John H. Shaffer
Cofounder of data protection firm
Member, 49; died 27 October
John H. Shaffer was cofounder and managing partner of Lakota Innovations, a data protection company in Rochester, Minn. He died from injuries sustained in a car accident.
The company Shaffer helped found in 2009 recently developed a device about the size of a textbook that encases a computer server and can protect it from damage caused by fire, flood, and other disasters.
He previously worked as an engineer for IBM, also in Rochester.
He was a member of the IEEE Communications Society.
Shaffer received master’s degrees in mathematics and electrical engineering from the University of Delaware, in Newark. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.
Duane E. Dunwoodie
Cofounder of Wiltron Co.
Life Member, 81; died 1 December
Duane E. Dunwoodie was a cofounder of Wiltron Co. (now part of Anritsu Corp.), a manufacturer of testing and measurement equipment in Morgan Hill, Calif.
While serving as a U.S. Navy lieutenant during the Korean War, Dunwoodie developed an interface converter that linked a teletype machine—an electromechanical typewriter used to send messages from one point to another—to a decryption machine, which sped up the communication of classified information. In 1955 he began working as an engineer for Hewlett-Packard, in Palo Alto, Calif., where he codesigned the first extremely low-frequency oscilloscope. Dunwoodie cofounded Wiltron in 1960.
In 1990 the company was sold to Anritsu, a manufacturer of optical signal generators, network analyzers, and other test and measurement equipment, with headquarters in Atsugi, Japan. Dunwoodie stayed on as CEO at Anritsu’s Morgan Hill location until he retired in 1994.
He was an avid supporter of his alma mater, the University of Kansas in Lawrence. He donated money to the university in 1992 to help establish its microwave laboratory, which was named in his honor. From 1994 to 2000, he was a member of the university’s electrical engineering and computer science advisory board. He received the school’s 2001 Distinguished Engineering Service Award, presented annually to alumni for outstanding contributions to the profession and to society.
Dunwoodie received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1952. He earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1958 from Stanford University.
Boris Y. Chertok
Designed navigation systems for Soviet spacecraft
Life Member, 99; died 14 December
Boris Yevseyevich Chertok helped design navigation systems for the Soviet Union’s spacecraft during its race with the United States to put the first man on the moon.
Chertok began working in 1930 as an electrician at the Research Institute of the Aircraft Industry, in Moscow. In 1951, he became deputy to the principal designer at the Soviet Union’s Central Design Bureau, in Moscow, where he designed rocket and spacecraft control and guidance systems. He was the primary designer of control systems for one of the world’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles, the R-7, and for Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit Earth, in 1957. The navigation systems he designed also guided Vostok, which in 1961 carried the first human into space.
In 1974 Chertok became deputy chief designer for S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, a manufacturer of spacecraft components in Moscow. He retired from there in 1992.
In the early 1990s he wrote Rockets and People, a four-volume memoir published by NASA that recounts the Soviet space program from 1946 to 1991.
He shared the 2004 IEEE Simon Ramo Medal with Nikolai N. Sheremetevsky for “invaluable contributions to the Soviet/Russian space program.”
Chertok was a member of the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society. He graduated from the Moscow Energy Institute in 1940.
Pioneer of satellite communications
Life Fellow, 94; died 22 December
Sidney Metzger specialized in the development of communications systems, including the equipment used on Project SCORE (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment), the world’s first communications satellite.
Metzger began his career in 1939 as a civilian engineer with the U.S. Army Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth, N.J., where he worked on radio-relay communication technology. He oversaw the implementation of SIGSALY, a telecommunication system used in World War II to prevent the enemy from listening in to conversations between Allied officers.
After the war, he became manager of the radio relay department at ITT Federal Labs, in Nutley, N.J., where he designed microwave relay equipment.
He left in 1954 to become manager of the communications and engineering department in the Astro-Electronics Division of RCA Laboratories, in Princeton, N.J. While there, he managed the design and assembly of communication equipment on Project SCORE, which was launched by the United States in 1958 in response to the launch of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik satellite a year earlier.
He also helped design the communications equipment for TIROS, the world’s first weather satellite, and RELAY 1, which broadcast television coverage of U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s funeral to Japan and Europe.
Metzger left RCA in 1963 to join Communications Satellite Corp., known as COMSAT, in Washington, D.C., as manager of the engineering division. He retired in 1982 as vice president and chief scientist.
He was a member of the IEEE Communications Society.
Metzger received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from New York University. He earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1948 from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now part of NYU).