Fisher Jr., James
The Engineer, 1916, MTU Archives and CCHI
James Fisher, Jr.
b. 29 March 1873, Hancock, MI
d. 16 July 1962, Houghton, MI
- E.M., Mich Mining School, 1893
- Hon. D.E., Mich College Mines & Tech., 1934
- Draftsman, Mich Mining School, 1893-1894
- Hodge Iron Works, 1894-1895
- Instr. Math and Physics, Mich. College Mines, 1895-1899
- Asst. Prof. Math and Physics, MCM, 1900-1902
- Prof. & Dept Head, Math and Physics, MCM/MCMT, 1903-1944
- Director of Adult Education, MCMT, 1945
- Dean of Faculty, MCMT, 1936-1946
- Several different Keweenawans are dedicated to him.
- Had x-ray scars on his hands due to early experimentation with x-rays.
- Regularly gave talks to local community groups most often about the history of the area.
- Had interests in the History of the Copper Country, Physics of Music, Geophysics, and Ojibwa language.
- Distinguished Alumni Award 1953.
- Fisher, J., “Historical Sketch of the Lake Superior Copper District,” Proc. Lake Superior Mining Inst. XXVII, 54-67 (1929).
- Hotchkiss, W. O., Rooney, W. J., and Fisher, J., “Earth-Resistivity Measurements in the Lake Superior Copper Country,” AIME Technical Publication 82, 15 pp, 1928, and Geophysical Prospecting, pp. 51-67, 1929.
- Fisher, J., Ingersoll, L. R., and Vivian, H., Recent “Geothermal Measurements in the Michigan Copper District,” AIME Technical Pub. 481, 11 pp., 1932 (reprinted in MCMT Bull., Vol. 9, no. 4, 1936).
- Fisher, J., and Service, J. H., “Maximum sensitivity-setting of the dip needle,” Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity, Vol 42, No. 2, pp. 137-142, 1936 (reprinted in MCMT Bull. Vol. 9, no. 4, 1936).
- “Fort Wilkens,” in “Michigan History Magazine,” Vol 29 #2, April-June 1945, p. 155.
The Engineer, 1916, MTU Archives and CCHI
Elmer Daniel Grant
b. 25 Feb 1873, Delhi, NY
d. 5 Sept 1935, Richmond, IN
- AB, Colgate University, 1895
- AM, U of Chicago, 1897
(Thesis Title: Determination of the apparent size of a given ellipsoid as seen from a given exterior point, advisor: Bolza)
- PhD, U of Chicago, 1916
(Thesis Title: The Motion of a Flexible Cable in a Vertical Plane, advisor: Moulton)
- Inst. Mathematics, Lewis Institute (now part of IIT), 1896-1899
- Inst. Math and Physics, Mich. College of Mines, 1900-1904
- Asst. Prof. Math and Physics, Mich. College of Mines, 1904-1915
- Assoc. Prof. Math and Physics, Mich. College of Mines, 1915-1920
- Prof. and Dept. Head Math, Earlham College, 1920-1935
- Registrar 1925-1930, Acting Dean 1933-1935, Earlham College
His PhD thesis is a math-physics treatment generalizing the catenary to cables undergoing acceleration, motivated by observations of hoist cables in the local mine shafts.
He made several ca. 3 week trips around Michigan, Wisconsin, and Northern Illinois and Indiana giving an Extension Lecture “Copper Mining in Michigan” illustrated with lantern slides. Many of the talks were given at High Schools and were, at least in part, recruiting trips for the College.
In 1916 he was granted a years leave of absence to allow him to work for the Keystone View Company (Meadville, PA) to promote “visual education” products throughout Colorado and Southern Wyoming.
Attended Waverly (N.Y.) High School and Colgate Academy prior to college.
Attended Grace United Methodist Church when in Houghton.
Hillside College Archives
Arthur Edwin Haynes
b. 23 May 1849, Van Buren (near Baldwinsville), NY
d. 12 March 1915, Minneapolis, MN
- B.S. Hillsdale College, 1875
- M.S. 1877, M. Ph. 1879, Hillsdale College
- Hon. Sc. D., 1896
- Inst. Math and Physics, Hillsdale College, 1875
- Acting Prof. Math and Physics, Hillsdale College, 1876
- Prof. Math and Physics, Hillsdale College, 1876-1890
- Prof. Math and Physics, Michigan College of Mines, 1890-1893
- Asst. Prof. Math 1893-1896, College of Eng., University of Minnesota
- Prof. Math, 1896-1901, College of Eng., University of Minnesota
- Prof. Engineering Math, 1901-1912, University of Minnesota
- Retired 1912.
- London Mathematical Society (elected 1885).
Parents moved to Hillsdale County, MI, in 1858, and were farmers. Attended “academy near Baldwinsville” for a couple years. Summer of 1874: worked construction job at Hillsdale College and helped build the building he would later teach in as Prof. Married College Classmate, May Hewitt, 1875. “Believed in and worked for Prohibition.”
(to 1900, may not be complete)
- “Abnormal refraction,” Am. Meteorol. Journal 1, 446 (1884/85).
- “Unusually Bright Moonlight,” Am. Meteorol. Journal 2, 56 (1885/86).
- “Notes on the occultation of the Sun as seen at Hillsdale College, March 16, 1885,” Sidereal Messenger 4, 121-122 (1885).
Keeling, Jr., Rolland
Rolland Otis Keeling, Jr.
b. 13 August 1925, Hillsboro, IN
d. 13 October 2000, Houghton, MI
- A.B. Wabash College, 1950
- M.S. Penn State, 1952
- Ph.D. Penn State, 1954
- Research Physicist, Gulf Research and Development, Pittsburgh 1954-1960
- Assoc. Prof. Physics, MCMT 1961-1963
- Prof. Physics, MCMT/MTU, 1963-1985
- Physics Department Head 1978-1985
- Member Grace United Church, American Legion
- Sigma Pi Sigma, Phi Beta Kappa
- Served in Army 1943-1946
- Bowled, with wife Esther, in MTU Faculty/Staff Bowling League
- “A Low Temperature X-Ray Goniometer for Structural Studies of Crystal Transitions,” R. O. Keeling and R. Pepinsky, Rev. Sci. Instr. 24, 1087, (1953).
- “An X-ray diffraction study on the transition in NH4H2PO4 at 148oK,” R.O. Keeling, Jr., and R. Pepinsky, Z. Kristallogr. 106, 236 (1955).
- “Structure of NiWO4,” R. O. Keeling, Jr., ACTA Cryst 10, 209-213 (1957).
