In Memoriam: September 2013

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

30 September 2013
ObitAdair Photo: Patch.com

Eleanor R. Adair
Microwave pioneer
Life Fellow, 86; died 20 April

Eleanor R. Adair was a researcher who spent three decades testing the effects of microwave radiation on humans and animals. Although the rising use of cellphones, radar, and other radiation-emitting technologies caused growing concern, she concluded—somewhat controversially—that they did not pose serious health risks.

Adair began as a research fellow in the 1970s at John B. Pierce Laboratory, in New Haven, Conn. There, she explored how people and animals react physiologically to external heat sources. She conducted some of the first studies of the effects of microwave radiation—first on animals, next with people, and eventually on herself. She worked at John B. Pierce Laboratory until 1996, when she became a senior scientist at the radio frequency radiation branch of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), in San Antonio. She retired in 2001 but continued to work as a senior scientist for the AFRL Voluntary Emeritus Corps.

Adair helped develop several IEEE standards for permissible microwave levels. She was cochair of the committee that developed the IEEE C95.1-1991 Standard, which gives recommendations to prevent harmful effects in human beings exposed to electromagnetic fields in the frequency range from 3 kilohertz to 300 gigahertz. She was also chair of the IEEE International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety, as well as a member of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.

Adair received a bachelor’s degree in 1948 from Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley, Mass. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in 1955 from the University of Wisconsin, in Madison.


ObitVolz Photo: Texas A&M University

Richard A. Volz
Former president, IEEE Robotics and Automation Society
Fellow, 76; died 19 June

A robotics and controls pioneer, Richard A. Volz was president of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society from 2006 to 2007.

In 1964 he joined the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, as a professor of electrical engineering and computer science. He later served as director of the university’s Computer and Image Processing Research Network and its Robotics Research Laboratory. Volz’s research focused on robotics, computer-aided methods for control systems, optimal control systems, real-time systems, and distributed languages.

He left the school in 1988 to head the computer science and engineering department at Texas A&M University, in College Station. He was department head until 1997 and continued as an engineering professor until he retired in 2004.

In addition to serving as IEEE Robotics and Automation Society president, Volz was a member of the IEEE Publications, Services, and Products Board and the IEEE board of directors. He was also editor in chief of IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation and associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems.

Volz received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Northwestern University, in Evanston, Ill., in 1960, 1961, and 1964.


ObitRemshardt Photo: IEEE

Rolf Remshardt
Former Region 8 director
Life Senior Member, 77; died 16 July

Rolf Remshardt was a prominent IEEE volunteer for almost three decades.

He joined IBM’s German headquarters, in Stuttgart, in 1967 and worked as an engineer for 30 years. Remshardt helped design integrated circuits and semiconductor chips.

He was Region 8 treasurer from 1983 to 1998 and region director from 1999 to 2000. During his time as director, Remshardt visited Iran and Turkey and helped increase IEEE membership throughout the Middle East. He also was the IEEE Foundation’s vice president of projects.

Remshardt earned a Diplom-Ingenieur degree and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Stuttgart.

An oral history interview with Remshardt is available at the IEEE History Center website.

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