EECS Alumni > Alumni Spotlights > 1940s

Alumni Spotlights: 1940–1949

Frank Arams

Frank Arams

Frank Arams (BSE EE ‘47) is pictured at the former West Engineering Building on Central Campus, in 1944, and 2004. The 1944 photo was prompted by the shortage of male students at the time; note the slide rule hanging from his pocket. Frank was Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Technic, the publication of the College of Engineering, while he was a student. Arams went on to receive MS degrees in Applied Physics from Harvard and Business Management from Stevens Institute of Technology, and the PhD in Electrophysics from the Polytechnic University of New York. He was co-founder and VP of LNR Communications, Inc., manufacturer of microwave and satellite earth station equipment for data, voice, and video from 1971-2000. Prior to this time, he was Department Head for Electro-Optics at Airborne Instruments Laboratory. He published the book Infrared to Millimeter Detectors, and is currently working as a Patent Technical Expert and Management/Marketing/Proposal consultant. He has been a visiting lecturer at the U-M Summer Sessions, and would like to hear from his friends at: [EECS News Fall/Winter 2005]

Quick Links (* indicates extended article or video)

Frank Arams (‘47)
Charles Birdsall ('46 '48)
William H. Gordon Jr. (’47)
* Ernest S. Kuh (‘49)
John Tishman ('46)
Irma Wyman ('49)
Russ Youngdahl (‘46)

Ned Birdsall

Charles K. Birdsall

Charles ("Ned") Birdsall (BSE EE and Eng Math ‘46; MSE EE '48: also PhD EE '51 from Stanford) spent nine years in labs at Hughes Aircraft Company and General Electric working on microwave tubes, inventing amplifiers and traveling-wave tubes that remain in use today. This work led to the granting of 27 patents, and election in 1962 to Fellow of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) at the age of 36.  

In 1959 Ned joined the Electrical Engineering Department at UC Berkeley, launching a four-decade academic career.  During this career Ned became known as a pioneering inventor and educator whose contributions to plasma science have made lasting impacts on communications and other technologies. He is the brother of Theodore G. Birdsall.

Charles K. (Ned) Birdsall (BSE EE and Math, MSE EE, '46 '48): 1925-2012 (2012)

William H. Gordon Jr.

William H. Gordon Jr., MD (BSE Eng Math ‘47) has retired after 44 years of practice of Nuclear Medicine. He hopes to attend the 60th Class Reunion in Ann Arbor this year. [EECS News Spring/Summer 2007]

Ernest S. Kuh

Ernest S. Kuh

Ernest S. Kuh (BSE EE ‘49) received his SM in EE from MIT in 1950, and his PhD in EE from Stanford University in 1952. He worked for Bell Telephone before returning to California as a faculty member at UC-Berkeley. He went on to serve as Chair of the EECS department, Dean of the College of Engineering, and is currently the William S. Floyd Emeritus Professor in Engineering. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and has served on many significant academic and professional committees. He was president of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, is co-author or co-editor of 6 books, and has authored over 200 papers in circuits, electronics, networks, systems, and computer-aided design. Dr. Kuh is the recipient of the IEEE Education Medal, ASEE Lamme Medal, and the EDA Consortium Kaufman Award, as well as numerous other awards and high honors. He was a member of a visiting review committee for the U-M EECS department in 1985, and is currently preparing an Oral History for the Bancroft Library of UC-Berkeley. Kuh received the College of Engineering Alumni Society Medal in 2009. [EECS News Fall/Winter 2004]

Prof. Kuh received the 2009 Alumni Society Medal from the College of Engineering

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Ernest and Bettine Kuh honor ECE with the Ernest and Bettine Kuh Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award – EECS Website, 2012


John Tishman

John Tishman

John Tishman (BSE EE '46, D.Eng. hon. '00) is the chairman and CEO of the Tishman Realty & Construction Corporation, a giant in the world of construction and the development of innovative building technologies. Tishman is the grandson of the company founder, Julius Tishman, and joined the corporation in 1947. Over the years, he assumed various key managerial posts and is still active in and committed to innovation in building technology. Tishman received an honorary degree in 2000 in addition to the College of Engineering Alumni Society Medal in 1998 for the "profound effect his leadership in construction engineering and management techniques has had on the construction industry." Tishman was honorary co-chair of the College's Progress & Promise: 150th Anniversary Campaign. He provided the funding for Tishman Hall and continues supporting engineering students and faculty with the John L. Tishman Fellowship and the endowed John L. Tishman Professorship of Engineering.

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John L. Tishman, Builder Who Shaped American Skylines, Dies at 90 – New York Times, February 6, 2016

John Tishman: Loyal Friend of Michigan Engineering – Michigan Engineer, Spring 2009

Irma Wyman

Irma Wyman

Irma Wyman (BSE Eng Math '49, D.Eng. hon. '07) was one of the early few to experiment with a "programmable computer." She rose to become the first female vice president of Honeywell, Inc., a Fortune 100 company. She retired in 1990 and almost immediately was ordained in the Episcopal Church. After serving the last 10 years as Archdeacon of the Diocese of Minnesota, she is now fully retired.

Wyman received the College of Engineering Alumni Society Medal in 2001 and in 2007, an honorary doctor of engineering. Her support for the College has been ongoing; she has also endowed the Irma M. Wyman Scholarship at the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women to support women in engineering, computer science and related fields.

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Irma Wyman: Computer Pioneer and Advocate for Women in Engineering – EECS Website, March 3, 2015

Women in Engineering: Irma Wyman – Michigan Engineer, Spring 2010

Russ Youngdahl

Russ Youngdahl (BSE EE ‘46) retired as Executive Vice President of Consumers Energy and later as President and COO of the Long Island Lighting Company. Currently, he serves as Supervisor of Jackson’s Summit Township and enjoys this foray into grass roots politics. He and his wife, Mary (BA ‘46), live in Jackson, MI. Email: [EECS News Fall/Winter 2004]

Youngdahl was glad to hear about the mentoring opportunity for students, and for alumni. Having recently retired for the fourth time, he has a wealth of experiences to share. At Consumer’s Energy, where he spent 38 years, he started as a junior engineer and retired as Executive Vice President and board member. He then was President and board member of Long Island Lighting, retired, and opened his own consulting company back in Michigan. His fourth career was as an elected official, Township Supervisor, for eight years. He tells students:

“Being an engineer is an interesting job and you can make a career out of it. But I also think you’ll find that you can spread that background, that knowledge, into other fields. That’s why I branched into management, I’ve been in civic clubs, and served on several national committees that dealt with a variety of issues, including nuclear power, licensing plants, building, and operating plants. When I got out of one of my last retirements, I decided to get into local politics. These are the kinds of things engineering students can do. They can contribute to their society. It’s challenging, sometimes a little frustrating, but rewarding.” [EECS News Spring/Summer 2006]