matters in the future and further highlighting the importance of geodesy in both science and society.

Announcement of the establishment of the IAG Secretariat at BEV during the EGU Geodesy Reception at BEV headquarter in Vienna on April 17, 2024. ©BEV

By Martin Sehnal, Director of the GGOS Coordinating Office