In Memoriam: March 2015

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

27 March 2015

Frank A. Benson

Professor emeritus

Life Fellow, 93; died 23 November

Benson was professor emeritus at the University of Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, England.

He began his career in 1946 as a lecturer at the University of Liverpool. Benson left in 1949 to attend the University of Sheffield to pursue a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, which he earned three years later. Hired as a professor by the university upon graduation, he was promoted in 1967 to head its department of electronic and electrical engineering. Benson also served as dean of engineering from 1978 to 1981. He retired in 1987.

An expert in microwave technology, Benson was named IEEE Fellow in 1976 for “advances in knowledge of guided waves and ionized gases.”

He served as a church warden at Sheffield Cathedral and was on the program committee for Radio Hallam, a radio station in South Yorkshire.

He also held a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Liverpool.


Hansford White “Bill” Farris

Professor emeritus

Life Senior Member, 95; died 7 December

Farris was professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1942 to 1946 and then joined the University of Kentucky, Lexington, as an assistant professor. Farris left in 1953 to earn a Ph.D. at Michigan, where he also worked as a researcher in the electrical engineering department’s electronic defense group.

After he graduated in 1959, the university hired him as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. He was promoted to professor in 1962. Over the next two decades, Farris held several leadership positions, including chair of the electrical engineering department and interim dean of the College of Engineering. He retired in 1981.

In the mid-1970s Farris wrote and narrated “Future Without Shock,” a series of ten 30-minute television programs about the roles engineers play in modern society.

After retiring, Farris and his wife, Vera, moved to Gainesville, Fla., and he helped develop the electrical engineering program at the University of North Florida, in Jacksonville. Until last year he volunteered with Friends of the Library, an organization that supports literacy programs and fund-raising efforts for local libraries.

Farris also earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1942 from Eastern Kentucky University, in Hazard.


E.G. “Al” Kiener

Former Division II director

Fellow, 89; died 23 December

Kiener held several IEEE leadership positions, including director of Division II in 1994.

After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he joined Consolidated Aircraft, a manufacturer in San Diego, as an electrical engineer. Kiener worked there on the U.S. military’s Atlas rocket program. He left after 20 years to join Solar Turbines, a San Diego company that designs and manufactures industrial gas turbines. He retired in 1993.

In addition to serving as Division II director, Kiener was also the 1986 president of the San Diego Section’s IEEE Industry Applications Society chapter and 1995 vice president of the IEEE Standards Association.

Kiener earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from San Diego State University.

Learn More