In Memoriam: December 2008

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

5 December 2008


Region 9 Director

MEMBER GRADE: Senior Member

AGE: 65

DIED: 27 August

Hugo María Fernández Verstegen held a number of volunteer positions for IEEE, including chair of the Argentina Section’s board of directors from 1987 to 1989 and again in 1997. He served as Region 9 director in 1994 and was the IEEE secretary in 2001.

He was CEO and managing director of Latin America in Buenos Aires at Landis & Gyr, an energy and technology company based in Switzerland.

He was a member of the Rotary Club in Buenos Aires. He received the 2003 Larry K. Wilson Transnational Award from the IEEE Regional Activities Board, now IEEE Member and Geographic Activities, for “his significant contributions to making IEEE a truly global society.”

He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1966 from the University of Buenos Aires.



Artificial-Intelligence Researcher


AGE: 49

DIED: 14 August

Elise H. Turner was an expert in artificial intelligence who specialized in natural-language processing and discourse processing. She died after a seven-year battle with biliary tract cancer.

Turner began her career in 1989 as an assistant professor of computer science at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham. She left in 1995 to become a professor of computer science at the University of Maine, in Orono. She became chair of the department in 2004. She served as codirector of the Maine Software Agents and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, located at the university.

She was a member of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Columbia University in 1984 and 1986. She also earned a Ph.D. in computer science in 1989 from Georgia Tech.



Pulse-Doppler Radar Expert


AGE: 86

DIED: 8 August

Harry B. Smith was known as the father of pulse-Doppler radar, and he helped develop the radar system for high-altitude surveillance aircraft.

Smith began his engineering career at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., in 1942 as a consultant for its radio division. Shortly afterward he enlisted in the U.S. Army, which assigned him to an elite intelligence unit at Harvard University and MIT in 1943. There he helped lead a group of engineers developing decryption machines to let U.S. allies analyze and break German codes. After being discharged with the rank of lieutenant, he joined the Baltimore division of Westinghouse Electric Co. in 1952. Within a year, he was promoted to manager of advanced development and was responsible for building analog and digital computers. With the help of two other Westinghouse engineers, he developed a pulse-Doppler radar system, which became the foundation of the U.S. Airborne Warning and Control System. The system uses a special type of radar to track all aircraft within a battle zone.

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1942 from the University of Missouri School of Mines, in Rolla. He also received a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1949 from the University of Maryland at College Park.

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