In Memoriam: November 2011

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

4 November 2011

obit_grey Photo: Courtesy of the Gray family

Laurence F. Gray

Satellite communications engineer

Life Senior Member, 95; died 3 May

Laurence F. Gray helped design one of the first ground stations for communicating with a low-orbit satellite.

Gray began his career in 1938, working on transmitters at the Canadian Marconi Co. (now CMC Electronics), a wireless telegraph manufacturer in Montreal. In 1945 he moved to the United States to help develop FM transmitters for Federal Telephone and Radio (now ITT Corp.) in Clifton, N.J. There he also worked on TV transmitters and helped design an early ground station to provide a communications link between Earth and a low-orbit satellite. In 1964 he became chief engineer of the Communications Satellite Corp., in Washington, D.C., and continued to design Earth-station equipment until he retired in 1980.

He was a member of the IEEE Communications Society.

Gray received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1938 from the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver. He earned a master’s degree in 1977 from George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.

obit_smith Photo:

Edward C. Smith

Aerospace engineer

Life Member, 89; died 11 June

Edward C. Smith helped discover the effects of galactic cosmic rays on satellite transmissions.

Smith started out in the early 1950s at Oak Ridge National Laboratory—a U.S. government research center in Tennessee. Smith was there for five years before joining Lockheed Aircraft Co. (now Lockheed Martin), in Marietta, Ga., where he worked on nuclear-powered aircraft and helped establish a radiation-effects laboratory. In 1964 he moved to Hughes Aircraft Co., an aerospace and defense company in Culver City, Calif., where he evaluated the effects of radiation environments on the company’s satellites. He and his colleagues discovered that galactic cosmic rays caused anomalies in satellites.

In 1985 he left Hughes and studied radiation effects on subsystems at TRW Inc. (now Northrop Grumman), with headquarters in Euclid, Ohio. He left in 1988 to join General Dynamics, a defense contractor based in West Falls Church, Va. There he worked on the inertial navigation unit, flight control processor, and other systems for NASA’s Atlas launch vehicle. After retiring from General Dynamics in 1990, he continued as a consultant for several aerospace firms.

Smith received a Ph.D. in physics in 1950 from the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville.

Raymond A. Huse

Advocate for energy research

Life Fellow, 95; died 30 June

Raymond A. Huse helped establish the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a nonprofit energy research organization in Palo Alto, Calif.

He began his career in 1939 as an engineer for Public Service Electric and Gas, a utility with headquarters in Newark, N.J. In 1971 he helped organize and became vice president of PSE&G’s R&D department. He retired from the company in 1981.

He was named chair in 1970 of the R&D Goals Task Force of the U.S. Electric Research Council. The following year he wrote a report urging U.S. utilities to support a national R&D program for the power industry. His suggestions led to the creation in 1972 of EPRI—the first organization in the United States dedicated to electric power research.

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

Huse received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1938 from the University of New Hampshire, in Durham. He earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1939 from Harvard University.

obit_bauer Photo: IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society

Frederick Bauer

Standards advocate

Life Fellow, 90; died 6 August

Frederick Bauer spent 40 years with U.S., Canadian, and European associations to create international electromagnetic compatibility standards for automotive vehicles.

He began his career in 1941 as an engineer at Detroit Edison Co., an electric utility serving southeast Michigan. There, he created a method of using DC telephone transmission-line theory to solve heat-flow problems. He left in 1945 to become a purchasing and production manager at Douhitt Corp., a manufacturer of photographic equipment and supplies in Detroit.

In 1948 he began working as an engineer for the Ford Motor Co. He was promoted to manager of the electrical engineering department in 1957, and in 1963 became manager of the radio engineering department. In that role, Bauer helped design car radios and the automotive industry’s first eight-track tape stereo system. He held various management positions at Ford from 1967 until he retired in 1980.

He worked with IEEE, SAE International, and other standards organizations to create several electromagnetic compatibility standards, including CISPR 25, an international standard for EMC testing of automotive components. He received the 2001 IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society’s Richard R. Stoddard Award for contributions to the society and the EMC profession.