- U.S. Patent #3,029,341 “X-Ray Absorption Spectrometer,” issued April 1962.
- “X-Ray Absorption Edge Studies of Supported Cobalt Catalysts,” R. O. Keeling, in Developments in Applied Spectroscopy, Vol 2, eds. J R Ferraro and J S Ziomeck (New York: Plenum, 1963) p 263.
- “Magnetite: Preferred Orientation on the Basal Plane of Partially Reduced Hematite,” R. O. Keeling, Jr., and D. A. Wick, Science 141, 1175-1176 (1963).
- “Analysis of Iron in Layer Silicates by Mossbauer Spectroscopy,” G. L. Taylor, A. P. Ruotsala, and R. O. Keeling, Clays and Clay Minerals 16, 381 (1968).
- “A Mossbauer investigation of mechanically induced magnetic anisotropy in natural hematite,” R. O. Keeling, J. Appl. Phys 43, 4736 (1972), errata in J. Appl. Phys. 44, 2443 (1973).
Kunz, A. Barry
A. Barry Kunz
b. 2 Oct 1940, Philadelphia, PA
d. 29 Jan 2001, Marquette, MI
- B.S. Physics, Muhlenberg College, 1962.
- M.S. Physics, Lehigh University, 1964.
- Ph.D. Physics, Lehigh University, 1966.
- Instructor and Research Assoc., Lehigh U., 1966-1969
- Research Asst. Prof, U of Illinois, 1969-1971
- Research Analyst, USAF Aerospace Res. Lab, 1971-1974
- Assistant Prof., U of Illinois, 1971-1973
- Consultant, Photo Products, E.J. Dupont, 1974-1979
- Assoc. Prof., U of Illinois, 1973-1976
- Professor, U of Illinois, 1976-1984
- Adj. Prof., Michigan Tech Univ., 1982-1984
- Presidential Prof., Physics, MTU, 1984-1990
- Presidential Prof., Elec. Eng., MTU, 1990-2001
- Dean of Engineering, MTU, 1990-1991
- Michigan Universities Board of Governors Outstanding Faculty Award, 1987
- MTU Distinguished Research Award, 1986
- Fellow, American Physical Society, Elected to New York Academy of Sciences
- Scientist of the Year, Impressions V Science Museum, 1990
- Head, Physics Department, MTU, 1985-1990
- Principal Investigator on research grants totaling several million dollars.
(out of over 200)
- A. B. Kunz, D. J. Mickish, “Study of Electronic-Structure and Optical Properties of Solid Rare-Gases,” Phys. Rev. B 8, 779-794 (1973).
- A. B. Kunz and M. P. Guse, “Relationship between Surface Electronic-Structure and Chemisorption of Hydrogen by MgO,” Chem. Phys. Lett. 45, 18-21 (1977).
- A. B. Kunz, “Study of the Electronic-Structure of 12 Alkali-Halide Crystals,” Phys. Rev. B 26, 2056-2069 (1982).
- A. B. Kunz and J. M. Vail, “Quantum-Mechanical Cluster-Lattice Interaction in Crystal Simulation – Hartree-Fock Method,” Phys. Rev. B 38, 1058-1063 (1988).
- A. B. Kunz, “Computational considerations for the study of defects in solids,” Theor. Chim. Acta 84, 353-361, (1993).
- M. M. Kukla and A. B. Kunz, “An excitonic mechanism of detonation initiation in explosives,” J. Chem. Phys. 112, 3417-3423 (2000).
William Atlas Longacre
b. 3 August 1906, Carthage, TN
d. 23 Jan 1992, MI
- B.S. and E.Met. MCMT, 1929
- M.A. MCMT, 1941
- Geophysics Research Asst., MCMT, 1929-1937
- Instructor of Math and Physics, MCMT, 1929-1937
- Asst. Prof Math and Physics, MCMT, 1937-1944
- Assoc. Prof. Math and Physics, MCMT, 1944-1948
- Prof. Physics, MCMT/MTU, 1948-1971
- Director of Geophysics, MTU, 1963-1971
- Mining and Milling Service Co., Ltd 1937
- Consol. Min. and Smelting Co., Ltd, 1941-42
- Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co., 1946-1954
- Society for Engineering Education
- Society of Exploratory Geophysics
- Geophysics Union
- Association of Physics Teachers
- MCMT (MTU) Distinguished Teaching Award 1952
- Physics Department Head 1954-1963
- Golden Glove Boxer as Student, Bowler, Golfer
- Manned Penalty Box at Tech Hockey Games many years
- Chaired Athletic Board over 25 years
- Graduate of Arsenal Technical HS, Indianapolis, IN
- “Study of the Problem of Depth Determination by Means of Earth Resistivity Measurements,” W. A. Longacre, AIME Tech Publication 1392, (1941).
- “The Hotchkiss superdip as a vertical intensity magnetometer,” W. A. Longacre, Trans AIME, TP3139L, Mining Engineering, p. 891, October (1951).
The Engineer, 1916, MTU Archives and CCHI
Fred Walter McNair
b. 3 December 1862, Fennimore, WI
d. 30 June 1924, in a train wreck near Buda, IL.
- B.S. U. of Wisconsin (1891)
- Hon. D. Sc., Lafayette College (1907).
- Hon. D. Sc., Rhode Island State College (1919).
- Inst. Mathematics, U of Wisconsin 1889-1891
- Asst. Prof. Math, Michigan Agricultural College, Fall 1891-1893
- Prof. Math and Physics, Michigan College of Mines, 1893-1924
- President, Michigan College of Mines, 1899-1924
- During World War I worked with U.S. Bureau of Standards and later worked on firing methods for large Naval guns (unpublished).
- Member of Grace United Methodist Church in Houghton. His home was at the corner of Houghton and Hubbell Ave, where the Southwest corner of the Memorial Union is currently located.
- American Physical Society (Fellow)
- AAAS (VP for Sect. D 1906)
- American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers (AIME)
- Metals and Mining Society of America
- Lake Superior Mining Institute
- Tau Beta Pi
- Phi Beta Kappa
- President, Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education 1904/05
- Three different MTU buildings were named for him — 2 academic and one residence hall.
(list likely not complete – McNair listed as sole author on all)
- “Simple Huyghen’s apparatus for the optical lantern,” Nature 53, 535 (1895/96).
- “Note on a simple method for Newton’s total reflection experiment,” Science 5, 620-621 (1897).
- “College View of Mining Graduate,” Proc. Lake Superior Mining Inst. Vol VII, 101-106 (1901).
