In Memoriam: June 2010

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

7 June 2010

tanerM. Turhan Taner

Pioneering geophysicist


AGE: 82

DIED: 6 February

M. Turhan Taner was a geophysicist who pioneered seismic methods used in the collection of geophysical data that led to breakthroughs in the exploration and development of oil and gas fields.

In 1964, Taner helped found Seiscom Delta, a geophysical services company in Houston that explores remote areas of the United States for oil and gas. He went on to serve as the company’s director of research, senior vice president for technology, and chairman. While there, he devised an algorithm to measure the coherence of reflection events along hyperbolic travel-time trajectories. This seismic method is used today to derive stacking velocity fields along seismic traverses.

Taner left Seiscom Delta in 1980 to establish Seismic Research Corp., a developer of geophysical software, also in Houston. As chairman and CEO, he oversaw work on advanced seismic data-processing techniques. The company merged with Petrosoft and Discovery Bay in 1998 to create Rock Solid Images, also in Houston. Taner became senior vice president and chief geophysicist of the company, which develops technology for computing geophysical signatures between wells.

Taner was also an adjunct professor of geology and geophysics at Rice University, Houston.

He received a diplôme engineer in 1950 from the Technical University of Istanbul, which awarded him an honorary Ph.D. in 1991.


Three employees of Tesla Motors, in Palo Alto, Calif., two of whom were IEEE members, died in the crash of a small plane in February.

dougDoug Bourn

Senior electrical engineer


AGE: 56

DIED: 17 February

Doug Bourn was working on digital logic design, analog circuit design, and test fixture design and construction. He was piloting the plane, which flew into electrical lines during a morning takeoff and crashed.

Bourn joined Tesla in 2005 as a senior electrical engineer. He helped develop and test the power electronics of the Tesla Roadster, the company’s showpiece all-electric car.

Before joining the company, he was a senior electrical engineer at Ideo, the product design and development company in Palo Alto that was behind the original Apple mouse and the Palm Treo. He worked on a variety of consumer products and medical electronic devices.

Bourn received a bachelor’s degree in 1973 in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He also held a degree from Michigan Technological University, in Houghton.


finnBrian Finn

Senior manager


AGE: 42

DIED: 17 February

Brian Finn was Tesla’s senior manager of interactive electronics.

He joined the company in 2008, and his work focused on multimodal driver information and human-machine interaction for connected multimedia applications. At the time of his death, he and his team were working on a computerized dashboard system featuring a touch screen for Tesla’s Model S sedan.

Finn began his career as a researcher in 1991 at Fermi National Accelerator Lab, in Batavia, Ill., where he focused on high-energy physics. He left in 1992 to go to work for Nelson Industries of Stoughton, Wis., which produces air and liquid filtration products. There, he helped develop an onboard vehicular communications system, for which he earned his first patent. He left in 2001 to join Volkswagen of America, in Palo Alto, where he managed a research team in the Electronics Research Lab.

Finn received a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, in 1990 and 1992, respectively.

Photos: Rock Solid Images (top); Tesla Motors (2)

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