In Memoriam: January 2013

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

28 January 2013

obitMeltz Photo: Optical Society of America

Gerald “Gerry” Meltz
Optical engineer
Member, 75; died 9 June 2010

Gerald “Gerry” Meltz made several contributions to the field of fiber-optic sensing, including the discovery and development of ultraviolet side-written fiber Bragg gratings—a type of distributed reflector built into a short segment of optical fiber that reflects particular wavelengths and transmits all others.

Meltz began his career in 1956 as a Fellow at Hughes Research Laboratories, in Malibu, Calif., that specialized at the time in automotive, aerospace, and defense technology. He left in 1958 to join the U.S. Air Force’s Cambridge Research Laboratories, in Massachusetts, as an officer and was later promoted to chief of the plasma dynamics branch.

He worked at several engineering research facilities from 1962 to 1976, including Sperry Rand Research Center, Mitre Corp., and the Advanced Development Laboratory of Raytheon Co. From 1976 to 1996, he was principal scientist at the United Technologies Research Center, in East Hartford, Conn. It worked on technology for aerospace, heating, air conditioning, security systems, and power generation. He led the team at United that developed the Bragg grating technology, and he helped develop passive and active grating-based components, including narrowband filters, wavelength-selective taps, and fiber laser devices. In 1995 he founded OFT Associates, an engineering and scientific consulting firm in Avon, Conn., and became its managing business partner.

He was a peer reviewer for several journals including the IEEE/OSA Journal of Lightwave Technology, which is cosponsored by the Optical Society of America. He was a member of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society.

Meltz received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics from New York University, in New York City. He earned a master’s degree in applied mathematics and physics at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles.


obitRyan Courtesy of Nancy Ryan Woods

John S. Ryan Sr.
Former IEEE Division 3 director
Life Fellow, 91; died 10 August

John S. Ryan Sr., IEEE Division 3 director in 1994 and 1995, began his career as a communications engineer while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

In 1945 Ryan joined New York Telephone Co., first in Batavia and then in Albany. He left for Bell Telephone Laboratories, in Holmdel, N.J., in 1961, where he supervised the group responsible for developing single-frequency, multifrequency, and international signal systems. He was also the company’s representative to the Consultative Committee for International Telephony and Telegraphy (now part of the International Telegraph Union), a standards organization sponsored by the United Nations. For 21 years, he was chair of CCITT Study Group 11, which worked to develop system protocols for communication networks worldwide.

Ryan was a member of the IEEE Computer and Communications societies. In 1986 he received a Donald W. McLellan Meritorious Service Award from the Communications Society for outstanding long-term service to the society’s welfare.


obitBoyhan Photo: Legacy.com

John Boyhan
Telecommunications engineer
Life Senior Member, 85; died 31 August

John Boyhan was a telecommunications engineer at Bell Telephone Laboratories, in Holmdel, N.J.

While there, Boyhan helped design the voice communications systems for Air Force One, the aircraft for the president of the United States. He was recognized as a distinguished member of the company’s technical staff. He retired in 2002.

He was a member of the IEEE Communications and Microwave Theory and Techniques societies.

Boyhan received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from New York University, in New York City, and earned a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Missouri—Rolla (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology).


obitWang Photo: Courtesy of the Wang family.

Chao-Chen Wang
Founder of Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute
Life Fellow, 97; died 17 September

Chao-Chen Wang was the founder and first president of Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute, a nonprofit R&D organization in Hsinchu.

In 1940, Wang began working at RCA Corp. as a microwave electronics research engineer. He became a professor in 1957 at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y. He left in 1973 and returned to his homeland to establish the Industrial Technology Research Institute. The organization works with different technologies, including WIMAX wireless broadband, solar cells, RFID, flexible displays, 3-D integrated computer systems, and telemedicine. Wang served as its first president.

He was a member of the IEEE Electron Devices, Microwave Theory and Techniques, and Photonics societies.

Wang earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1936 from National Chiao-Tung University, in Hsinchu City, Taiwan. He earned a master’s degree in electrophysics in 1938 and a Ph.D. in 1940, both from Harvard University.

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