- “The Divergence of Long Plumb Lines at the Tamarack Mine,” The Engineering and Mining Journal 73, 578-580 (1902).
- “Divergence of Long Plumb Lines at the Tamarack Mine,” Science XV, No. 390, p 994 (June, 1902). Reprinted in Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity, Sept 1902, pg 143.
- “The Divergence of Long Plumb Lines at the Tamarack Mine,” Electrical World and Engineer XXXIX, No. 17, 721-723 (1902).
- “How Bodies Fall in Deep Vertical Shafts,” Mining and Scientific Press, Vol XCIII No. 2, 56-57 (July 14, 1906).
- “An Experiment on Easterly Deviation Beneath the Earth’s Surface,” Science XXIII, 415-416 (1906).
- “Some Problems Connected with Deep Mining in the Lake Superior Copper District,” Proc. Am. Assoc. Adv. Sci., Meetings 56 & 57, 447-456 (1907).
- “Note on a Method in Teaching Optical Mineralogy,” American Journal of Science, Series 4 Vol. XXXI, 292-296 (1911).
National Bureau of Standards, 1923
Nathan Sanford Osborne
b. 10 Feb 1875, Southampton, N.Y.
- EM Michigan College of Mines 1899
- Hon. Sc. D. Stevens Inst. of Technology 1930
- Hon. Doctor of Engineering MCMT 1936
- Asst. in Physics, Mich School Mines, 1896
- Instr. Math and Physics, Mich College of Mines, 1897-1899
- Mining Engineer, Champion Copper Co. & E J Longyear Co., 1899-1900
- Inst. Math and Physics, Michigan College of Mines, 1901-1903
- Lab Assistant, US Bureau of Standards, 1903-1906
- Asst. Physicist, US Bureau of Standards, 1906-1910
- Inst. Math and Physics, Michigan College of Mines, 1910-1912
- Assoc. Physicist, US Bureau of Standards, 1912-1919
- Physicist, US Bureau of Standards, 1919-1928
- Principal Physicist, US Bureau of Standards, 1928-1939
Most noted for calorimetric measurements at the Bureau of Standards which were essential to make accurate steam tables. Author of many National Bureau of Standards (NBS) publications.
See, for example:
- “A Calorimetric Method of Surveying the Behavior of Steam,” Mechanical Engineering 46, 88-90 (1924).
- N. S. Osborne, H. F. Stimson, D. C. Ginnings, “Calorimetric determination of the thermodynamic properties of saturated water in both the liquid and gaseous states from 100 to 374oC,” J. Res. Natl. Bur. Standards (U.S.) 18, 389-447 (1937).
More details of his contributions at NBS can be found in NBS special publication 958, Jan. 2001, pages 49-52.
Fay Lilford Partlo
b. 23 Mar 1901, Fairgrove, MI
d. 7 Aug 1996
- EM, Mich College Mines, 1923
- BS, Mich College Mines, 1926
- Ph.M., U of Wisconsin, 1930
- Asst. In Mathematics, MCM, 1922
- Instr. Math and Physics, MCM 1923-1925
- Asst. Prof. Math and Physics, MCMT, 1926-1935
- Assoc. Prof. Math and Physics, MCMT, 1936-1943
- Prof. Physics, MCMT, 1944-1953.
- Physics Department Head, MCMT, 1944-1947.
- Dean of College, MCMT, 1947-1953.
- President, S. Dakota School of Mines, 1954-1966.
- Prof. Physics, S. Dakota School of Mines, 1966-1971.
- MCMT Coordinator of War Training Programs, 1943-1946.
- MCMT Director of Extension Services, 1946-1954.
- Awarded the Bliss Medal by the Society of American Military Engineers in 1965.
- Described as a quiet man who led unobtrusively and without grandstanding.
- Partlo, F. L., and Service, J. H., Seismic Refraction Methods Applied to Shallow Overburdens, AIME Trans Vol 110, p. 1, and Geophysical Prospecting 1934, pp. 473-492, 1934 (reprinted in MCMT Bull., vol 8, no. 2, 1935).
- Partlo, F. L., and Service, J. H., Instantaneous Speeds in Air of Explosion Reports at Short Distances from the Source, Physics Vol. 6, No. 1, pp 1-5, 1935.
- Essentials of General Physics, J. H. Service and F. L. Partlo (Edwards Bros, Ann Arbor, 1940).
b. 2 May 1893, St. Louis, MO
d. 29 May 1976, Baltimore, MD
- AB, Washington (St Louis), 1913
- AM Chicago, 1915
- PhD Chicago, 1920
(Thesis Title: The Transformation of Waves through a Symmetrical Optical Instrument, advisor – Arthur C. Lunn. See Phys. Rev. 18, 62-77 (1921).)
- Inst. Math, Northwestern, 1916-1923
- Assoc. Prof. Math, Vanderbilt, 1923-1925
- Mathematical Physicist, Amerada Corp. And Geophys. Research Corp., 1925-30
- Consulting Mathematical Physicist, 1930-1931
- Asst. Prof. Math and Physics, Michigan College of Mining and Technology, 1931-1935 (Was on leave the last year to do ground resistivity studies in Southern Nevada)
- Senior Geophysicist, US Bur. Of Mines and Geological Survey (USGS), 1935-
Only child, Nancy Grace Roman, attended Houghton Central School for grades 3 to 5. She later became Chief of Astronomy for NASA. She credits, in part, views of the Northern Lights seen when living in Houghton as a possible factor leading to her career in astronomy.
Publications by Irwin Roman During MCMT Years
- Roman, I., Least Squares in Practical Geophysics, AIME, Transactions, Geophysical Prospecting, pp. 460-506, 1932.
- Roman, I., The Calculation of Electrical Resistivity for a Region Underlying Two Uniform Layers, Terrestrial Magnetism, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 117-140, and Vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 165-202, 1933.
- Roman, I., Analysis of Seismic Profiles, AIME Contribution no. 64, 35 pp., 1933 (reprinted in MCMT Bull. Vol 7, no. 2, 1934).
- Roman, I., Some Interpretations of Earth-Resistivity Data, AIME Contribution no. 66, 15 pp., 1934.
- Roman, I., and Sermon, T. C., A Magnetic Gradiometer, AIME Technical Publication no. 542, 17 pp, 1934.
- Roman, I., and Sermon, T. C., Some Recent Methods of Magnetic Prospecting, MCMT Bull., Vol 8, No. 1, 1934.
- Roman, I., and Sermon, T. C., Some Magnetic Gradiometer Developments During 1934-35, American Geophysical Union Transactions, 16th annual meeting, Wash. D.C., pt. 1, pp 181-188, National Research Council, 1935.
