In Memoriam: December 2010

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

6 December 2010
pr Photo: MIT


Electrical engineer


AGE: 88

DIED: 20 July

Paul Rosen helped develop the high-speed modem.

Rosen began his career in the late 1940s at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, in Lexington, Mass. He worked in the communications and mechanical engineering divisions, where he oversaw the development of radar, data encryption systems, and satellites. In 1958, he and a colleague, John V. Harrington, received a patent for a device that rapidly transmitted data over telephone lines. At the time, the standard maximum speed for data transmission was about 600 bits per second, but Rosen and Harrington’s system ran at 1800 bps.

The invention, “Method of Land Line Pulse Transmission,” as it was titled in its patent application, was used during the Cold War in the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) program, a U.S. Army defense project. SAGE involved the installation of more than 100 radars across the northern border of the United States, allowing the U.S. military to monitor the nation’s airspace and its approaches nearly in real time.

Rosen left Lincoln Laboratory in 1977 and spent three years as head of the Defense Communications Agency in Arlington, Va. He returned to Lincoln Labs in 1980 and worked there for four more years before retiring.

He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1944 from Tufts University, in Medford, Mass. He earned a master’s degree in engineering from MIT and a master’s degree in psychiatric counseling in the early 1970s from Boston University.


IJ Photo: Virginia Tech


Electrical engineer


AGE: 79

DIED: 11 August

Ira Jacobs spent most of his life concerned with telephone transmission systems.

Jacobs began his career in 1955 at Bell Labs, in Whippany, N.J., as a member of the technical staff involved with electromagnetic and communications theory. He was promoted to department supervisor in 1960, department head in 1962, and director of the labs in 1967. In that position he oversaw the development of early fiber-optic transmission systems.

He retired from Bell Labs in 1987 to become a professor of electrical engineering, fiber optics, and telecommunications at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg. He left the school on disability leave in 2007 but returned to volunteer there. In 2003 he was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission’s Technological Advisory Council.

Throughout his career he volunteered for IEEE. He was senior advisor to the editor of IEEE Transactions on Communications and was an associate editor of IEEE Photonics Technology Letters. He served on the executive committee of the IEEE Virginia Mountain Section for many years.

Jacobs received a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1950 from City College of New York. He earned a master’s degree in 1952 and a Ph.D. in 1955, both in physics from Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind.


PS Photo: MIT


Former Board of Directors member and society president


AGE: 72

DIED: 22 August

Roger W. Sudbury helped develop microwave solid-state electronics for radar.

Sudbury spent 41 years at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, in Lexington, Mass., after joining the lab in the late 1960s as a technical staff member researching solid-state devices for radar. He was soon promoted to executive officer and led the development of monolithic gallium-arsenide circuits for applications in electronically scanned radars. That research led to developments in U.S. military solid-state radars for missile and air defense—which were used in the F-22 and F-35 fighter jets as well as other aircraft.

From 1976 to 1978, Sudbury served as associate site manager of Lincoln Laboratory’s Kiernan Reentry Measurements Site, in the Marshall Islands. There he oversaw the design of high-frequency solid-state components for active-element phased-array radars.

Sudbury was an active IEEE volunteer. He was 2000 president of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society and served on the IEEE Board of Directors as well as the IEEE Educational Activities Board. He was director of IEEE Division IV–Electromagnetic and Radiation. He chaired the IEEE Conference Publications Committee in 2001 and 2002. In 2006 and 2007 he was a member of the New Initiatives Committee, which reviews proposals for IEEE seed grants. In 2009 he chaired the IEEE Employee Benefits and Compensation Committee.

Sudbury earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1960 from Georgia Tech. He received a master of science degree in 1963 and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1964, both from MIT.


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