In Memoriam: January 2012

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

27 January 2012

obit_cooper Photo: Aspen Times

George R. Cooper
Professor of electrical engineering
Life Fellow, 88; died 15 June

George R. Cooper was a professor of electrical engineering at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind., for more than 35 years.

He joined Purdue’s electrical engineering department in 1979, where he researched communications theory and system analysis. In 1975 he became director of the school’s graduate program in engineering—a position he held until he retired in 1985.

He was a member of the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Communications, and Information Theory societies.

He earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue.


obit_rittenhouse Photo: The Baltimore Sun

Samuel A. Rittenhouse
Engineering manager
Life Senior Member, 93; died 8 August

Samuel A. Rittenhouse was general manager of engineering for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

He joined BGE as an engineer after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. In 1971 he became chief electrical engineer and was later promoted to general manager before retiring from the company in 1983.

He was a member of the IEEE Power & Energy Society.

Rittenhouse received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1937 from Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.


obit_petruzzelli Photo: NorthJersey.com

Richard T. Petruzzelli
Broadcast engineer
Life Member, 84; died 13 August

Richard T. Petruzzelli was a broadcast engineer who began his career in the early 1950s at NBC Studios in New York City, where he worked on the set of The Howdy Doody Show.

He went on to work for several communications-related organizations including Allen B. DuMont Laboratories, a company that produced TV sets as well as the cathode-ray tubes that went into them, in New York City. He left there for ITT Corp., a telecommunications company in Nutley, N.J., where he worked for 20 years until he retired in 1991.

Petruzzeli earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1949 from the Newark College of Engineering (now New Jersey Institute of Technology).


obit_schwartz Photo: Princeton University

Stuart Schwartz
Information theory pioneer
Life Fellow, 72; died 27 August

Stuart Schwartz helped develop several algorithms now used in wireless communications to extract useful signals from noisy environments.

In the early 1960s Schwartz worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, Calif., on the early stages of the Apollo mission to the moon. He left JPL in 1966 to become an assistant professor at Princeton University, where his research focused on statistical communications theory and signal and image processing. He played a key role in developing mathematical models for multipath signals, which split into different paths on the way to a receiver.

From 1977 to 1980 he was associate dean of the Engineering School at Princeton, and he also served as chair of the electrical engineering department from 1985 to 1994. In that role, he helped establish the school’s Photonics and Optoelectronic Materials Research Center. He retired in 2009 but continued to work with Princeton researchers on a U.S. Army project that applies wireless signals to geolocation, in particular to locate electronics gear such as a mobile phone or a computer connected to the Internet.

Schwartz, who was a member of the IEEE Communications and Signal Processing societies, was the 1993 president of the IEEE Information Theory Society.

He received a master’s degree in 1961 from MIT and a Ph.D. in information and control engineering in 1966 from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.


obit_nyborg Photo: University of Rochester

Wesley Nyborg
Physics professor
Life Member, 94; died 24 September

Wesley Nyborg was a physics professor at the University of Vermont, in Burlington, for more than 50 years.

He began his academic career in 1950 as an associate professor of physics at Brown University, in Providence, R.I. He left in 1960 to become a professor at the University of Vermont, where his research focused on the clinical applications and biophysical effects of ultrasound. He became a professor emeritus in 1986 and continued to work in the physics department until his death.

From 1980 to 2002 he chaired the Scientific Committee on Ultrasound for the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements.

Nyborg was a member of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology and Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control societies.

He received a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1941 from Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa, then earned master’s and doctoral degrees in physics in 1944 and 1947 from Pennsylvania State University, in University Park.


obit_dunn Photo: Stanford University

Donald Dunn
Professor of engineering and economic systems
Life Fellow, 85; died 27 September

Donald Dunn helped establish the department of engineering and economic systems (now the department of management science and engineering) at Stanford University’s School of Engineering.

He joined Stanford in 1956 as a professor of engineering and economic systems, a discipline that applies engineering and economic analysis to policy making and decision making, both in government and industry. He served as director of Stanford’s Electron Devices and Physics laboratories before retiring from the university in 1995.

Dunn also was involved with the Stanford Research Institute, where he directed a study for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on the interdependence of computers and communications.

He was a consultant to the National Academy of Engineering’s Committee on Telecommunications and addressed the U.S. Congress in 1969 on the subject of telecommunications policy.

Dunn received a bachelor’s degree from Caltech. He earned a juris doctor in 1951 and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1956, both from Stanford.

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