In Memoriam: October 2012

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

26 October 2012

Rodney Lay
Telecommunications engineer
Life Senior Member, 73; died 25 April

Rodney Lay was a telecommunications engineer for Mitre Corp., a nonprofit systems engineering and information technology research organization, in McLean, Va.

Lay began his career in 1967 at General Electric, in Schenectady, N.Y., leaving two years later to join Mitre as a telecommunications engineer. From 1996 until 2000, he worked for Mitretek (now Noblis), a subsidiary of Mitre, in Falls Church, Va. For the last 12 years, he was a research fellow with Mitretek’s Center for Telecommunications and Advanced Technology.

He was a member of the IEEE Power & Energy Society and the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology.

Lay earned a bachelor’s degree in 1960 from the University of London and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1967 from Aston University, in Birmingham, England.


John V. McKenna
Electrical engineer
Member, 57; died 7 May

John V. McKenna was an electrical engineer for the U.S. Navy. He died of pancreatic cancer.

McKenna began his career in 1978 as a systems engineer for the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), in Washington, D.C., where he helped develop submarine sonar and weapon systems.

In 1995 he joined the Federal Aviation Administration as a program manager. He left in 1999 for Computer Sciences Corp., in Falls Church, Va. Ten years later he returned to NAVSEA as a program manager for enterprise IT systems.

McKenna held a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York, Stony Brook.


ObitFoskitt Photo: OakRidger.com

Roger D. Foskett
Electronics engineer
Life member, 84; died 21 May

Roger D. Foskett was an electronics engineer for several R&D companies in Massachusetts, designing and building control equipment. In 1980 he joined Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he helped build test equipment for a fusion energy project. He retired in 1987.

Foskett received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of London and a master’s degree in electronics engineering from Northeastern University, in Boston.


ObitJorgensen Photo: JournalStar.com

James Jorgensen
Manufacturing engineer
Life Senior Member, 69; died 23 June

James “Jim” Jorgensen was an electrical engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque.

He joined Sandia in 1966 and retired from there in 2010. Jorgensen was also an engineering professor for four years at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He was a member of the IEEE Solid State Circuits Society.

Jorgensen received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska in 1965 and 1966. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.


ObitAnderson Photo: Cincinnati.com

William Anderson
Survivor of the USS Forrestal disaster
Life Senior Member, 70; died 27 June

William Anderson was an electrical engineer at Procter & Gamble, a manufacturer of consumer goods, in Cincinnati, from 1978 until he retired in 2010. As a young man, he earned a Bronze Star from the U.S. Navy for “heroic or meritorious achievement or service” during a disaster aboard the USS Forrestal that killed 134 men on board the carrier. Anderson’s wife, Susan Cannon, says the event inspired his lifelong commitment to developing electrical standards.

On 29 July 1967, an electrical power surge caused a rocket to discharge on the Forrestal flight deck, resulting in a massive fire. Fighting to prevent more explosions, Anderson led a group of crewmen to dump the carrier’s ammunition into the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of Vietnam. The ship’s crew worked all night to extinguish the blaze, which dissipated the next morning.

Anderson represented the IEEE Standards Coordination Committee on the U.S. National Electric Code panel, which helps develop standards for the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment. He also worked with SAE International on the SAE HS1738 Standard for Automotive Industrial Machinery. He was a member of the IEEE Industry Applications and IEEE Product Safety Engineering societies.

Anderson received a bachelor’s degree in applied science and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Portland State University, in Oregon, in 1972 and 1976. He earned a master’s degree in business administration in 1979 from Xavier University, in Cincinnati.

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