In Memoriam: July 2015

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

28 July 2015

Israel H. Kalish

CMOS pioneer

Life Fellow, 83; died 10 September 2014

Kalish led the researchers at RCA that designed the world’s first CMOS microprocessor.

He began his career in 1953 working for RCA’s vacuum tube division, in Harrison, N.J. Three years later, he transferred to the company’s solid-state division, in Somerville, N.J., where he worked on MOS technology. In 1964 he helped develop the first CMOS logic gates, which led to new integrated circuits with substantially lower power consumption. Kalish also taught engineering classes at Cooper Union, his alma mater, in New York City, and published Microminiature Electronics: A Programmed Learning Course, in 1967.

In 1974 he led the team that designed the first CMOS microprocessor, which was later used in Earth-orbiting satellites and in NASA’s Galileo spacecraft.

In the early 1980s, Kalish moved to RCA’s David Sarnoff Research Center (now SRI International), in Princeton, N.J. There he worked on a computer program that enabled new semiconductor technology to mimic the function of older circuitry. He also helped build replacement parts to help extend the life of military equipment. Kalish retired in 1999.

He was named an IEEE Fellow in 1993 for “development of the first commercial process for the manufacture of complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuits.” Kalish was also a member of the IEEE Electron Devices Society. In 1995 he received the Cooper Union Gano Dunn Award which recognizes professional achievement in engineering, industry, science, or finance.

Kalish earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1953 from Cooper Union and a master’s degree, also in EE, in 1956 from Columbia.

His son, Alan Kalish, writes: “He truly loved his work, and he often said that he would still do it even if they didn’t pay him. He would often go to work early so that he could have breakfast with the scientists and engineers. After retiring he would meet regularly with his fellow retirees for brunch at a local diner.  He enjoyed being surrounded by his friends and family, and social gatherings were commonplace at the Kalish household. 

“Kalish was truly loved and revered by all who knew him. He leaves behind his wife Beverly, his twin sisters Esther Starr and Henrietta Diamond, three of his four children, 11 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.”


Hun H. Sun

Professor emeritus

Life Fellow, 89; died 26 January

Sun was founder of the Biomedical Engineering and Science Institute (now the School of Biomedical Engineering) at Drexel University, in Philadelphia. The institute offered one of the first biomedical engineering graduate programs in the United States.

He joined Drexel in 1953 as a professor of electrical engineering. In 1958 he founded and became the first director of BESI. He went on to become head of the university’s electrical engineering department for five years before serving as director of its biomedical engineering program for more than a decade.

Shortly after BESI became the School of Biomedical Engineering in 1989, Sun, along with his student Xiang Wang, invented IQ Impedance Cardiography, a noninvasive method for measuring cardiac function. The system they developed was based on digital filter design and adaptive time-frequency threshold detection that eliminates noise interferences and motion artifacts. The device monitors nine cardiac parameters, including cardiac output, stroke volume, and cardiac index.

Sun was editor in chief of IEEE Transactions in Biomedical Engineering for many years.

He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1946 from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a Ph.D. in 1950 from Cornell.


Robert A. Ramey Jr.

Professor of electrical engineering and computer science

Life Fellow, 96; died 7 March

Ramey was a professor of computer and information science and engineering at the University of Florida, in Gainesville.

In the late 1940s, he was a researcher at Westinghouse Electric, where he worked on several classified projects for the U.S. military. One, declassified in 1956, was an electromagnetic, underwater speedometer for ships. He also designed the control systems for USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. Ramey left in 1949 to become head of the Electromagnetic Components Section at the Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington, D.C. He was named an IEEE Fellow in 1958.

Ramey joined the faculty of the University of Florida in the 1960s. In addition to teaching, he served as associate dean of the College of Engineering, chair of the computer and information science and engineering technology departments, and director of the university’s Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station. He also received an award from the Minority Student Association for substantially increasing minority student enrollment at the university. Ramey retired in 1982.

He served as vice chairman of Florida’s High Technology Innovation Research and Development Board and was a past president of the Gainesville Area Innovation Network. Ramey was also national chairman of the U.S. Federal Laboratory Consortium’s advisory committee.


Joseph C. Rhodes

Computer engineer

Member, 61; died 11 March

Rhodes was a computer engineer at several companies, including Compaq (now part of Hewlett-Packard), IBM, and Jabil, a supply-chain management and electronics manufacturing firm. Last year he became a computer science instructor at Chipola College, in Marianna, Fla.

He received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Florida Institute of Technology, in Melbourne. Rhodes went on to earn a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Clemson University, in South Carolina, and a master’s degree in business administration, from Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton.


Samuel Sensiper

Microwave and antenna engineer

Life Fellow, 96; died 7 May

Sensiper was an engineer at several Los Angeles–area companies.

He started out as a project engineer at Sperry Gyroscope, in Great Neck, N.Y., during World War II. He moved to Los Angeles in 1951 and worked at Hughes Aircraft Co., Space General Corp., and TRW Automotive. He was named an IEEE Fellow in 1960 “for contributions in the fields of microwave instrumentation and radiation.” Sensiper retired in 1975 and became a consultant.

In his later years, he began collecting works by Miguel Berrocal, a Spanish artist whose puzzle sculptures can be disassembled into several abstract pieces. In 2012 he donated his collection to the National Museum of Mathematics, in New York City. The collection will be featured in an exhibition there later this year.

Sensiper received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1939 from MIT and a master’s degree in 1941 from Stanford. He later returned to MIT and received a doctorate in electrical engineering in 1951.

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