- Roman, I., Some Recent Methods of Seismic and Electrical Prospecting, MCMT Bull., Vol. 8, No. 2, 1935.
Thomas Croxford Sermon
b. 25 July 1903, Superior, WI
d. 1 Feb 1983, Houghton, MI
- A.B. Central State Teacher’s College, MI, 1929
- B.S. Mining Eng, MCMT, 1936
- M.S. Geophysics, MCMT, 1940 (Thesis Title: A null current indicator)
- Instr. Math and Physics, MCMT, 1926-1938
- Asst. Prof Math and Physics, MCMT, 1939-1943
- Assoc. Prof. Physics, MCMT, 1944-1947
- Prof. Physics, MCMT/MTU, 1948-1970
- Physics Department Head 1948-1954
- Registrar, MCMT/MTU, 1954-1970
- Director of Student Services, MTU, 1964-1970
- Member Association of Physics Teachers, Society for Engineering Education.
- Roman, I., and Sermon, T. C., A Magnetic Gradiometer, AIME Technical Publication no. 542, 17 pp, 1934.
- Roman, I., and Sermon, T. C., Some Recent Methods of Magnetic Prospecting, MCMT Bull., Vol 8, No. 1, 1934.
- Roman, I., and Sermon, T. C., Some Magnetic Gradiometer Developments During 1934-35, American Geophysical Union Transactions, 16th annual meeting, Wash. D.C., pt. 1, pp 181-188, National Research Council, 1935.
Jerry Hall Service
b. 12 June 1888, New Carlisle, IN
d. 3 Sept 1980, Eugene, OR
- BS in EE, Rose Polytechnic, 1912
- MS, Ohio State University, 1917 (Thesis Title: Effect of Introduction of an Obstacle into a Spark Gap)
- PhD, Ohio State University, 1928 (Thesis Title: The Transmission of Sound through Sea Water)
- Engineering Apprentice, GE Co., 1912
- Teacher, Morgan Park Academy. MN, 1913-1915
- Asst. in Physics, Ohio State, 1915-1917
- US Army School of Aeronautics, Ohio, 1917-1918
- Dean, Trade and Eng. Schools, Youngstown Inst. Tech, 1920-1923
- Engineer and Physicist, US Coast and Geodetic Survey, 1923-1928
- Prof. Physics and Math, Henderson State Teachers Coll., AR, 1928-1932
- Asst. Prof. Math and Physics, MCMT, 1932-1938
- Assoc. Prof. Math and Physics, MCMT, 1938-1946
- (On leave 1940-1946 during WW II, USN)
- Prof. Physics, MCMT, 1947-1952
- Physics Department Head, 1947-1948.
- Captain in US Navy. Retired to Harbor Springs, MI area.
- Active in VFW – compiled a list of Civil War Graves for Emmet Co., MI, in 1962.
- Jerry H. Service and George E. Frease, “A Laboratory Manual of Machine Shop Practice” (Van Nostrand Co., NY, 1924).
- N. H. Heck and J. H. Service, “Velocity of Sound in Sea Water,” Science 64, 627 (1926).
- J. H. Service, “Transmission of Sound through Sea Water,” J. Frank. Inst. 206, 779-807 (1928).
- Partlo, F. L., and Service, J. H., “Seismic Refraction Methods Applied to Shallow Overburdens,” AIME Trans Vol 110, p. 1, and Geophysical Prospecting 1934, pp. 473-492, 1934 (reprinted in MCMT Bull., vol 8, no. 2, 1935).
- F. L. Partlo and J. H. Service, “Instantaneous Speeds in Air of Explosion Reports at Short Distances from the Source,” Physics 6, 1-5 (1935).
- J. Fisher and J. H. Service, “Maximum Sensitivity-Setting of the Dip-Needle,” Terr. Mag. 41, 137-142 (1936).
- J. H. Service, “Essentials of Engineering Astronomy,” (NY, Prentice Hall, 1937, MCMT, Houghton, 1946).
- J. H. Service and F. L. Partlo, “Essentials of General Physics,” (Edwards Bros, Ann Arbor, 1940).
See also Special Publications No. 108 and 147 of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey, US Gov. Print Ofc., 1920’s.
b. 26 November 1916, Jackson, MI
d. 3 June 1989, St Paul, MN
- A.B. MI State Normal (Eastern Michigan Univ.), 1938
- B.S. Mining engineering, MCMT, 1942
- M.S. MCMT, 1950
- Ph.D. (Geophysics) Pennsylvania State Univ., 1958
- High School Teaching, Newberry MI, 1938-1940
- Survey Party Chief, U.S. Army Engineers, 1942-1943
- Engineering Officer, U. S. Navy, 1943-1946
- Research and Test Engineer, Acme Industries, 1946-1947
- Instructor, MCMT, 1947-1951 GTA, Penn. State Univ, 1951-1952
- Lecturer in Atomic Weapons, U.S. Navy, 1952-1954
- Graduate Student, Penn. State Univ., 1954-1957
- Assistant Professor, MCMT, 1957-1958
- Associate Professor, MCMT, 1958-1962
- Professor, MCMT/MTU, 1962-1986
- Captain, U.S. Naval Reserve, 1964-
- Ran NSF Sponsored Summer Program “Institute In Earth Science” in 1960’s.
- MCMT (MTU) Research Award, 1958
- MCMT (MTU) Honorary “M” Award, 1961
- MTU Distinguished Teacher Award, 1968
Ran Cross Country for Jackson, MI, High School and MI State Normal (“All State”). Said he really did not have a first name, but the Navy had no provision for that and they listed him as “Donald.”
- “Gravity Investigations in the Iron River-Crystal Falls Mining District of Michigan,” L. O. Bacon and D. O. Wyble, AIME Trans., Tech. Paper 3383L (1952).
- “Effect of Applied Pressure on Conductivity, Porosity and Permeability of Sandstones,” D. O. Wyble, Jour. Petro. Tech. I.N. 2202, Nov. (1958).
Keith M. Baldwin, 85, passed away on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at Marquette General Hospital.
He was born May 25, 1928, in Buffalo, N.Y. Moving to Michigan in 1937, he graduated from Eastern High School, Lansing, Mich., in 1946. During his high school years, he honed his skills in radio repair and early electronics which created a lasting interest in electronics that he fostered his entire life. Keith graduated from Michigan State University in 1950 with both a degree in physics as well as a state high school teaching certificate for physics and math.
