In Memoriam: May 2009

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

6 May 2009

Lifelong volunteer, sales engineer
Life Senior Member, 94; died 10 March

Robert C. Winton spent more than four decades working as an electrical engineer and volunteering for IEEE. Responsible for radar and radio repair for the British Army’s Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers from 1940 to 1945, Winton went on to become a sales engineer and later a senior executive engineer for Mullard, a British manufacturer of electronic components.

After retiring in 1975, Winton became European consultant for the company, State of the Art.

He was active with IEEE for 40 years and held numerous positions, including secretary of the IEEE United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland Section from 1965 to 1972, as well as its chair in 1976 and 1977. His efforts were recognized with the 1968 IEEE Haraden Pratt Award for “furthering transnational activities in Region 8.”

Winton coauthored An Elementary Guide to Reliability [Pergamon, 1986]. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications engineering in 1935 from the Imperial College, London.


TV pioneer
Life Fellow, 99; died 5 March

Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. made important technological breakthroughs, perfecting the cathode ray tube and developing one of the first video games.

Goldsmith was the director of research and later vice president of Allen B. DuMont Laboratories, in New Jersey, where he worked from 1936 to 1965 and perfected the long-lasting cathode ray tube. In 1948, he invented what might be one of the first video games, called a Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device in its patent.

He was a physics professor at Furman University, in Greenville, S.C., from 1966 to 1975. As professor emeritus, he continued to teach physics at the university until 1988.

Goldsmith received a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1931 from Furman University and a Ph.D. in physics in 1936 from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.


Physicist and space exploration advocate
Life Fellow, 85; died 13 February

Thomas F. Rogers spent much of his early career as a U.S. government scientist working on defense-related projects and the last two decades promoting space exploration.

Rogers was a research administrator at MIT and deputy director of defense research and engineering at the Pentagon in the 1950s and 1960s. From 1967 to 1969, he was director of research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In 1969, Rogers became president of the Mitre Corp., a not-for-profit national technology resource in McLean, Va. He retired from Mitre in 1972. Most recently, he was the president and chief scientist of the Space Transportation Association, a lobbying group in Arlington, Va. He went on to chair the Sophron Foundation, a nonprofit company in Ellicott City, Md., that advocates space tourism.

He received a bachelor's degree in 1945 from Providence College, in Rhode Island, and a master's in 1949 from Boston College, both in physics.


CEO of Texas Instruments
Life Fellow, 86; died 4 February

During Mark Shepherd’s 40-year career at Texas Instruments, he helped the company become a global electronics giant.

Shepherd served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant specializing in radar and electronics maintenance for three years during World War II. He went on to work for General Electric and the Farnsworth Television and Radio Corp. In 1948 he joined Geophysical Services, which became Texas Instruments in 1951. He rose through the ranks, holding several positions including chief engineer, executive vice president and, in 1961, chief operating officer. He was named the company’s chief executive officer in 1969 and served as its chairman from 1976 to 1988.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1942 from Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, and a master's degree in 1947 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, both in electrical engineering.


Sales and marketing engineer
Member, 54; died 26 January

James D. Hake was an engineer for utility companies around the world. For the past four years he was director of international sales for Tegam, a manufacturer in Geneva, Ohio, of measurement and calibration instruments, including an RF power sensor calibration system.

Hake earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1977 from Youngstown State University, in Ohio.


Electrical engineer, professor
Life Member, 85; died 8 January

Born in Canada, David Plummer worked there in research and development and as a university professor before moving to the United States in 1954. Plummer became a color TV receiver design and development engineer at Sylvania Electric Products Co. in Buffalo, N.Y., from 1954 to 1956. He left there to join the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, in Buffalo, where he was an engineering supervisor for the next 20 years. In 1976, he joined the Georgia Tech Research Institute, where he served two terms as an elected member of the executive board. He retired from there in 1990.

He received a bachelor’s degree in 1945 and a master’s in 1953 from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Canada, both in electrical engineering.


Electrical and computer engineering professor

Life Fellow, 84; died 14 November

Edward W. Ernst devoted his career to academia and volunteering for IEEE.

Ernst joined the electrical and computer engineering faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1958, where he was a professor until 1989. He served as a department head from 1979 to 1985.

Ernst was a professor of engineering from 1990 to 2000 at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. He served as IEEE’s vice president of Educational Activities in 1981 and 1982 and received the 1985 IEEE Education Activities Board Meritorious Achievement Award in Accreditation Activities and the 1989 Education Society Achievement Award.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1949, a master’s in 1950, and a Ph.D. in 1955, all in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois.


Former CEO of Kurman Electric and Vocaline
Life Member, 91; died 30 September

Julian Goodstein began his career as a manager at the Radio Receptor Co., which manufactured electrical equipment for the U.S. armed forces during World War II. He left the company to become the chief executive officer of Kurman Electric Co. and then Vocaline Corp., before retiring at age 52.

He was a member of Eta Kappa Nu.

Goodstein received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from New York University, in New York City.


Research scientist, consultant
Senior Member, 62; died 28 August

Peter A. Soltesz spent most of his career as a consultant for high-tech and wireless-communications companies, including Winstar and Boeing. Late in his career, he founded and served as president of PAS-COM, a company in Rockville, Md., that provided consulting services in telecommunications, computers, and data systems.

Soltesz was chair of the IEEE-USA Alliance of IEEE Consultants’ Networks National Conference and Workshop in 1996. He was a member of the IEEE Committee on Communications and Information Policy group.

He earned an engineering degree from the City University of New York and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1970 from New York University.


The following person was not an IEEE member, but he made important contributions to the IEEE fields of interest.


Mathematician, researcher
79; died 2 March

Jacob T. Schwartz, a professor of mathematics and computer science for more than 40 years, wrote an important book on linear theory.

Schwartz taught math and computer science at New York University and Yale University for 46 years. He founded the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU in 1969 and served as its chair until 1977.

He was a consultant in the 1980s for Thinking Machines Corp., an early maker of supercomputers. From 1987 to 1989 he was director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Information Processing and Techniques Office, in Washington, D.C.,

He conducted research in molecular biology and logic until his death.

He wrote more than a dozen books, including Linear Operators, General Theory [Wiley-Interscience, 1988], which he coauthored.

Schwartz received a bachelor’s degree in 1948 from the City College of New York and master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale.

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