In Memoriam: November 2009

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

6 November 2009

Critical facilities consultant
Life Member, 86; died 20 February

Charles H. Krieger was cofounder of the Critical Facilities Round Table, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the resolution of industry issues regarding the engineering, design, and maintenance of mission-critical facilities.

After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Krieger began his career in 1947 at a San Francisco engineering consulting firm. Ten years later, he left to start his own electrical engineering consulting company, Charles H. Krieger and Associates, in San Francisco. He sold it in the late 1980s and became an independent consultant on mission-critical facilities, including those of banks, financial institutions, and data centers; he went on to cofound the Critical Facilities Round Table.

In 2002 Krieger received an IEEE Oakland–East Bay Chapter award for his “outstanding contributions to the design of emergency power systems for data centers.” He also received the 2003 IEEE Individual Region 6 Achievement Award for his contributions to the organization “through his professional and technical activities.”

Krieger served on many boards, including the board of the Consulting Engineers Association of California, and he was past chairman of the San Francisco Uniform Electrical Interpretations Committee and a past president of the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Golden Gate chapter.

He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1947 from the University of California, Berkeley.


Research physicist, engineer, educator
Senior Member, 70; died 20 March

William H. Carter was a research physicist and electrical engineer known for his work in coherence theory, optics, and the statistical properties of light. He also worked in academia.

As a graduate student in the early 1960s at the University of Texas at Austin, Carter developed one of the first lasers in the state. In the late 1960s, he became a research associate at the University of Rochester in New York, where he investigated the nature of laser light, holography, and digital image processing and analysis. Together with fellow university researcher and physicist Emil Wolf, he discovered the quasi-homogeneous source model, a theory that states fields are generated by a source with different coherence properties. Their discovery paved the way for various practical military and civilian applications, such as laser communications.

In 1971 he joined the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington, D.C. Retiring from there in 1993, he went to work for the U.S. National Science Foundation, also in Washington, as program director of its department of Quantum Electronics, Waves, and Beams, retiring from government work for good a year later.

In academia, Carter was an assistant and then associate professorial lecturer in electrical engineering from 1967 to 1969 and 1971 to 1976, respectively, at George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. He was a visiting research fellow from 1976 to 1977 at the University of Reading, England. He was a professor of electrical engineering and graduate school fellow from 1981 to 1982 at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He also taught electrical engineering from 1989 to 1995 at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.

Carter received a bachelor’s degree in 1961, a master’s in 1963, and a Ph.D. in 1966, all from the University of Texas at Austin and all in electrical engineering.


Standards advocate
Life Fellow, 93; died 8 June

Louis Costrell spent most of his career working on standardizing electrical specifications for nuclear instruments.

His career began in 1939 at the Ridgway Co., a manufacturer of electric motors and generators in Ridgway, Pa. After a few months, he joined Westinghouse Corp., in Pittsburgh, where he designed large DC motors and generators. With the outbreak of World War II, Costrell left to become an electrical engineer in the U.S. Navy’s Bureau of Ships, in Washington, D.C.

After the war, Costrell worked on standards for nuclear instruments, and in 1951 he became chief of the Instrument Section at the National Bureau of Standards, in Reno, Nev. There he measured radiation emitted from surface nuclear bomb blasts at the Nevada test site for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), established after World War II to foster and control the development of atomic science and technology. Costrell was a specialist on nuclear measuring equipment for the AEC at the 1955 Atoms for Peace conference in Geneva, a meeting devoted to peaceful uses of atomic energy.

In 1964 Costrell was elected chairman of the AEC’s Committee on Nuclear Instrumentation Modules. As chair, he wrote a manual that became the authoritative textbook on standard electrical specifications for radiation-measuring components, AEC Report TID-208943. Costrell held positions on several standards committees, including chair of the American National Standards Institute Committee on Nuclear Instruments. He was also chief U.S. delegate to the Committee of Nuclear Instrumentation, which was part of the International Electrotechnical Commission.

Costrell received the 1975 IEEE-USA Harry Diamond Memorial Award “for outstanding achievements in nuclear radiation measurement techniques and related instrumentation standardization.”

He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1939 from the University of Maine, Orono, and a master's degree in 1949 from the University of Maryland, College Park, both in electrical engineering.


RF engineer
Life Member, 69; died 1 July

Ralph Trefney holds several patents in radio-frequency design.

He went to work as an RF engineer for Bird Electronics in Solon, Ohio, where he designed both active and passive antennas, digital circuits, and high-speed printed circuit boards. He was promoted in 1978 to head the filter/coupler engineering department. While at Bird, he developed and received a patent for the Wattmeter, the first microprocessor-based RF transmitter.

He left Bird in 1979 to join Sperry-Univac in Santa Clara, Calif., where he worked on flight-critical systems. In the early 1990s, he worked at Stratacom (now Cisco Systems), in San Jose, Calif. While there, he received a patent on “minimizing signal reflection along a transmission line without terminating the transmission line.”

