Conditions for Nomination

Ernie Pfannenschmidt
Ernie Pfannenschmidt

Ernie Pfannenschmidt, a long time member of RASC died on November 17, 2003. Ernie was well known for his creative skills in building astronomical gadgets and gear from found materials. In the year 2004, the Council of the Victoria Centre of the RASC established the Ernie Pfannenschmidt Award to recognize the achievements of Centre members who have built astronomical equipment through their creative fabrication skills. The award is presented at the Annual General Meeting.

Criteria for Award

Creative use of materials involving machining, wiring, and hand fabrication to build astronomy equipment is essential to qualify for this award. Purchasing astronomical equipment shall not constitute eligibility for this award.

Status of Nominees

Any person nominated for the Ernie Pfannenschmidt Award shall be a member in good standing in the RASC.

Acceptance of Nominations

At a regular meeting held in either December and/or January, or as solicited by email, Council will accept written nominations from the membership. All nominations shall be taken into consideration by Council when deciding who shall be the recipient of the award. Send nominations to our Past President email.

Judicial Authority of Council

A majority vote of Council will decide the winner with the President¹s vote breaking a tie. The Council may decide, at its sole discretion, not to make an award in any one year if it is judged by Council that none of the nominations qualify, or no suitable nominee can be found.


  • 2004 – Guy Walton
  • 2005 – Guy Walton
  • 2006 – John McDonald for constructing various optical and electronic devices for use in amateur astronomy
  • 2010 – John McDonald for adapting inexpensive fish-eye lenses to his DSLR camera for use in taking extreme wide field “all-sky” images
  • 2011 – Jim Stilburn for work in support of the Centre
  • 2012 – Matt Watson for work in support of the Centre
  • 2014 – Jim Stilburn for building a 10″ reflector tube assembly
  • 2015 – Miles Waite for building a custom 14″ truss Dob
  • 2016 – Jim Stilburn for building a Poncet telescope tracking system
  • 2017 – Chris Purse for building a custom field power pack
  • 2020 – Ken Mallory for building a solar viewing shield
  • 2021 – Cameron Burton and Lisa Miester for moving and rebuilding the Bill Almond observatory
  • 2022 – Dave Payne for development of the Generalized Hyperbolic Stretch software
  • 2023 – Myles Waite for additions to the 20″ Obsession Telescope located at the VCO