In Memoriam: July 2010

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

7 July 2010

Kenneth Clint Slatton
Professor of signals and systems
Senior Member, 39; died 30 March

K. Clint Slatton was an associate professor of signals and systems at the University of Florida, in Gainesville. He died of cancer.

He began his career at the university in 2003, teaching in the departments of electrical and computer engineering and civil and coastal engineering. His research focused on remote sensing, multiscale estimation, data fusion, statistical signal processing, and lidar and radar applications. In 2004, he founded the university’s Adaptive Signal Processing Laboratory.

Slatton received dual bachelor’s of science and aerospace engineering degrees in 1993 from the University of Texas at Austin. He earned master’s degrees in electrical engineering and aerospace engineering from the university in 1997 and 1999, as well as a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 2001.


R. David Middlebrook
Professor of electrical engineering
Life Fellow, 80; died 16 April

R. David Middlebrook was a professor of electrical engineering at Caltech. He joined the university as an assistant professor of electrical engineering in 1955, moving up to associate professor in 1958. In 1965 he became full professor, and he continued teaching at Caltech until his death.

He has been recognized for developing the extra-element theorem, which yields simple formulas for the effect of adding a single element to an electronic circuit. The theorem is still widely used in circuit design and measurement.

He wrote An Introduction to Junction Transistor Theory [John Wiley & Sons, 1957], a textbook lauded for its mathematical models that also helps engineers understand how to apply transistors in circuit design.

Middlebrook received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1951 from the University of Cambridge. He earned a master’s degree in 1953 and a Ph.D. in 1955, also in electrical engineering, from Stanford University.


Dalton H. Pritchard
Television systems developer
Life Fellow, 88; died 18 April

Dalton H. Pritchard was involved in the development of color TV systems, including transmitting encoders, cameras, magnetic recording, and video processing circuitry for receivers.

Pritchard joined RCA Laboratories in Riverhead, N.Y., in 1946 as a member of its technical staff, where he conducted research in communications technologies. He moved to the company’s Princeton, N.J., facility in 1950 to research receivers, color kinescopes, transmitting encoders, cameras, and magnetic recording.

Between 1960 and 1970, he developed video processing circuitry for color TV receivers, information display techniques, and analog techniques employing charge-coupled devices. He also worked on the development of RCA’s Selectavision VideoDisc, a system in which video and audio could be played back on a television set using an analog needle and high-density grooves. As a member of RCA’s Television Research Laboratory, he also researched HDTV systems.

He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mississippi State University, in Starkville.


Maurice J. Raffensperger
Communications engineer
Life Senior Member, 87; died 19 May

Maurice J. Raffensperger worked on Earth orbital studies and served as director of engineering for an international radio broadcaster.

Raffensperger began his career as an engineer at Northrop Nortronics in Anaheim, Calif. In 1964 he joined NASA as director of manned Earth orbital studies. He worked on Skylab, the first U.S. space station. After leaving NASA, he worked for the Defense Communications Agency in Washington, D.C., where he developed synchronized digital networks.

He moved on to the Voice of America, the overseas radio and TV broadcasting service of the U.S. government, and he helped rebuild and update its telecommunications systems. He retired in 1984 as director of engineering.

Raffensperger received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration from George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.


George Lazar
Telecommunication systems engineer
Member, 63; died 14 July 2009

George Lazar specialized in the design and development of communication systems. He held numerous patents for technologies in telecommunications engineering, including a method and device for operating in adjacent channels.

He began his career teaching physics and electronics at Babes-Bolyai University, in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

After relocating to Israel in the 1970s, he began working on communication systems projects for the military. His areas of expertise included designing wireless, RF, and microwave communication systems, as well as antenna technology.

He joined Go Networks (now GoNet Systems) in Tel Aviv and worked at the mobile broadband wireless technology company until his death.


T.A. Pinkham III
Electrical engineer
Life Member, 76; died 2 February 2009

T.A. Pinkham III worked in marketing and business development.

Pinkham began his career as an electrical engineer in 1960 at Doble Engineering, in Watertown, Mass. He left in 1963 to work at Lapp Insulator, a manufacturer of high-voltage ceramic and composite insulators in Le Roy, N.Y. There, he spent the next 34 years in a variety of positions, including director of engineering, director of domestic marketing, and vice president of operations. He was named executive vice president of business development for Eagle Industries, which bought Lapp Insulator in 1986. Pinkham held several patents for insulators he developed during his time at Lapp. He retired from Eagle Industries in 1997.

Pinkham served on several standards committees. From 1983 to 1998, he was chairman of the International Electrotechnical Commission Subcommittee 36 C: Insulators for Substations. He also served on CIGRE, the International Council on Large Electric Systems. He was active on several IEEE standards committees including the IEEE Lightning and Insulator Subcommittee, the IEEE Power & Energy Society’s Transformers Committee and its Transmission and Distribution Committee, and the Substation Committee for the IEEE Standards Board.

Pinkham earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1955 from Northeastern University, in Boston.


The following person was not a member but did pioneering work in IEEE’s fields of interest.

Aaron Cohen
Deputy NASA administrator
79; died 25 February

Aaron Cohen was a NASA engineer and director of the Johnson Space Center, in Houston.

He joined NASA in 1962 and served in several leadership roles, overseeing space flights and lunar landings of the Apollo program. From 1969 to 1972, he was the manager for the Apollo command and service modules, the spacecraft that landed astronauts on the moon. As manager of NASA's Space Shuttle Orbiter Project Office in 1972, he oversaw the design, development, production, and test flights of the shuttles. In 1982 he became director of engineering at Johnson Space Center and was named director in 1986. In that position, he worked to rebuild confidence in the organization after seven astronauts died in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. He left NASA in 1993 to teach engineering at Texas A&M University, in College Station, and he continued to teach there until his death.

Cohen received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1952 from Texas A&M. He earned a master’s degree in applied mathematics in 1958 from Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, N.J.

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