In Memory Of, August 2014

Last week, Robert O. Barr Jr., Ph.D., P.E., passed away at the age of 74. Dr. Barr, MI G ’61, spent his career at Michigan State University where he rose from an assistant professor (1966), to a professor with tenure (1969), and retired as an Associate Professor Emeritus of electrical engineering (1997).

After his retirement, he enjoyed a second profession as a tennis umpire for the United States Tennis Association. In addition, he served as a Councillor of Tau Beta Pi’s Executive Council (1994-98). The Council was named the Great Lakes Council. Read the obituary


Former American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) president Ernest T. Smerdon, Ph.D., recently passed away. He was 84 years old. Dr. Smerdon, MO A ’51, was recognized as a contributor to engineering education at many institutions, including the University of Texas System as Vice-Chancellor; the University of Arizona as Vice Provost and Dean of Engineering; and at the National Science Foundation as Senior Education Associate in Engineering Directorate.

He received his bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Missouri. Dr. Smerdon was also an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering. According to his obituary, his final gift to education was to donate his body for education and research.


Mechanical and automotive engineer I. Robert Ehrlich, Ph.D., has passed away at the age of 87. Dr. Ehrlich, IN A ’56, “worked for Stevens Institute of Technology in various faculty and supervisory research positions related to vehicle design and performance as a professor; Dean for Research; Dean of Engineering; Vice President for Research; and retired as a full professor.” He was also president and owner of an engineering firm that provided consulting services to attorneys on the engineering aspects of litigation. Click here for more biographical details


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