In Memoriam: September 2010

IEEE mourns the loss of the following members

6 October 2010

Clifford E. Rahming
Director, data processing
Life Member, 76; died 22 June

Clifford E. Rahming spent his career in the telecommunications industry. He started out at the Bahamas Telecommunications Co., in Nassau, where he spent 12 years as a telephone and cable operator. He went on to work in the data processing unit of the public treasury in the Bahamas Ministry of Finance. At his retirement in 1993, he was director of programming and systems for the data processing unit, where he was responsible for seven government departments.

Rahming earned a bachelor of science degree in 1973 from Florida State Christian College, in Fort Lauderdale, and a master of science in 1979 from Tennessee Christian University.


Francis H. Hilbert
Electronics engineering manager
Life Senior Member, 78; died 5 July

Francis H. Hilbert was involved in the management and design of advanced electronic circuits and systems for radio, television, military communications, and enemy avoidance systems.

He spent all but two years of his career at Motorola. He joined the company in 1953 as a member of the military electronics group in Chicago. In 1959, he transferred to the consumer electronics group in Franklin Park, Ill., where he worked on solid-state circuit design for TV products. Later he became manager of the group's research department and worked on ICs for televisions.

When Motorola sold its Franklin Park division to electronics manufacturer Matsushita in 1974, Hilbert stayed on. Two years later he returned to Motorola as manager of advanced engineering for the automotive products group, in Schaumburg, Ill. There, he helped develop the C-QUAM AM stereo system, which later became the national standard for AM stereo broadcasting for Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, the United States, and other countries. Hilbert went on to manage Motorola's modulation systems laboratory, where he continued working in AM stereo broadcasting, until his retirement in 1995.

During the 1980s, Hilbert became one of Motorola's all-time leading patent holders, having secured more than 36 patents for the company in the areas of AM stereo, color television, and IC design.

Hilbert also made many contributions to IEEE. He served as chairman of the International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE) in 1966 and 1981. He also served on the IEEE administrative committees of the Consumer Electronic Group (CEG), Consumer Electronics Society, and Broadcast, Cable, and Consumer Electronics. Hilbert also served on the ICCE board of directors for five years and was elected the first president of CEG.

Hilbert received two outstanding paper awards from IEEE: one in 1967 for "A Method of Directly Demodulating Color Signals" and another in 1968 for "Stereo and Color Demodulation with Integrated Circuit Techniques."

He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1953 from the Fournier Institute of Technology, in Lemont, Ill. He received a master's degree in mathematics in 1959 from Loyola University in Chicago, and a master's degree in business administration in 1967 from the University of Chicago.


Francesco Cerrina
Professor of computer and electrical engineering
Fellow, 62; died 12 July

Francesco Cerrina was a researcher, professor, and entrepreneur in the fields of electrical and computer engineering and nanotechnology.

He began his career in 1980 as a researcher in the chemistry department at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. In 1984 he became an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university, and was promoted to full professor in 1990. From 1989 to 1998, he directed the UW-Madison Center for X-Ray Lithography. He left there to serve as director of the university's Center for NanoTechnology.

In 2008 he moved on to Boston University as chair of the college of engineering's electrical and computer engineering department. There he developed SHADOW, an X-ray tool used for developing complex optical systems. His research focused on the application of physical science and engineering to biological problems and manufacturing, particularly to nanoscale lithography for the development of processors and memory chips.

He cofounded five companies: NimbleGen Systems, Genetic Assemblies, Codon Devices, Biolitho, and Gen9. They were involved in such areas as synthetic biology and the rapid synthesis of DNA microarray chips.

He earned a doctorate in solid-state physics in 1974 from the University of Rome.

The following person was not an IEEE member but did groundbreaking work in IEEE's fields of interest.

Charles S. King
Automobile designer
85; died 26 June

Charles S. King was a pioneer in the automotive industry. He began his career in 1942 at age 17 at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, in Derby, England, where he helped develop gas turbine engines during World War II. He left in 1945 to join the Rover Co., in Solihull, England, to work on the gas turbine-powered JET1 and T3 prototype cars.

In 1952, while testing JET1, he set a land speed record for gas turbine cars: 245 kilometers per hour. King became chief engineer of new vehicle projects in 1959 and led the team that developed the Rover P6 2000 series in 1963, and the Range Rover in 1970. He had also helped design the company's Marauder sports car in 1950 and many other experimental and prototype vehicles.

King left Rover in the 1970s to join the Triumph Motor Co., where he designed aluminum engines for its Triumph Stag and TR8 convertibles. From 1979 until his retirement in 1985, he was chairman of British Leyland Technology, a vehicle manufacturer in England. At British Leyland, he designed the ECV3, an energy-efficient vehicle with a three-cylinder engine, advanced aerodynamics, and a lightweight aluminum frame.

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