In Memoriam: May 2018

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

18 May 2018

Samuel Broydo

Technology executive

Life member, 81; died 19 May 2017

Broydo was a board member of Vishay Precision Group (VPG), in Devault, Pa.

Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, he was a researcher at the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, in Tel Aviv, before immigrating to the United States in 1966. He held several leadership positions throughout his career. He was VLSI technology group supervisor at Bell Labs from 1966 to 1979. Next he served as vice president of technology at ZyMOS Corp., a semiconductor manufacturer in Sunnyvale, Calif. He was VLSI technology manager at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, in California. Later, he was managing director of technology at Applied Materials Co., in Santa Clara, Calif. He retired from there in 2004 and then served on the VPG board of directors.

He was a member of the IEEE Electron Devices Society.

Broydo earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Leningrad Polytechnic Institute (now Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University), in Russia. He received a master’s degree in EE from Warsaw University of Technology and a Ph.D. in electronics and electrical engineering from the University of Birmingham, England.


Paul R. Drouilhet Jr.

Communications engineer

Life Fellow, 85; died 12 January

Drouilhet helped develop pioneering communications systems for aircraft.

From 1957 to 1959 he served in the U.S. Air Force, where he helped develop and test long-range, air-to-ground communications techniques. In 1959 he joined the technical staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, in Lexington, Mass. During the next decade, he helped deploy communications techniques for passive and active satellite systems and very-low-frequency radio channels.

He helped establish a program in 1970 to develop air traffic control technology for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. He was appointed group leader of the FAA’s traffic-control group and led the development of two surveillance systems: the discrete address beacon system (DABS, Mode S) and the Moving Target Detector Doppler radar processing system, which became the basis for the ASR-9 airport radar surveillance system.

Under his leadership, the FAA’s traffic-control program expanded to include the development of an airborne traffic-alert and collision-avoidance system, as well as techniques for using radar to detect and identify severe weather phenomena including microbursts.

Drouilhet retired from MIT Lincoln Laboratory in 1996 and was named associate director emeritus.

He was elevated to IEEE Fellow in 1986 “for contributions to air traffic control systems.” He received the 1994 Air Traffic Control Association’s William A. Parenteau Award.

Drouilhet was an avid tennis player and enjoyed piloting his single-engine Bonanza airplane. He loved live theater as well as opera and other classical music. During his retirement, he volunteered for Angel Flight, a nonprofit organization that transports patients for urgent medical care, and as a tax preparer for the elderly at Cary Memorial Library, in Lexington.

He received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from MIT in 1954, 1955, and 1957.


Richard L. Elliott Jr.

Electrical engineer

Life senior member, 93; died 22 January

Elliott was manager of the engineering department at Maryland Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., in Baltimore.

He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and received a Purple Heart, awarded by the nation to military personnel wounded or killed in action.

In 1951 he joined Maryland Shipbuilding as an engineer and was eventually promoted to manager. After the shipyard closed in 1984, Elliott worked at the Bethlehem Steel Corp. shipyard in Sparrows Point, Md., until he retired in 1987. He continued to work part time as a marine engineering consultant.

He was a member of the IEEE Industry Applications and IEEE Power & Energy societies.

He and his wife, Patricia, were active in the civil rights movement during the 1960s and 1970s. They volunteered with Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc., which promotes fair access to housing through education, testing, and litigation.

Elliott earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.


James E. Bunner

Electrical engineer

Life member, 93; died 17 February

Bunner was an electrical engineer for 38 years at General Electric Co., in Erie, Pa.

He served as lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He then joined General Electric, where he was awarded three patents for his designs.

During retirement, he and his wife took two cruises around the world. He lived at the Springhill senior living community, in Erie, Pa., for the last 20 years. He maintained the library there, compiled the photo directory, and served on the residents council.

He was a member of the IEEE Computer and IEEE Industry Applications societies.

Bunner received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1945 from Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind.


James Thorp

Electrical engineering professor

Life member, 81; died 2 May

Thorp was professor of electrical engineering and director of the School of Engineering at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y.

He taught at Cornell for most of his career, taking a sabbatical in 1976 to join AEP Service, a power generation and distribution company in New York City. There he worked on protection devices. He also helped develop phasor measurement units, which have been recognized by electric utilities as the standard for control, monitoring, and protection of power grids.

Thorp was a member of the IEEE power system relaying and control committee and CIGRE, the international Council on Large Electric Systems.

He was elevated to IEEE Fellow in 1989 “for contributions to the development of digital techniques for power system protection.” He received a 2008 Benjamin Franklin electrical engineering medal, awarded by the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia.

Thorp was a member of the IEEE Circuits and Systems and IEEE Power & Energy societies.

He earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Cornell.

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