Developed a handheld cable tester for the U.S. Army
Life member, 80; died 28 September
When Rosenzweig was working as an electrical engineer for the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) Center for Command, Control, and Communications Systems, he and a colleague developed a tool that could test a cable’s strength and connectivity. The Army used the tester during Operation Desert Storm.
While serving as a first lieutenant, Rosenzweig received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Clarkson College of Technology, in Potsdam, N.Y. He was honorably discharged in 1964 and went on to earn a master’s degree in EE in 1969 from New York University.
After graduating, Rosenzweig joined the Army Communications R&D Laboratory at Fort Monmouth, N.J., where he worked to improve tactical switch systems. He helped develop several control switch programs including AN/TTC-25, used by U.S. Army Europe; AN/TTC-38, the Army’s first standard stored program; and AN/TTC-39 (TRI-TAC), for secure switching systems.
In 1991 he joined CECOM. The handheld cable tester he and his colleague developed there consisted of two parts—a power unit that houses long-life batteries and resistors and a 26-LED display unit. The test sets were more rugged and reliable, and lower in cost, than the cable testers the Army had been using. Twenty of the sets were shipped to Saudi Arabia for use in Operation Desert Storm.
Safety systems expert
Life member, 70; died 25 January
Deinlein was an expert in safety systems who worked as a principal engineer at power, control, and information systems developer Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee. He helped develop firmware at the company.
Deinlein enjoyed photographing his family during gatherings, according to his obituary. He also liked skiing, cycling, and skydiving.
Walter A. Johnson
Potomac Electric Power vice president
Fellow, 83; died 31 December
Johnson spent nearly his entire career working for the Potomac Electric Power Co., now Pepco Holdings, in Washington, D.C. He retired in 2010.
He was featured in the 1996 Washington Post article “When a Storm Blows Through, He’s Pepco’s Man in Charge.”
Johnson served in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1961 to 1969 before joining Pepco as a drafting room supervisor. He eventually was promoted to manager of the utility’s control center.
He gave seminars and speeches about the concept of central control for electric power companies.
In 1975 he became Pepco’s representative to the Electric Power Research Institute, in Palo Alto, Calif.
After a year, he returned to Pepco as manager of a control center in Maryland. He moved up the ranks at the company and eventually became vice president of special projects, a title he held when he retired.
He also held high-level positions on committees that served the electric power industry, such as the American Power Systems Interconnection Committee, now the North American Reliability Corp.; and PJM, the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland Interconnection.
Johnson received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1960 from Duke University, in Durham, N.C.
He enjoyed cooking, doing crossword puzzles, and gardening.
Professor of electrical engineering
Life Fellow, 90; died 29 October
Before Sechrist began his career in academia, he worked as a staff engineer in 1959 in the research department of defense contractor HRB-Singer, in State College, Penn.
In 1965 he joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. He was promoted to professor in the same subjects. He also served as associate head of the university’s electrical and computer engineering department. As assistant dean of engineering, he helped create a student exchange program with universities in China, Japan, and Russia.
He conducted research in the school’s Aeronomy Laboratory. His research focused on the lower ionospheric D region, which differs from other ionosphere regions because its free electrons almost completely disappear during the night.
Sechrist took a leave of absence from the university in 1992 to serve a four-year appointment as program manager in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the U.S. National Science Foundation, in Washington, D.C.
In 1996 he left the university and joined Florida Gulf Coast University, in Fort Myers, as an adjunct professor of engineering. While there, he created and taught several courses in engineering and technology. He was appointed to the university’s advisory board in 2005 and assisted with the formation of its engineering school.
He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1952 from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He went on to earn a master’s degree in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in EE from Pennsylvania State University in State College.
Chalmers enjoyed amateur radio, golf, and photography.
William John McElroy
Flight instructor and electrical engineer
Member, 69; died 4 August
McElroy, a senior project electrical engineer, retired from Pacific Gas and Electric in 2019. At the time of his retirement he was a licensed electrical engineer in 11 states.
He enjoyed flying planes and was a flight instructor even though he was afraid of heights, according to his wife.
Father of the European Internet
Fellow, 86; died 8 January 2020
Kirstein was considered the “father of the European Internet,” according to his New York Times obituary. He was the first person to connect a computer outside of the United States to the ARPANET—an Internet predecessor—in 1973. He set up Queen Elizabeth’s first official email account in 1976, according to his obituary.
His family, which was Jewish, moved from Germany to Britain in 1937 to escape persecution by the Nazis.
In 1970 he returned to Britain and became a professor at the University of London Institute of Computer Science, which was dissolved in 1974. He joined the faculty at University College London in 1973 and served as head of its computer science department from 1980 to 1994.
In 1973 Kirstein built the university’s email gateway to the United States, making his lab one of the first international connections on the ARPANET, according to the obituary.
The research group he led adopted TCP/IP in 1982, and it was the first group to do so in Europe. Without Kirstein, TCP/IP might have never been introduced on the continent, according to the obituary.
Kirstein received a bachelor’s degree in 1954 from Cambridge. He earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford, in 1955 and 1958. He also received a doctorate in engineering from the University of London in 1970.
Edward James Lewis
Member, 90; died 20 November 2017
After graduating from Hendrick Hudson High School, in Montrose, N.Y., Lewis served in the U.S. Army as a mechanic while stationed in Guam.
He worked for several U.S. companies as an engineer before retiring from Consumer Reports.
He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1950 from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.
In his free time, Lewis enjoyed sailing his boat on the Hudson River.
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