Bauer received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering—both from Wayne State University, in Detroit—in 1941 and 1948.

obit_nelson Photo:

Frank M. Nelson

Former U.S. Navy lieutenant commander

Life Member, 89; died 5 August

Frank M. Nelson worked on electronics and communications equipment for the U.S. Navy.

During World War II, Nelson was an officer on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean. He retired from the Navy in 1962 and became an engineering consultant for Johns Hopkins University’s Physical Sciences Laboratory, in Baltimore, from which he retired in the 1990s.

He received a bachelor’s degree in 1948 from MIT, then earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1961 from George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. He received a Ph.D. in 1967 from Johns Hopkins University.

obit_brody Photo: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Thomas P. Brody

Pioneer in Display Technology

Member, 91; died 18 September

Thomas P. Brody founded four Pittsburgh-based companies involved in applying LCD technologies for displays. 

He was born in Budapest, Hungary, and began his career in 1953 as a senior lecturer in physics at the University of London. He moved to Pittsburgh in 1959 to work as a researcher at Westinghouse Electric Corp. There, Brody researched tunnel diodes, semiconductor devices, thin-film technology, and pattern recognition. In 1974 his team demonstrated real-time video imagery on the first active-matrix LCD, a flat-panel display technology commonly used in today’s laptop computers. 

Brody left Westinghouse in 1979, and two years later founded Panelvision Corp., the world’s first manufacturer of active-matrix LCD systems. In 1985 the company was acquired by Litton Systems (now owned by Northrop Grumman). After working for three years as a consultant, he founded Magnascreen Corp., which developed large-scale LCD systems. He left in 1990 to form Active Matrix Associates, a consulting group that worked on several classified projects for the U.S. Defense Research Projects Agency. 

In 1998 Brody helped invent a process for fabricating low-cost thin-film electronic circuits, and four years later he founded Amedeo Corp., now Advantech, to develop active-matrix backplanes for displays. He was chief scientist there until his death. 

He earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1953 from the University of London. 

The following person was not a member but did pioneering work in IEEE’s fields of interest. 

obit_jobs Photo: Digital Media Academy

Steve Jobs 

Cofounder of Apple

56; died 5 October

Steve Jobs cofounded Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.), a company that revolutionized the consumer electronics industry by introducing the first successful mass-produced personal computer, as well as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. He died from complications of pancreatic cancer.

Jobs was in high school when he met computer engineer Steve Wozniak, who eventually became his business partner. In 1974 Jobs went to work for Atari, a video game manufacturer. Two years later, Jobs—then 21—and Wozniak started Apple Computer out of the Jobs family garage in Los Altos, Calif. That year they sold about 200 units of their original Apple machine (now known as the Apple I), the first user-friendly computer on the market, comprised of about 60 chips. The following year, the company released the Apple II, an 8-bit computer that had an integrated keyboard, speakers, and eight internal expansion slots, all housed in a plastic case. It helped propel the company to a market value of US $1.2 billion when it became publicly traded in 1980.

In 1985 Jobs resigned as Apple’s CEO and shortly thereafter began a new hardware and software company, NeXT, in Redwood City, Calif. The following year he purchased an animation studio from film producer George Lucas, which later became known as Pixar Animation Studios. The company released such successful animated films as the Toy Story series, Finding Nemo, and The Incredibles. Pixar merged with Walt Disney Co. in 2006.

Apple purchased NeXT in 1997, and Jobs regained his position as Apple’s CEO. He was credited with revitalizing the company, helping to develop and market such products as the iMac—a successful line of all-in-one desktop computers—first introduced in 1998. The first of the iPod media players was launched in 2001. Jobs unveiled the initial iPhone in 2007 during a keynote speech at Apple’s annual Macworld Expo, in San Francisco, calling it the “Internet communicator.” Apple released its iPad tablet computer last year.

His health failing, Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple on 24 August but remained chairman of the board. He died the day after Apple’s iPhone 4S, the latest model in the company’s line of iconic smart phones, was announced.


This article has been corrected from a previous version.

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