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Carl Sutton died Saturday, April 12, 2003 in the 73rd year of his life. He was born in Coral Gables, FL; spent his youth in Evansville, IN. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Indianapolis, IN. He was a former professor of Neurosurgery at the University of S. Florida College of Medicine, Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Staff Physician of spinal chord injury at the Veterans Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. Dr. Sutton was a man of ample culture, gentle manners and refined taste. He leaves a large intellectual legacy to all of us in the BEMS. He was a Charter Member of BEMS and on its Board of Directors for two terms, member of IEEE Standard Coordinating Committee for the safe human exposure to RF energy and of the Committee on Man and Radiation. He authored over one hundred publications, articles, book chapters and papers.
At the VA/ Jackson Memorial/ University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida, Carl was treating brain tumor patients using hyperthermia by the means of an immersion heater. The heating disrupted the blood/brain barrier and permitted the chemotherapy of brain tumors. The treatment was successful but not entirely satisfactory, because the heating was effective only over a limited portion of the tumor mass. At that time he had the idea of treating brain tumors by applying microwave energy. Dr. Sutton had the vision that microwaves in the correct dose could be used to disrupt the blood-brain barrier of target tissues and let antineoplastic drugs in the entire brain tumor mass. He also had the vision that microwaves of proper dose and modulation could be used to timely treat spinal chord injuries. He spend 10 years of intense research in this area and had some success in his endeavors. He always competed in the toughest research arenas and made contributions in finding the limits of the achievable with the given technological tools. His interest and care for his patients in Miami and Tampa was equal to his dedication to the research of medical application of RF/ Microwave energy.
Stan Stuchly, a retired Professor and Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, died on August 31, 2003. In the past, Stan was an active member of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, which he joined in 1981. He is survived by his wife Maria.
Charlotte Silverman died on April 17, 2003 at the age of 89. She had a long and distinguished career in many areas of epidemiology. Dr. Silverman was a long-time member of BEMS joining when the society was formed. Dr. Silverman was a native of New York and a 1933 graduate of Brooklyn College. She got her medical degree at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and her masters and doctorate in Public Health from the John Hopkins University.
Dr. Silverman’s early career was in the area of tuberculosis control. During World War II, she joined the U.S. Public Health Service’s Tuberculosis Control Division. She then worked for the health departments of the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland. Her career took a change of course when she joined the National Institute of Mental Health in 1962, where she authored the medical textbook on “Epidemiology of Depression”. Dr. Silverman joined the FDA’s Bureau of Radiological Health (later named the Center for Devices and Radiological Health) where she oversaw several large-scale extramural contracts on the epidemiology of both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. She won the FDA Award of Merit in 1974.
It was in 1974 that I (Cyr) joined the BRH and met Dr. Silverman. I found her to be a very dedicated public servant with a dignified, quiet and professional approach to her work. I was a relatively young, new employee and Dr. Silverman was a senior researcher. She was always “Dr. Silverman” to me and never “Charlotte”. This was an era in which FDA had money for large contracts and Dr. Silverman was in charge of several such projects. I will mention one study that would be of interest to members of BEMS.
Dr. Silverman was a co-author of a 1980 paper with C.D. Robinette and S. Jablon. They investigated the medical records of some 20,000 U.S. Navy enlisted men who had maximum opportunities in the years between 1950-1954 of exposure to radar (those involved with the repair of radar equipment) and compared them to 208,000 men with minimum exposure opportunity. They looked at mortality data, cause of death, and hospitalization records during their Navy service and disability records from the Veterans Administration. No adverse effects from exposure to radar were detected.
Dr. Silverman continued to work at the FDA and retired to her home in Bethesda, Maryland very late in her life. She set a very high standard of dedication to research for FDA scientists and for me personally. She will be missed. BEMS welcomes this opportunity to remember her contributions and pay tribute to her life.
Herman Paul Schwan, renowned scientist, loving and devoted husband and father, died quietly in his home in Radnor, Pennsylvania on March 17, 2005.
Herman P. Schwan was born in Aachen, Germany in 1915. He obtained the German superior school certificate with distinction in Goettingen, 1934. He studied mathematics, physics, and engineering in Goettingen and then biophysics in Frankfurt. He obtained his Ph.D. in biophysics at the University of Frankfurt in 1940 with distinction, his teaching certificate at the University and his professional doctorate (Dr. habil) in the fields of physics and biophysics in 1946.
