|Biography:|| I was born in Cologne, Germany (1929) and came to the US under unusual circumstances. Since those were the days when legal entry into the country was enforced, I was actually arrested by a US Marshal right at MSOE, while I was a student there. --- I had to jump through a lot of hoops including spending a night in Windsor Ontario and then walking across the bridge to Detroit, USA. -- That started the five years after which an immigrant can apply for citizenship - and qualify for a Radio Amateur license and call sign. -- By then I had graduated and worked in the Research Division of NCR, Dayton, OH.
At NCR I was fortunate to have a rather unique position (first EE in the Research Division) as a result of which I got to be in some high-level meetings and met a number of prominent people. This was the time immediately preceding the birth of the Computer as we know it. A solution was needed, but How? What?
I remember a meeting for setting the basic specifications for the planned NCR 304 computer. The key question at the time was "Will there ever be a $1.- transistor?" If not, we stay with tubes. Meanwhile, in the Research Division we explored many different ways to perform logic and memory functions. There were the tiny ferrite cores (logic and memory), ideas for using electroluminescence together with photoconductors (we built gates and flipflops; trying to use silk screening techniques); hydraulic logic (with tiny moving parts), we grew ferroelectric crystals (Barium Titanate) for memory, I spent three weeks at MIT to learn about superconductivity (Cryotron), and like other companies we explored pneumatic logic using the Coanda effect (pressure air for flipflops and gates) and talked to Corning Glass about manufacturing parts for that. A Japanese Inventor, Eichi Goto, proposed his Parametron (subharmonic oscillator), and others.
In the process I was fortunate to meet a number of the prominent people in the business then - there was Howard Aiken (Harvard), Rear Adm Grace Hopper (COBOL), Jan Rajchman (RCA, Core memory), Charles Kettering, Jack Kilby (Texas Instruments, Nobel Prize), where finally the nucleus of a solution appeard, although that was not obvious at the time.
For various reasons, not least being that my wife wanted to return to Milwaukee, we did just that. I did a little consulting and worked at Astronautics Corp. of America while finishing my MSThesis. Some professors suggested, and I considered working on a PhD, but because of all the years I had spent without such a plan plus those lost due to the war and moving to another country (I was in my 40s by that time) I just couldn't see myself doing that.
I found Government work (Astronautics) frustrating and felt that I would be more useful teaching at MSOE (for a while) and Pres. Karl Werwath was happy to have me back. And there I ended up staying, and now, after retirement, I am Faculty Advisor to the MSOE Amateur Radio Club and hold the FCC License for the well-equipped MSOE amateur station(s) W9HHX.
|Work Address:|| 1025 N Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202
|Preferred Contact Method:|
|Department:||Electrical Engineering and Computer Science|
|Education:|| MSOE RaTel Tech 1952
MSOE BSEE 1955
Univ. of Wisconsin MSEE 1970
Various: U. of Cincinnati, U of Michigan, MIT
|Honors and Awards:|| US Pat. 3,125,673
"Electrochemical Data Storage and Counting Systems" Puterbaugh, et al.
US Pat. 3,161,457
"Thermal Printing Units" Schroeder, et al
|Member Since:||Sep 5, 2013|
|Tags:||bicycling flying amateur radio languages|