In Memoriam: January 2015

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

30 January 2015

William Surber

Electrical engineering professor

Life Senior Member, 94; died 27 August

Surber was professor emeritus in the electrical engineering department of Princeton.

He began his career in 1941 as a junior physicist at the university. He left in 1942 to become a researcher in the Electric Field Service Group at the Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington, D.C. Surber returned to Princeton in 1946 and two years later, after earning his Ph.D. in electrical engineering, was appointed an assistant professor. He became a full professor in 1956. He was also a consultant to Brookhaven National Laboratory, in Upton, N.Y., and Curtiss-Wright Corp., an aerospace defense company, in Charlotte, N.C.

Surber’s research at Princeton focused on servomechanisms—devices that use error-sensing negative feedback to correct the performance of a mechanism—for automatic control systems and computers.

In 1986 Surber was the first recipient of Princeton’s Walter Curtis Johnson Award for excellence in teaching. He retired the following year.

He was a member of the IEEE Circuits and Systems and IEEE Control Systems societies.

Surber was a triple major as an undergraduate, earning bachelor’s degrees in chemistry, mathematics, and physics in 1941 and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1943, all from Princeton.

Winfield S. Bigelow

Electrical engineer

Senior Member, 70; died 22 September

Bigelow was an electrical engineer at Farr Research, a developer of ultra-wideband antennas and high-voltage devices, in Albuquerque.

He began his career as a researcher at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Ohio, where he helped develop high-power microwave devices. He later served as chief of beam physics and then chief of computational physics.  

Bigelow left the Air Force to join Farr, where he spent 16 years working on ultra-wideband antennas and devices, including impulse-radiating antennas.

Bigelow enjoyed nature and the outdoors, cooking, and listening to classical music. He spoke Japanese in addition to English, and hosted more than a dozen foreign exchange students from Japan with his wife, Linda. He was a fellow of the Summa Foundation, a philanthropic organization that promotes scientific and educational activities in the field of electromagnetics.

He was a member of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation, IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques, and IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences societies.

Bigelow received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1966 from Union College, in Schenectady, N.Y. He went on to earn a master’s degree in nuclear engineering and a Ph.D. in physics from the Air Force Institute of Technology, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in 1968 and 1983.

Steven Andrew

Senior engineer

Member, 41; died 18 October

Andrew was a senior engineer at the U.S. Department of Defense, in Washington, D.C., where he spent his entire career. He died of cancer.

He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Ohio University, in Athens, where he played trumpet in the marching band.

Frank Meyer Jr.

Utility executive

Life Member, 94; died 1 November

Meyer was a former vice president of Public Service Company of Oklahoma, in Tulsa.

Before joining PSO, Meyer served in World War II as a U.S. Army captain.

After the war, in 1949, he became a design engineer at the utility, where he oversaw the negotiation of power contracts and long-term planning. Later, as vice president, he directed the company’s R&D programs.

Meyer was a member of the board of directors of the Edison Electric Institute, an association of shareholder-owned electric companies, and the National Association of Business Economists, both in Washington, D.C. In 1990 he organized the International Science and Engineering Fair, an event in Tulsa that brought together 750 high school science-fair winners from around the world.

He was a member of the IEEE Computer Society.

Meyer earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind.

William J. McNutt

Power engineering consultant

Life Fellow, 87; died 14 November

McNutt was founder of Berkshire Transformer Consultants, a power-engineering consulting firm, in Pittsfield, Mass.

After serving in the U.S. Navy in 1945 and 1946, he began his career as an engineer in the power transformer department of General Electric, in Fairfield, Conn. He left in 1986 to found Berkshire, where he worked for seven years as a consultant.

McNutt served as a U.S. representative to CIGRE, the Paris-based international organization that works to improve electric power systems. In 1998 he received the IEEE Charles Proteus Steinmetz Award “for sustained contributions and leadership in the development of standards for the power transformer.”

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

For more than 50 years, he belonged to the South Congregational Church, in Pittsfield, where he served as deacon, trustee, and treasurer. He enjoyed square dancing, gardening, golf, and tennis.

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