Schwan worked in 1936-37 and again in 1938 with Telefunken on high frequency and microwave measuring techniques. He became a research associate with the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt in 1937, an assistant professor with the University of Frankfurt and associate director of the Max Planck Institute in 1946. In 1947 he came to the United States, working at the Aeromedical Equipment Laboratory of the U.S. Naval Base in Philadelphia. He joined the University of Pennsylvania in 1950. In 1952 he was appointed Head of the Electromedical Division of the Moore School and in 1961 Chairman of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Group on Biomedical Electronic Engineering. In 1972 he became Chairman of the Bioengineering Department. He retired as the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor Emeritus in 1983.
Over the course of his long career, Schwan published more than 300 scientific papers and gave countless lectures. He received numerous awards in recognition of his contributions, including the Edison Medal of the IEEE and the first d'Arsonval Award of the Bioelectromagnetics Society. membership in the National Academy of Engineering, and several honorary degrees. An extended biography of Schwan can be found at http://repository.upenn.edu/be_papers/52/
Schwan is best known for many biophysical studies related to electrical properties of cells and tissues, and on nonthermal mechanisms of interaction of fields with biological systems. He discovered or provided important theoretical insights into phenomena such as the large low-frequency dielectric dispersion that is found in biological material, and electrically induced forces on cells.
Schwan was also deeply involved in the issue of possible health effects of nonionizing electromagnetic fields. His letter to the U.S. Navy in 1953, proposing a safe limit for human exposure to microwave energy of 100 W/m2 (based on thermal analysis) became the basis for exposure standards in the U.S. and elsewhere. Among many other committee activities in this field, he chaired the committee that established the first (1965) U.S. exposure limit for RF energy, for the American National Standards Institute. This standard evolved into the present IEEE C95.1 standard and was widely influential in the development of exposure limits around the world.
Schwan was married in 1949 to Anne Marie Del Borrello of Philadelphia. In addition to his wife, Herman is survived by five children and six grandchildren. He was a mentor to all of them, first and foremost teaching them always to think for themselves and never to just follow the crowd. A man of integrity, Schwan influenced the lives of many, including his wife and children, and his many students and colleagues.
Kenneth R. Foster
The BEMS office recently received word that member Roger Santini of Villeurbanne, France, died on June 14 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia, and two sons, Paul and Alain. The disease “took him so fast that we are still voiceless,” son Paul wrote. He added, “I know Dad would have loved being in Cancun with all of you sharing life, friendship, knowledge. Let’s keep him alive in our memories.” According to Paul, two Web sites are gathering testimonies about his father: Santini, a scientist at l’Institut National des Sciences Appliquées in Lyon, was the author of many papers on non-ionizing radiation and a co-founder of the Centre de Recherche et d’Information Indépendantes sur les Rayonnements ElectroMagnétic. He is described as the premier French scientist who denounced the effects of living in “electromagnetic pollution,” particularly that from mobile phone base stations, to the public. A colleague, Michèle Rivasi, is quoted as remarking upon Santini’s death, “Avec la disparition de Roger, nous avons perdu un lanceur d’alerte exceptionnel par sa compétence et sa générosité.”
John Peter “Jack” Ryaby was born in Garfield, NJ, in 1934. He was an excellent student, and his career began when he was given a book on electronics at the age of 12. He devoured the book and all others he could get his hands on, as he was truly captivated by electronics. He started his first business,“Jack’s Radio and TV Repair,” in the basement of his parents’ house when he was 13.
By the time he was a junior in high school, it was thriving and he and his girlfriend, Louise, were well known in the neighborhood. She became his wife after High School graduation and they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in January 2004.
Jack attended NJIT and received a BSEE degree, and by the time of his graduation the business employed his father, John, and his brother, Robert, who both learned electronics from Jack. Several cousins along with Jack’s son, Jim, learned electronics and it was truly a family operation. After college, Jack wanted to branch out and he moved into closed-circuit TV-based security systems, but a critical move turned out to be accepting a position as manufacturer’s representative and custom designer and builder of research instrumentation.
Jack became friends with Dr. Art Pilla, and the key event that redirected his career started with Dr. Pilla on a plane to San Diego, seated next to Bob Pawluk, the right hand man of Dr. Andy Bassett from Columbia University. Bob explained that they were using electrodes to stimulate bone growth, and Dr. Pilla, an electrochemist, knew all of the problems. He suggested that Dr. Bassett meet with himself and Jack, and that was how EBI was formed. Roger Talish joined shortly thereafter, and started his 30-year history of working with Jack.
