In Memoriam: June 2008

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

6 June 2008


Developer of J-Sim

Member Grade: Fellow

Age: 43

Died: 2 December

Jennifer Hou helped develop J-Sim, a reusable component-based, compositional simulation environ­ment built on the notion of the auto­nomous component programming model. J-Sim (originally known as JavaSim) components can be individually designed, implemented, and tested, and incrementally deployed. A newly elected IEEE Fellow, Hou died of cancer.

She was a principal researcher in networked systems and a director of the Illinois Network Design and Experimentation research group at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she researched the theoretical protocol design and deployment aspects of wireless sensor networks. She and her team of researchers from the school developed J-Sim in 2005.

Hou was an assistant professor in electrical engineering from 1993 to 1996 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She left to become an associate EE professor at Ohio State University, Columbus. In 2003 she joined the computer science faculty at the University of Illinois.

One of her many honors was being named an Association for Computing Machinery Dis­tinguished Scientist last year.

Hou earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1987 from National Taiwan University. She earned master’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer sciences, and industrial and operations engineering, in 1989 and 1991, as well as a Ph.D. in EECS in 1993, all from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.



Electrical engineering professor

Member Grade: Life Fellow

Age: 66

Died: 2 February

William Sayle worked at the Georgia Institute of Technology for more than 35 years as a professor and director of the electrical engineering and computer science department.

Sayle began his career in 1965 at Boeing Co., where he researched radiation effects on semi­conductor devices. In 1970 he became an assistant professor at Georgia Tech, and in 1988 he took the position of academic administrator, overseeing undergraduate programs in electrical and computer engineering. After his retirement in 2003, he continued to direct undergraduate programs for Georgia Tech Lorraine, in Metz, France.

He made several contributions to engineering accreditation for IEEE and ABET, the organization that accredits university science, engineering, and technology programs. Beginning in 1983, he made more than 20 evaluation visits to engineering schools as an IEEE program evaluator for ABET. He also chaired the IEEE Educational Activities Board Committee on Engineering Accreditation Activities in 1996 and 1997.

He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering in 1963 and 1964 from the University of Texas, Austin. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1970 from the University of Washington, Seattle.



Color television pioneer

Member Grade: Life Fellow

Age: 96

Died: 11 February

Harry Kihn worked for RCA Labor­atories in Prince­ton, N.J., for almost 40 years and garnered 27 patents, including one for a key device in color television. In the late 1940s, he and his research staff developed the world’s first combined monochrome and color TV receiving system. Named an IEEE Milestone, it became an international standard and is still used for analog color television. Kihn’s patents also include ones for FM altimeters, a monochrome receiver of color TV signals known as Kihn’s Kolor Killer, and digital decoder circuits for an early version of a cellphone. He retired in 1977 and became principal of  Kihn Associates, an electronics consulting firm.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Cooper Union, New York City, and his master’s in EE from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.


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