In Memoriam: August 2015

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

25 August 2015

Samuel Sadinsky

Electrical engineer

Life Member, 83; died 22 March

Sadinsky was an electrical engineer at several companies with offices in New York City, including RCA and Sony. After he retired, he became an engineering consultant for Brookhaven National Laboratory, a government research facility, and GovMark, a company that provides fire and flammability testing services, both on Long Island, N.Y.

He was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, and came to the United States in 1952, a survivor of the Holocaust. Sadinsky earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Hofstra University, also on Long Island, and a master’s degree in business administration from Pace University, in New York City.


Harm Dorren

Professor of electrical engineering

Member, 49; died 30 March

Dorren was a professor of electrical engineering and director of the Inter-University Research School on Communication Technologies Basic Research and Applications at Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands. He died of an infection.

He joined the university in 1996 as an electrical engineering professor. From 1996 to 1999 he was also a part-time researcher at KPN Research (now TNO), a telecommunications company in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In 2013 and 2014, Dorren was a visiting researcher at MIT. His work focused on optical packet switching, optical signal processing, ultrafast photonics, and optical interconnects in data centers.

Dorren was associate editor of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics from 2005 to 2009, and he belonged to the IEEE Photonics Society.

He received a master’s degree in theoretical physics in 1991 and a doctoral degree in geophysics in 1995, both from Utrecht University, in the Netherlands.


Norman A. Austin

Electrical engineer

Life Member, 90; died 10 April

Austin was an electrical engineer for several companies in California.

He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium.

In the 1960s, while working for Varian Associates, a medical equipment manufacturer in Palo Alto, Austin helped develop the first radiation machines for cancer therapy. He moved south to join the Energy Technology Engineering Center, a U.S. government laboratory that specialized in nonnuclear testing of components for nuclear reactors. Austin later founded AB Networks.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University, in Corvallis, and a master’s degree from Stanford—both in electrical engineering.


James V. Leonard

Former president, IEEE-USA

Life Fellow, 79; died 11 May

Leonard was the 2003 president of IEEE-USA. He was also president of the IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society from 2006 to 2007 and IEEE Region 5 director in 1992 and 1993. In 2005 he was elected to the Eta Kappa Nu honor society (now IEEE-HKN). Leonard was named an IEEE Fellow in 2010 “for contributions to the integration of military avionics.” 

He received several awards from IEEE, including the 1984 Centennial Medal, the Region 5 Outstanding Member Award (in 1991 and 2000), and the 2000 Millennium Medal.

He was an electrical engineer for 51 years at McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing), in Chicago. He retired last year as a senior technical fellow.

Leonard received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1961 from the University of Akron, in Ohio. He went on to earn a master’s degree in power engineering in 1966 from Washington University, in St. Louis, and another master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1976 from the University of Missouri, Rolla.

You can read a tribute to Leonard that was published last month in IEEE-USA Insight.


Bruce Gilchrist

Computing pioneer

Life Member, 84; died 23 May

Gilchrist designed components for several early computers.

In 1952, Gilchrist became a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), in Princeton, N.J. (Now an independent research facility, IAS was connected with Princeton University at the time.) He worked with Jule Charney, a meteorologist and mathematician, on weather prediction. He also helped program the IAS machine, the first electronic computer built at Princeton. The machine’s designs would influence computer scientists elsewhere, including the designers of IBM’s first commercial scientific computer, the 701.

He also collaborated with researcher James H. Pomerene on improving the performance of cathode-ray tube memory and writing computer diagnostic programs. The two also worked on a fast adder, a circuit that adds numbers, which was incorporated into the Philco TRANSAC S-2000. Introduced in 1957, it was the first commercial transistorized computer.

Gilchrist left IAS in 1956 to join Syracuse University, in New York, as an assistant professor of mathematics. Three years later, he joined IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center, in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., as manager of its computing facility. From 1965 to 1968, he was manager of the company’s Data Processing Division. Gilchrist left the company in 1973 to serve as director of the computer center at Columbia. He retired in 1991.

Gilchrist earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1952 from the University of London, in England.