In order to spend more time with his family Keith left industry in 1963 to pursue a career in teaching and joined the Michigan College of Mining and Technology as an Associate Professor of Physics. He taught many physics classes/senior lab and served as a faculty advisor for graduate students. In the early 70’s, Keith also became involved with the Keweenaw Research Center (KRC). He worked on vehicle research projects and helped to secure contracts for vehicle testing. After early retirement from MTU in 1984 at the age of 55, MTU partnered with Keith and formed KMB/Tech. He developed laboratory physics equipment marketed to physics teachers.
Professor Emeritus Don Daavittila (Physics) knew him well. “He was very interested in his subject and a very good teacher,” he said. “I enjoyed knowing him very much. He was also a Tech hockey fan, he was even at some games this year. Keith was a good guy.”
Professor Don Beck (Physics) also remembers his teaching ability. “I remember him saying that he liked teaching C and D students especially because he was able to see how much they learned as they progressed through his courses.”
Associate Professor Will Cantrell (Physics) and the Baldwins were members of the same congregation. “I remember Keith’s kindness and generosity,” he said. “He and his wife provided the piano we use for music, which has made quite a difference to our church.”
Former physics professor and Michigan Tech alum, David Chimino, passed away on July 5, 2019. Professor Chimino graduated from Michigan Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics and served as faculty in the Department of Physics for 42 years, teaching physics and astronomy.
During his tenure, Dave received the Distinguished Teaching Award and was appointed
the rank of Presidential Professor for his outstanding teaching. As stated by former
college dean and provost, Max Seel, “Dave’s endearing claim to fame was that he could
draw perfect circles on the chalkboard in physics class. Everyone who went through
his introductory physics lectures remembers.” Sue Hill had an undergraduate class
with him and said, “Dave was friends with his students. He always had time to talk
Professor Chimino built a private optical observatory in Atlantic Mine, named Amjoch Observatory after his parents. He was active in community outreach sharing his Cosmic Journey science lectures and after retiring as faculty, mentored Michigan Tech students pursuing their high school teaching certification in science and math. Dave will be remembered for his spirit of generosity and kindness.
Former physics professor and Michigan Tech alum, Donald Daavettila, passed away on July 31, 2019. Professor Daavettila graduated from Michigan Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics and a Master’s degree in Nuclear Physics. Following stints at Argonne National Lab and the Enrico Fermi reactor, Don was hired to develop a nuclear physics program at Tech. He served as faculty in the Department of Physics for 40 years.
During his tenure, Don received the State of Michigan Excellence in Teaching Award in 1991 and Michigan Tech’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1994. He was a well-known figure in many Husky athletic programs, especially as timing official for home hockey games, and was inducted into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. Following his retirement in 2000, he continued to teach in physics and serve as Tech’s radiation safety officer.
Professor Daavettila was the faculty advisor to the student and fraternal organizations, volunteered for Tech’s centennial fundraising, and was honored by the Alumni Association with their Outstanding Service Award in 2005. As stated by Ravi Pandey, physics chair, Don and his wife supported Michigan Tech in many aspects. He will be remembered for his cheerful and generous spirit.
Hinzmann, Paul R.
Paul Revere Hinzmann, professor emeritus of physics, died on Nov. 30, at the Clark Retirement Home in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was 99 years old.
He was born in Tipton, Mich., and lived in Ohio before attending the Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve). He attended his 70th reunion there in 2005.
Hinzmann received a master’s degree in education from the University of Michigan before beginning his teaching career at Michigan Tech in 1946. He taught until 1977 and was also the University photographer during his tenure at Tech. He was recalled as a patient, caring teacher who loved the enthusiasm of students. After retirement, he was active in the local Boy Scouts chapter, Isle Royale Natural History Association, and Golden Kiwanis.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Alvin and Wade. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Elsie (Feigley) Hinzmann and his children, Georgia (Hugh) Makens of Grand Rapids, Mich. and Vincent (Nancy) Hinzmann of Milford, Mich. grandchildren and other family members.
Paul wished his body to be donated to science with the MSU Medical School being the recipient.
Janke, Robert A.
Kraft, a former associate professor, first met Janke in 1961. Kraft described Janke as both a park naturalist and a scientist on Isle Royale, where he worked every summer, beginning in the 1940s. “He had an affection for Isle Royale,” Kraft recalls. “He’d still be there if he could.”
Professor Emeritus Rolf Peterson, who first met Janke in 1967, recalls him as “a very cheerful guy who was helpful and reliable.” Peterson didn’t work with Janke, but they both worked extensively on Isle Royale, so they crossed tracks often. Peterson described Janke as a man of integrity and accomplishment–“known for his work in forest ecology for many decades, and one of the first two forest ecologists at Tech.”
Janke, who retired in the early 1980s, earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Michigan, a master’s in physics from Michigan Tech, and a doctorate in biology from the University of Colorado.
Janke attended Portage Lake United Church, in Houghton, where he was active in the choir. He also enjoyed singing in the Copper Country Chorale and the Ecumenical Choir, and he enjoyed folk dancing.
In 1944, he married the former Nadine Key. The couple lived first in Houghton and then Boston Location. His wife preceded him in death in 2006.
Surviving are four children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Mandeville III, Charles Earle
"Charles Earle Mandeville III, educator, administrator, and experimentalist in low-energy
nuclear physics, died in Socorro, New Mexico, on 14 January 2003 of complications
from a stroke.
Born on 3 September 1919 in Dallas, Texas, Mandeville was valedictorian of his class at Adamson High School. He served as a private in the Texas National Guard 112th Cavalry band from 1936 to 1937 while attending Rice University, where he received a BA in 1940, MA in 1941, and PhD in 1943, all in physics. His PhD thesis, “The Energies of Some Nuclear Gamma-rays,” was under the supervision of Harold A. Wilson. He was a fellow in physics at Rice while a graduate student. Until the end of World War II, he was a staff member at MIT’s Radiation Laboratory, where he assisted in the advancement of American military radar. He returned to Rice as an instructor after the war, continued his earlier research involving gamma-raysprectroscopy, and expanded his pursuits to include neutron scattering.
In 1946, Mandeville began his professional research career as a nuclear physicist with the Bartol Research Foundation of the Franklin Institute in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. He participated in a unique program that allowed students from India who had an MSc in physicisto conduct their doctoral research at Bartol and then submit their theses to their respective universities in India. More than a dozen students under his guidance benefited from that program. From 1950 to 1956, Mandeville was a visiting lecturer in radiological physics at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine; he spent the summer months consulting with the US Naval Ordinance Test Station in China Lake, California. He served as an assistant director of Bartol from 1953 to 1959.