Beginning in 2006 he was a consultant for Science Works Co., in Sequim, Wash., which provided services for wireless communications, antenna design, medical instrumentation, and product certification. He worked there until his death.

Trefney earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1962 from Fenn College in Cleveland (now Cleveland State University).


Utility engineer
Life Senior Member, 92; died 6 July

Anselmo “Sam” Fini devoted his career to managing power facilities and consulting for major electric utilities. He also holds a patent for an apparatus that determines the heating value of a gaseous fuel.

Fini began his career at Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., in Syracuse, N.Y. In 1960 he was promoted to manager of the company’s new meter and laboratory facility in Liverpool, N.Y. This lab was among the first in the United States to test, repair, and adjust electric and natural gas meters. There, Fini designed the first automatic meter-testing equipment. He retired after 41 years but continued to consult for the company and other major utilities until his death.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1939 from Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial School of Technology, now Clarkson University, in Potsdam, N.Y.


Electronics engineer
Life Fellow, 87; died 9 August

David C. Hogg aided in the development of the Big Bang theory through his work on electromagnetic propagation at microwave frequencies.

He began his career in 1953 at Bell Telephone Laboratories, in Holmdel, N.J., experimenting with low-noise communications techniques. The experiments he conducted during the 1960s eventually demonstrated the accuracy of the Big Bang theory. While at Bell Labs, Hogg worked closely with Nobel Prize–winning physicists Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, pioneers in the measurement of cosmic microwave background radiation, whose existence confirmed the Big Bang.

After leaving Bell in 1977, Hogg joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Wave Propagation Laboratory (now the Earth System Research Laboratory of the Physical Sciences Division) and was chief of its environmental radiometry and radio meteorology program until he left in 1986. He helped design and implement wind and radiometric profilers. From 1983 to 1994 he also worked as an adjunct professor of Earth-space radio wave propagation at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Hogg contributed to the book Finding the Big Bang [Cambridge University Press, 2009] and published more than 80 articles on his research in microwaves, radio propagation and attenuation by rainfall, and antenna design.

He was awarded the 1984 IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society’s Distinguished Achievement Award for his technical contributions to geoscience and remote sensing.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in radio physics in 1949 from the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada. He received a master’s degree in 1951 and a Ph.D. in 1953, both in physics, from McGill University, Montreal.


Electrical engineer
Life Fellow, 84; died 7 September

Charles Heising was an electrical engineer at General Electric Co. for nearly four decades.

He began his career there in 1945 as a controls designer for turbojet engine plants in Lynn, Mass., and Evendale, Ohio. In 1960, he moved to the Thule, Greenland, facility to work on an early-warning radar system. He left in 1962 to join GE’s Houston office, where he oversaw reliability management for NASA’s Apollo spacecraft program until 1966. Later that year, Heising moved to GE’s Philadelphia office to become a consulting engineer dealing with the reliability of power transmission and distribution equipment.

In 1981, IEEE awarded Heising a Standards Medallion for his contributions to the development of standards, including writing a reliability handbook covering recommended practices for the design of industrial and commercial power systems.

Heising earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1945 from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.


Scanning radar pioneer
Life Fellow*, 87; died 22 September

Peter J. Kahrilas was an architect of electronic scanning radar systems, spending nearly 30 years in the field.

In the mid-1960s, Kahrilas was manager of the electronic scanning radar department at Sperry-Rand Corp., in Lexington, Mass. He also worked for Hughes Aircraft, also in Lexington, and then joined Raytheon’s Missile Systems division in Lexington, where he was instrumental in the development and testing of the Patriot missile guidance system. He retired in 1989.

He wrote Electronic Scanning Radar Systems Design Handbook [Artech House, 1976], which is still widely used today.

He was elected an IEEE Fellow in 1980 for his "contributions to electronic scanning radar systems."

Kahrilas earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from City College of New York and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, N.Y.

*This item has been corrected since being published.

Electrical engineer
Life Senior Member, 90; died 29 September

Carroll G. Killen Jr. has been involved with the electronics industry since 1941.

He began his career that year at Watson Labs, in Fort Monmouth, N.J.  He worked in a radar development program used in the war effort. In 1947 he became a field engineer for Sprague Electric Co. (now SBE), in North Adams, Mass., a manufacturer of film capacitors, and worked for the company for 40 years. Killen helped develop the first of its Hyrel capacitor product lines, used in military programs such as the Polaris missile and the Apollo space program. He was promoted in 1960 to vice president of military and industrial sales and later became director of the company.

Between 1949 and 1973 Killen consulted for the U.S. Department of Defense’s office in Boston. He was a member of its Parts Specification Management for Reliability study group, which provided guidance for implementing a parts management program.

He also served as president of the Tantalum International Study Center, in Brussels, an international nonprofit whose goal is to increase awareness of the properties of tantalum and niobium, metals used in various alloying and electronics applications.

Killen earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1938 from Louisiana Northwestern State College, Natchitoches, and a graduate degree in electrical engineering in 1940 from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.

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