In Memoriam: August 2012

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

24 August 2012

ObitSimon Photo: Legacy.com

Robert J. Simon
Oil refinery engineer
Member, 73; died 12 March

Robert J. Simon managed the operation and maintenance of several oil and gas refineries in the Middle East for 33 years.

He began his career as a chemical engineer for the Alyeska Pipeline Co., in Anchorage. He left in 1967 for Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (better known as Saudi Aramco) in Dhahran. He was promoted to vice president of refinery operations.

In 2000 he moved back to the United States to become vice president of Allen Filters, a manufacturer of industrial fluid filtration and purification equipment, in Springfield, Mo.

Simon received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Delft University, in the Netherlands, then earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in environmental and biomedical engineering from Rice University, in Houston.


James K. Davis
Chemical engineer
Life Senior Member, 96; died 30 March

James K. Davis was a chemical engineer for 40 years at Corning, a manufacturer of glass, ceramics, and related materials for industrial and scientific applications, in Corning, N.Y.

He was the first manager of the company’s Electronics Research and Development Laboratory, where he worked with the U.S. Navy to develop components for the country’s first nuclear submarine. Earlier, he had worked on the Manhattan Project team that developed the U.S. atomic bomb.

Davis earned a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the University of Michigan.


obitdenton Photo: Paducah Sun

John T. Denton
Electrical engineer
Life Member, 83; died 13 April

John T. Denton was an electrical engineer for Paducah Power, an electric utility in Kentucky, for 15 years.

He joined the utility following service in the U.S. Army during World War II. Later he ran the Denton Motel in Paducah for 25 years.


obitRolfe Photo: Legacy.com

Robert G. Rolfe
Electrical engineer
Life Member, 92; died 30 April

Robert G. Rolfe was an electrical engineer at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory (NOL), in White Oak, Md., for more than 30 years.

He served in the U.S. Marines as a radar technician during World War II. After the war, as a senior engineer in NOL’s underwater electrical engineering department, he helped design and test sonar defense systems for the Navy. Rolfe retired from the laboratory in 1979.

He belonged to the IEEE Computer and IEEE Information Theory societies.

Rolfe received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Union College, in Schenectady, N.Y.


The following person, though not an IEEE member, made significant contributions to the biotech field.

obitAnderson Photo: University of Ulster

John Anderson
Developer of first portable defibrillator
69; died 7 April

John Anderson helped develop and market the world’s first portable defibrillator—a handheld device that delivers an electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat to people stricken with sudden cardiac arrest. The life-saving device is now used throughout the world.

Anderson was a key member of the team at Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, Northern Ireland, that in 1967 built the defibrillator, the first that could be used to resuscitate a person outside a hospital setting.

He went on to found several biotech companies in Belfast to advance and commercialize defibrillation technology, including cofounding HeartSine Technologies in 1998. Perhaps the most significant HeartSine product is the public-access defibrillator, which can be used by people with no previous medical training to resuscitate a person whose heart has stopped.

Anderson also cofounded Intelesens, a manufacturer of wireless health-monitoring devices and sensors, in 2000. He was chief technology officer in charge of advanced product development for the company from 2001 until this year.

Dedicated to engineering education, he was head of the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus. In 2006 he founded the university’s Northern Ireland Bioengineering Center and served as its first director.

Anderson, who held master’s and doctoral degrees in bioengineering, was a Fellow of both the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Physicians and the Northern Ireland Biological Engineering Society.

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