His research interests involving alpha-, beta-, and gamma-ray spectroscopy led to his determination of properties of nuclear energy levels. His early pioneering work on beta decay of nuclei, from low Z to high Z elements, helped in calculating comparative half-life values, which were important in the formulation in 1949 of the single-particle shell model of nuclei. One aspect of his research was the use of photosensitive Geiger—Mueller counters to detect scintillation induced by gamma and beta rays, a precursor to the sodium iodide—photomultiplier combination for gamma-ray spectroscopy. Other work along that line included storage of energy in some activated alkali halide phosphors, luminescence of beryllium oxide, and phosphorescence of thorium oxide.
Yearning to return to his beloved South, he accepted the position of head of the physics department at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in early 1959. For the next two years, he concurrently served as a consultant to the Army Rocket and Guided Missile Agency at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville.
Mandeville subsequently took a job as a professor of physics at Kansas State University in Manhattan, working in that position until 1967. His research group used the university’s Triga teaching reactor to produce short-half-life radioactive sources from isotopically enriched materials. While at KSU, he initiated efforts that culminated in the acquisition of a tandem Van de Graaff accelerator. He consulted during summers with the US Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory in San Francisco and with Kaman Nuclear, a division of Kaman Aerospace, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Mandeville then joined Michigan Technological University in Houghton as head of the physics department and, in 1975, became the director of special projects of the MTU energy research committee. At MTU, he continued his lifelong research interest in gamma-ray emissions. He also worked on a semiclassical model of ferromagnetism and taught basic physics until his retirement in 1984. Following his retirement, Mandeville and his wife relocated to Houston and later moved to Phoenix, Arizona, for three years before finally settling in Socorro.
A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Mandeville served as a consultant, at various times, to a congressman, a nuclear power utility, and several other energy-oriented companies. He received a patent in 1957 for a device that determines the intensity of nuclear radiations.
Throughout his life Mandeville enjoyed playing the piano and was an accomplished percussionist who was proficient in all the section instruments, including the xylophone and the spoons. He was lead percussionist of the Swarthmore Symphony Orchestra for eight years. His other interests included collecting coins; precious and semiprecious stones; 19th- and 20th-century American art glass; antique buttons; European hard-paste porcelain; art objects of gold, silver, and platinum; and original Japanese woodblock prints by Hokusai. He was an avid collector of Bakelite jewelry in his later years. He was also a budding novelist; his book University (Exposition Press, 1973) was based on his academic experience.
For both of us he was our teacher and guide. We remember him as a man of high ethical standards."
-Vasant R. Potnis and Gary P. Agin, 2003
Marshall Jr., Samson A.
Dr. Marshall was a Professor of Physics at Michigan Tech from 1981 to 1995. He passed away in October 2008 in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Marshall had a long and distinguished career in experimental physics, resulting in a Michigan Tech Research Award and more than 60 publications. His research interests spanned many areas of solid state physics, including magnetic defects, electron spin resonance, nuclear magnetic resonance, crystal field theory, and hyperfine interaction.
Marshall came to Tech in 1981 as a full professor, after working at Argonne National Lab in suburban Chicago for about 18 years. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology, a master’s from the University of Michigan, and a PhD from Catholic University in Washington, DC. He worked as a physicist for the National Bureau of Standards, the U. S. Naval Ordnance Lab, and the IIT Research Institute. Marshall was born in Chicago. He is listed in American Men and Women of Science and Who’s Who in Science. He retired in 1995 and was granted emeritus status in 1996.
Memorials from our Alumni, Students & Friends
"Sam served as a “seed” for the development of the Physics department’s experimental Ph.D. research program. He had a number of hurdles to overcome in getting his laboratory (the first one in the new program) up and functioning. He found ways—several of them humorous—around these hurdles. One episode involved having to tighten up the bolts on the cargo portion of the truck he had rented to transport some of his lab equipment from Chicago to MTU, during the trip. Fortunately, he was travelling with our machinist.
I remember his submitting a paper to a journal and getting it back to referee! He wrote the editor that it was an excellent paper, but that he was biased, as he was its author. Don Yerg, Jim Waber, he and I went to lunch together quite often. On occasion, a younger colleague attended—who named us the “Golden Girls”. I’m not admitting to any grey hair at that time, though!
Sam had good judgement and was good at spotting people who were “faking it”. He trained several Ph.D. students at MTU, whose theses are listed on our departmental site. He treated them fairly and thoughtfully.
I think he would be proud of what the MTU Physics Department has become."
—Don Beck, Professor MTU Physics
"The last time I visited him in Chicago (2007 or so) he wasn’t doing very well. This was after his second quadrupole bypass surgery. He refused to go for a walk and didn’t want to sit in the evening in his open garage, drink wine with me and look at beautiful Chicago women. This used to be his favorite evening activity each time I would show up.
However, he felt good enough to take me for a ride in his car to the nearest Dunkin-Donuts where I had coffee (black) and he had few of the greasiest donuts out there. On the way back he insisting on stopping at IHOP and eating a helping of fries. All of this was a great secret because Janet wouldn’t let him eat that stuff. He would just tell me that he wants to die happy."
—Jacek Borysow, MTU Physics
"Sam had a wonderfully strange sense of humor and an ability to tell you just about anything with a straight face, no matter how outrageous. One time I went to a dinner get-together and saw that Sam was there without his wife, Janet. This was unusual and so I asked him about it. He leaned toward me, looked me straight in the eyes and with a most serious tone said “Janet left me.” He continued to look at me with a most serious look for several seconds while I squirmed with discomfort at my faux pas. Then he broke a small smile, sat back, and completed his sentence “…to go to Chicago for the weekend.” He knew he had gotten me once again."
—Bryan Suits, MTU Physics Dept
"Sam gave me a chance as a grad student and started me on the path to becoming a true experimentalist. He provided me with the skills that enabled me to achieve what I have accomplished today. He also had a humor that was his own. I will never forget his pet squirrels. He was so proud of them, in a weird sort of way. If he had ever shown them to you, you would understand what I mean.
Mark Parent, Naval Research Laboratory, Wash D.C.
Sam had his office down the hall from mine. It was always fun to stop by and talk to him about everything, latest news, science, politics, culture. He was widely read and had a wicked sense of humor. Sam would take on everything, especially what he perceived as nonsense, trivialities, and stupidities emanating from administrative authorities. He made sure that later, when I became dean, I would not lose sight of what’s essential in a university.
