Shashi Bhushan Dewan
Power electronics pioneer
Life Fellow, 67; died 17 November
Shashi Bhushan Dewan was a professor, researcher, and entrepreneur in the field of power electronics.
Dewan began his career as a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Toronto. While at the university in 1980, he founded and became CEO of Inverpower Controls, in Burlington, Ont., Canada, a manufacturer of power conversion and protection equipment. In 1997, while still at Inverpower, he became CEO of Digital Predictive Systems, an electrical technology developer in Mississauga, Ont. With funding from DPS, he founded the Center of Applied Power Electronics at the University of Toronto in 1999. He led researchers there in the development of cutting-edge virtual prototyping of power electronic systems.
In 2003 he bought IE Power of Mississauga which, as a subsidiary of DPS, manufactures DC and AC power converters. He became chief executive and technical officer, while holding down his posts at DPS and the University of Toronto. He coauthored three books on power electronics, including Power Semiconductor Circuits [John Wiley & Sons, 1975].
Dewan received a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1961 from Punjab Engineering College, in Chandigarh, India. He received a master's degree in engineering in 1962 from the University of Roorkee (now the Indian Institute of Technology), in India, and a Ph.D. in 1966 from the University of Toronto.
John N. Warfield
Life Fellow, 83; died 17 November
John N. Warfield was an EE professor and researcher in systems engineering.
Warfield began his career as an electrical engineering professor in 1949 at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He moved to Pennsylvania State University later that year, where he taught electrical engineering until 1955. That year he joined the University of Illinois at Urbana, also in the EE department. Two years later he became an EE professor at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind., and went on to teach the subject at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and later at Ohio State University, Columbus. He left in 1973 and spent the next few years as chairman of the department of electrical engineering at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He became a professor of electrical engineering in 1984 at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va., where he taught until his death.
During his career, Warfield was a researcher for several companies, including Wilcox Electric Co. of Kansas City, Mo., and the nonprofit Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio. In 1965, as director of research at Wilcox, he worked on one of the first very-high-frequency transceivers for large jet airplanes that incorporated electronic tuning controlled by analog function generators.
He received bachelors’ degrees in mathematics and electrical engineering in 1948 and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1949 from the University of Missouri. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1952 from Purdue University.
Life Senior Member, 103; died 30 November
Richard Silberstein spent his career researching radio propagation.
He started out as a radio engineer in 1941 at the National Bureau of Standards, in Washington, D.C., where he was involved with predicting the average radio propagation conditions needed for reliable communications by the U.S. armed forces during World War II. Following WWII, Silberstein performed high-frequency propagation experiments for the bureau’s Central Radio Propagation Laboratory. In 1954 he relocated to Boulder, Colo., where he continued radio-propagation research for the bureau’s laboratory there. In 1960, he did similar research for the U.S. Army Radio Propagation Agency at Fort Monmouth, in Little Silver, N.J. He retired in 1966.
Silberstein’s experimental research in high-frequency radio propagation contributed to the understanding before the age of satellites of the role of the ionosphere in over-the-horizon radar, direction finding, and long-distance communications.
He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1930 from Columbia University.
John L. Shaw
Life Senior Member, 86; died 28 January
John L. Shaw spent much of his life as a geophysical researcher.
He began his career at the nickel mining company Inco (now Vale Inco), where he invented a method for prospecting for nickel from the air. He relocated to Inco’s Copper Cliff, Ont., Canada, office to become head of geophysical research there.
In 1974, Shaw joined Inco’s Deep Ocean Mining Project in Bellevue, Wash., and developed methods for large-scale recovery of manganese nodules from the deep ocean. The nodules are polymetallic rock formations on the sea bottom formed of concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides. He organized a joint venture, Ocean Mining, which consisted of a number of mining companies from the United States, Canada, Germany, and Japan, including the U.S. company International Nickel and Japan’s Deep Ocean Mining Co. Under Shaw’s patronage, Ocean Mining was the first organization to successfully mine the deep ocean for nickel deposits in bulk.
Shaw retired from Inco in 1982 and moved back to Bellevue, where he was executive vice president of International Submarine Technology, which developed a side scan sonar for mapping the bottom of the ocean under his leadership. The company was sold to Honeywell in 1988, and Shaw retired.
He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.