Cochlear implant pioneer
Senior Member, 46; died 22 July
Philipos Loizou was a leader in the field of signal and speech processing. He made pioneering contributions to cochlear implants, which can restore partial hearing to deaf individuals. He died of cancer.
From 1995 to 1996, Loizou was a postdoctoral fellow in the department of speech and hearing science at Arizona State University, in Tempe, where he researched cochlear implant technology. He left in 1996 to join the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, as an assistant professor.
In 1999, he left Arkansas to become a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Texas, Dallas, and was working there at the time of his death. He cofounded the university’s Center for Robust Speech Systems and directed its speech processing and cochlear implant laboratories. His work focused on the development of speech-processing algorithms for improving the performance of cochlear implants in a wide range of listening conditions.
Loizou served as associate editor of two IEEE publications: IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio Processing, from 1999 to 2002, and IEEE Signal Processing Letters, from 2006 to 2009. He was a member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society and helped organize its 2010 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing.
Loizou earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering—all from Arizona State University—in 1989, 1991, and 1995, respectively.
Gene F. Franklin
Life Fellow, 85; died 9 August
Gene F. Franklin was professor emeritus of electrical engineering at Stanford University.
During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy as a radar technician. After completing a fellowship at MIT, he became an assistant professor at Columbia University in 1955. There, he coauthored a textbook, Sampled-Data Control Systems (McGraw-Hill, 1958), that laid the foundation for applying digital computers to control real-world computer systems. NASA applied many of the ideas in his book to control systems used in the Apollo moon missions.
Franklin left Columbia in 1957 to become Stanford’s first professor in control theory. His research focused on all aspects of control, incorporating digital logic and including adaptive control of nonlinear systems and systems with multiple data sampling. Franklin founded the university’s Information Systems Laboratory in 1962 and was its director until 1971. He went on to become associate provost of computing from 1971 to 1975. He was named professor emeritus in 2004.
Franklin was a member of the IEEE Computer, Communications, Control Systems, Information Theory, and Signal Processing societies. The IEEE Control Systems Society recognized him with three awards: the 1994 Hendrik W. Bode Lecture Prize, the 2003 IEEE Control Systems Magazine Outstanding Paper Award, and the 2003 Distinguished Member Award.
He received a bachelor’s degree in 1950 from Georgia Tech and a master’s degree in 1952 from MIT. Franklin went on much later to earn a Ph.D. in 1995 from Columbia.
Er Raj Kumar Vir
Chair of IEEE Delhi Section
Life Senior Member, 84; died 13 August
Er Raj Kumar Vir was chair of the IEEE Delhi Section from 2003 to 2004. He also founded the IEEE Delhi Section’s Technology Management Council chapter in 2002 and served as its chair for the remainder of that year.
Vir worked as an electrical engineer at Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, one of the largest locomotive manufacturers in the world, based in India. He retired as its general manager in 1986. Vir was a member of the IEEE Communications and IEEE Power & Energy societies.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1949 from Benaras Hindu University (now Indian Institute of Technology), in Varanasi.
Senior vice president, SRI International
Life Senior Member, 93; died 29 August
Donald Scheuch spent much of his career at SRI International, a nonprofit scientific research institute in Menlo Park, Calif., where he eventually served as senior vice president.
He joined SRI in 1949 and went on to organize the institute’s first systems analysis department. He later became vice president of SRI’s Electronics and Radio Sciences division. Under his direction, the laboratories in his division conducted research on national air and ballistic missile defense. Scheuch was later appointed director of SRI’s engineering group and then became senior vice president of engineering. In 1969, he was named vice president and chair of the company’s Office of Research Operations, and in 1977 he was appointed senior vice president and a member of SRI’s board of directors. Scheuch retired in the early 1980s.
He received a bachelor’s degree in 1943 from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1949 from Stanford University.
Arthur S. Jensen
Life Fellow, 94; died 25 September
Arthur S. Jensen made several advances in electronic memory and displays, including the development of the RCA Radechon tube—the first practical, high-density, compact random-access memory, which was used for digital memory in computers.
He began his career in 1941 as a physics instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Md. Jensen left in 1946 to join RCA Laboratories, in Princeton, N.J., where he helped develop the Radechon.
In 1957, he began working at the Westinghouse Defense and Space Center, in Baltimore, where he established the company’s Special Electron Devices Laboratory. From 1965 until his retirement in 1994, he was a consulting physicist on the company’s management staff. During this time, he invented a high-brightness display storage tube used for a radar display in high-altitude aircraft. He also helped develop an infrared camera tube for the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a long-range, strategic reconnaissance aircraft flown by the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998.
He earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in physics—all from the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia—in 1938, 1939, and 1941, respectively.
George W. Webb
Professor of electrical engineering
Life Senior Member, 89; died 14 October
George W. Webb was a professor of electrical engineering at Tulane University, in New Orleans, for 37 years.
He was a lieutenant in the engineering corps of the U.S. Army during World War II. Afterward, he served in the Corps of Engineers in the Army Reserve, retiring in 1983 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
In 1947, Webb became an electrical engineering professor at the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa. He left in 1951 to become chief of the Electric Power Laboratory at the U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Laboratory at Fort Belvoir, Va. He next worked for two years as a design engineer in the power transformer department of General Electric, in Pittsfield, Mass.
In 1957, Webb became a professor of electrical engineering at Tulane University. He was named an honorary member of the Tulane Alumni Association in 1981 and was appointed professor emeritus in 1988.
He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1943 from the University of Alabama. Webb went on to earn a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1947 from Columbia University.