Max Seel, MTU Physics, Prvost and VP for Academic Affairs (interim)
As a fresh MTU graduate student from China back in 80’s, I used to respectfully address him as “Professor Marshall”. Soon, I was fortunate to have him as my advisor and he insisted that I called him Sam. At first, he gave an impression of very serious and straight physics professor and did not smile much, but deep down, as I spent more and more time with him, he was a very kind and caring advisor and perfect gentlemen.
So many times when we had to stay late in the lab because of an unexpected glitch in an experiment, we would be pleasantly surprised by Uncle Sam’s personal delivery of wonderful, greasy supreme pan pizza from Pizza Hut. That’s why Pizza Hut is still my favorite pizza restaurant till today. Sam used to take us to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago for some experiment. Almost every time, he would treat us at his favorite Chinese restaurant, “Red Cotton”, in the Old Chinatown. His favorite one was always “hot and sour soup” and we would share a big bowl of soup each time. He claimed that the soup at that Chinese restaurant was so unique that one could find nowhere else.
After graduating from Michigan Tech, I was fortunate to work with him again at Argonne National Laboratory as the postdoctoral fellow. He was spending his Sabbatical leave from MTU. He was very proud to see that my experimental physics training at his lab was making an important contribution to the success of our Photosynthesis projects at Argonne. During that time, my wife and I visited his Chicago home. Sam proudly demonstrated his puppy dog talent playing as “a peace maker” between Janet and him (by “faking an argument” with Janet in front of his dog). To this day, we still vividly remember that scene and all that seemed to be not very long ago.
Sam used to walk daily as part of Doctor’s exercise order. He had this special type of hat to wear because of cold Houghton weather and we called it KGB hat. He loved that name and every time he would tell his walking buddies that he had to get his KGB hat before going out with them. He said that made him feel like a KGB agent in the movies. He was always proud of his energy and keen sense of his surroundings. He always reminded me that one is really too old when he stops noticing beautiful women around him. Sam was always young at heart.
Above all, Sam was a true experimental physicist. As his graduate student, I spent long hours working with him in his EPR laboratory to assemble different waveguide configurations and to design various experiment. The experimental physics skills I learned through that hands-on experience working with him on various physics instruments benefit me throughout my career. Even today, I still see myself approaching the problem solving the way I was trained in his lab. Sam was a kind and intelligent teacher, a dear friend, and a humble human being. He will forever live in our hearts and truly be missed by many."
—Yuenian Zhang, Clinical Radiation Oncology Physicist, Indianapolis, IN
"I remember Sam not only as a terrific scientific mentor who really helped me develop professionally during the early stages of my career, but also as a warm father figure who made me feel welcome as a recently immigrant from China still adjusting to a new environment.
Sam’s compassion extended well beyond the way he treated his students. One morning in the late 1980’s, we were driving to the Argonne National Laboratory when a puppy jumped out into the road in front of us on the high way 141 near the Crystal Falls. Fortunately, when we hopped out and checked under the car, we found the puppy uninjured, but it was apparently quite traumatized from the near accident. Even though we were in a rush, Sam took the time to calm the puppy, caressing it tenderly in his arms, before we resumed our trip.
I am forever indebted to Sam for giving me the opportunity to work in his lab. I am a better person for having known him, and I am truly saddened to learn of his passing."
—Cheng Yu, Prof. Radiation Oncology, Keck School of Medicine, USC
Professor Emeritus Robert H. “Bob” Mount, a longtime member of the physics faculty, passed away July 2 at his home in Hancock. He was 86 years old.
Mount came to Michigan Tech in 1954 from Cleveland Cliffs Iron Co., where he was employed as the chief geologist. He retired from the University in 2000. For much of his career, he taught introductory physics courses. “His 46 years of service is the second-longest in department history—the longest being James Fisher,” said physics professor Bryan Suits.
His colleagues remember Mount as health conscious. “His extensive early-morning exercise routine was very important to him,” Suits said. “He would retire early so he could get up at 3 or 4 a.m. to do his workout. Hence, he often passed when it came to attending the department’s evening events—they were past his bedtime.”
Professor Don Beck also remembered his physical fitness—and his motorcycle, which he rode to campus whenever weather permitted. “He was an amiable colleague,” said Beck, “and he had an extensive collection of college-level books that he managed to fit into one of our smallest offices.”
Mount donated most of that collection to the Society of Physics students upon his retirement. “Fourteen years later, those books are still in the undergrad physics room and are consulted and used on a regular basis, sometimes even by grad students and professors,” said Professor Raymond Shaw.
Professor Robert Nemiroff remembers Mount as a cheerful sort, before and after his retirement. “He always seemed in good spirits and had kind words or a humorous story for me, and I would expect for his students as well,” he said.
Mount was also an animal lover with a big heart, said Professor Jacek Borysow. “Bob took all the ugliest dogs from the animal shelter and took care of them,” he said. “I think there were times when he had something like six dogs, and they all had missing legs, ears or tails, and they were very old.”
Mount served in the army at the end of World War II and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and an MS in Geophysics from Michigan Tech.
Physics professor emeritus Vasant Potnis, who retired from Michigan Tech in 1996, passed away Sept. 15 in Gwalior, India.
Potnis was born in 1928 in India and earned Bsc, MSc and PhD degrees from Agra University before traveling by boat to the US in 1954.
He came to the University in 1968 from Kansas State University, one of a nuclear physics research group that included Gary Agin. Potnis’s research focused on low-energy nuclear physics, beta and gamma ray spectroscopy, and time variations of cosmic radiation, and he published numerous papers.
“Vasant was easy going and very agreeable,” remembers Agin, professor emeritus of physics, who retired from the University in 2008.
Physics professor Don Beck agreed. “Vasant’s pleasant personality contributed significantly to the department while providing a much-needed external visibility as a fellow of the American Physical Society,” he said.
David Lucas earned an MS in Physics from Michigan Tech in 1977 under Potnis’s direction and later received Tech’s first PhD in Physics in 1986. Now chair of the physics department at Northern Michigan University, Lucas called Potnis “one of the nicest people.”
“He was always encouraging and helpful. I never had to worry about asking him anything,” Lucas said.
Mechanical engineering professor emeritus Sudhakar Pandit was both a colleague and a friend. “He was an avid lover of bridge, and after retirement, we used to play quite regularly,” he says. “Vasant was a very rational individual and took great pride in physics, in thinking scientifically.”
He also loved art, said Pandit’s wife, Maneesha. “He took art classes and enjoyed doing sketches and paintings, from life and photographs,” she said. “He had a good collection of his own work, and he appreciated art in general.”
“He also exhibited in the spring art show on campus,” Agin said.
The Potnises split their time between Houghton and Gwalior, where Vasant owned a casting business. After retiring, he continued to teach classes within the physics department. He was a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Sigma Xi and Sigma Pi Sigma.
Potnis is survived by his wife, Kusum.
Ian Shepherd was brought in to be Professor and Head of the Physics department in 1977 after a very long and difficult search. Unfortunately, he passed away due to illness within his first year at Tech.
Stebbins, Dean W.
THE AMES TRIBUNE, Ames, Story County, Iowa, Friday, July 18, 2008.
Dean W. Stebbins, a physicist and university administrator at Iowa State University and Michigan Technological University, died Thursday, July 17, at Northcrest Community in Ames. He was 95. The cause was pneumonia complicating a brief series of illnesses, his son, Robert, said. A celebration of life will be at 2 p.m. Monday, July 21, at Northcrest Community.
Mr. Stebbins began his science career after listening to radio station KDKA in Pittsburg while growing up on a farm in Montana. He wanted to learn how radio waves could travel such long distances, and as a college student he enrolled in the engineering program at Montana State College, where he achieved top honors. He subsequently took a doctorate degree in physics at Iowa State College before entering service in the World War II.
After serving in Australia and the Philippines, he returned briefly to Lehigh University and then moved to Iowa State University where he taught physics and administered a research program in the developing field of operations research. That experience led to a term of service at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, Calif., followed by his moving to Michigan Technological University where he served as physics chairman, academic dean, and university vice president. He retired upon the death of his first wife, Jane.
In retirement he engaged his passion for family history, compiling a complete genealogy of 16 generations of his Stebbins line from the 1634 arrival in Massachusetts of his English ancestor Rowland to his great-grandchildren Jaron and Devin in Arizona. His bibliographic research was supplemented by extensive travel explorations with his first wife, Jane, and then even more fully with his second wife, Jayne. These trips also frequently included travel, preferably by ship, to watch solar and lunar eclipses and visits to many of the world's historical sites. He was an avid amateur astronomer who proudly retained the photographic plate of a distant star he recorded while operating the large telescope at Palomar Observatory in California when he visited there in 1952.
Mr. Stebbins was an Ames and Iowa State booster. He served on the boards of the Ames International Festival of Music and the Octagon, and for several years he sat at the information desk in City Hall. He was particularly proud of teaching English to foreign students who came to Ames to study. In his later years at Northcrest, he and Jayne watched nearly every Iowa State athletic contest on television, always cheering and hoping for the home teams.
Dean W. Stebbins was born Jan. 14, 1913, in Billings, Mont. His father was a farmer who moved from Illinois in 1907 to a newly developing Montana homestead; his mother was a school teacher. In 1936, Mr. Stebbins married Florence Jane Buchner. She died in 1974. Their son, Bruce, died in 1967. In addition to his second wife, Jayne, whom he married in 1974, Mr. Stebbins is survived by his other son, Robert, granddaughter Kirstin and her husband Rajiv, and two great-grandchildren, Jaron and Devin.
Mr. Stebbins was devoted to his family and to the love of discussion of ideas with
them and his friends. He relished helping others and was known for his warm smile,
gentle humor, and his willingness to listen attentively to those whom he helped or
who helped him.
"He was very proud of growing up on a farm and always felt that was the most wonderful way to be a boy," Robert said of his father's youth.
b. 8 April 1920
d. 7 May 2006
Per Andrew WABER, James Thomas Waber, was a nuclear physics professor. He worked during the 1940's on the Manhattan Project.
Jim Waber, was born 1920 in Chicago, IL. Shortly after earning his doctorate at Illinois Institute of Technology he secured a position as a scientist for Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1947. In 1968, Jim moved to Evanston, IL to become a professor at Northwestern University. Then, in 1985 he moved to Houghton, MI to be a professor for Michigan Tech University. In 1999, after the death of his wife, Santi, he retired to Santa Fe, NM. Last year Jim moved to a retirement resort in Phoenix, AZ. He died at the age of 86 on May 7, 2006. He is survived by his son, John, and daughter, Sue.
Yerg, Donald G.
Donald G. Yerg, 86, died July 23 in Minneapolis. He was born in Lewistown, Pa., and received a PhD in Physics/Meteorology from Pennsylvania State University. He joined the faculty of Michigan Tech in 1955, after several years of conducting research and teaching at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and in Puerto Rico.
At Michigan Tech, he taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the physics department and was the University’s first Dean of Graduate Studies (now the Graduate School), helping to build Tech’s master’s and doctoral programs.
Professor emeritus Don Daavettila recalled working with Yerg as a graduate student before they became colleagues in the physics department.
“He was very helpful to us as students, always explaining what he was doing,” Daavettila said. “I enjoyed that. He was a fine person. He loved to talk physics, and he loved to talk politics, too.”
Yerg remained active in upper atmosphere research by publishing and presenting at various national scientific and academic conferences. For several years, he hosted a program on Michigan Tech’s radio station, WGGL, where he interviewed scientists on how their research impacted everyday life.
An avid reader of political, social and foreign journals, and historical works; a student of the Spanish language, the recorder and acoustic guitar; and a writer of progressive letters to the press–he was a man of inquisitive mind and critical thinking.
He was happiest on the shores of Lake Superior or on backwoods trails of the Keweenaw, whether it was sailing, hiking, biking or skiing. His ashes will be spread over Lake Superior in a family ceremony.
He is survived by wife, Mary Jane, children George, Mark, and Suzanne Yerg, and four grandchildren.
I was one of Yerg’s sailing/XC skiing, hiking,& biking partners from 1979 until a few years before his death. His life off campus is probably not well known. Frequently, along with Prof. Gene Ortner, we skied trails from the Horoscope Rd. (outside of Tapiola) to Schlatter’s Lake, Smith Fisheries to Horseshoe Bay, & the hills of Oskar to Rabbit Bay. Yerg pored over U.S. Geological Survey maps to determine routes on logging and snowmobile trails. In 1984 he and I purchased the first mountain bikes in the Keweenaw (bright red Peugiots weighing over 35 lbs.) and biked the same trails we had skied. Wherever he went Yerg “lectured” on politics (progressive),the philosophy of science, and academia. He tackled any opposing views with astute, ethical, and devastating argument, willingly taking on people of power. This alienated many and eventually affected his career. But he could also disarm folks by quoting Scripture, singing (off-key) Lutheran hymns, and telling off-color jokes. He was a memorable character!