EBI is now a division of Biomet, and many of EBI’s employees have been there for 25+ years, thanks in large part to Jack. EBI received FDA approval for the bone fracture nonunion indication in 1979, and today the US-based bone stimulation business, shared among 4 companies, is approximately a $350 million business. Later in the 1980s, Jack shifted to a new type of biophysical stimuli, ultrasound stimulation, which became his focus and passion.
IDE/PMA double blind trials were conducted, and a new company was formed, EXOGEN. The Exogen technology is now part of Smith and Nephew. Jack Ryaby was instrumental in getting FDA approval for this technology, and in spiriting the initial basic research and continuing clinical research on applications of ultrasound in orthopedics.
Recently, Jack started a new company, Juvent, with Roger Talish, Ken McLeod from SUNY-Binghamton, and Clint Rubin from SUNY-Stony Brook. This company is developing the dynamic motion therapy technology, for many clinical applications including osteoporosis treatment.
On the personal side, Jack lived his life to the fullest and happily shared his prosperity and success with all of his loved ones. He was loyal, forgiving and respected the ties of family and friendship. He always did what was right and put others before him. He was the support structure of all his successful business ventures as well of his family.
Dr. Sol Pollack, Professor of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, wrote of Jack: “I was indeed sad to hear of the passing of Jack. He was a wonderful person and great innovator. We, and so many patients treated with the related technologies he helped to bring to the market owe him so much. He was there at the beginning, he showed us all that these biophysical stimulatory technologies were useful and then pioneered their development, their acceptance as a tool for treatment and built the companies to bring them to market.
There are very few who can function on so many levels. He was one of a magnificent few. We will surely miss him.” The best way to celebrate the life of Jack Ryaby, to remember and honor him, is to carry on with his tradition of hard work, insightful science and pioneering clinical studies, strong working relationships with key physicians and scientists, and skillful positioning with the regulatory authorities.
Ken McLeod, Marko Markov and Jim Ryaby
Charles Polk, 80, of Spring Hill Road, an Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering, and distinguished scientific researcher, died Nov.6, 2000, at Rhode Island Hospital after a brief illness. Prof. Polk, Chairman of the Electrical Engineering Department from 1959-1979,specialized in the controversial subject of assessing the health effects from exposure to power line and other electric and magnetic fields. He served as President and Vice-president of the Bioelectromagnetics Society from 1987-89. He was the Chairman of the Power Frequency Subcommittee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Committee on Man and Radiation, and was a frequent speaker at international scientific gatherings and expert witness on the biological effects of power lines.
Prof. Polk held several patents, co-edited several books and authored over 80 scientific articles and abstracts on electromagnetic wave propagation, antennas, and electromagnetic noise of natural origin and interaction of electromagnetic fields with living systems. Prof. Polk received a degree in French Literature from the University of Paris, Sorbonne, France and received his bachelor ’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Washington University, St. Louis, MO. He received his master ’s degree in Physics and doctorate in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He was Visiting Professor at Stanford University, CA and at the University of Wisconsin. From 1975-77 he was Head of Electrical Sciences and Analysis and Acting Director of the Engineering Division of the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Charles Polk received many honors. Most recently, he was named as a Distinguished National Lecturer with the IEEE-Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Other awards included the Superior Accomplishment Award from the National Science Foundation in 1977 and the URI Aurelio Lucci Award for Faculty Excellence in 1989.He was elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering "for contributions to understanding earth-ionosphere cavity resonances and for leadership in engineering education." He was the husband of Dorothy Rose Lemp of St. Louis, Mo. They were married 54 years. He lived in Kingston for 41 years. Born in Vienna, Austria, Prof. Polk came to the U.S. in 1940. He served in the US Army from 1943 –1946 and attained the rank of Technical Sergeant. Besides his wife, he leaves two sons, Dean F. Polk of Wenonah, New Jersey and Gerald W. Polk of Atlanta, GA; and two grandchildren. He was the brother of the late Fred Polk of New York.
RICHARD D. PHILLIPS Richard (Dick) Dean Phillips died at the age of 79 on September 7, 2008 from the complications of heart disease and diabetes. Dick is survived by his beloved wife, Betty, of 58 years. Dick was an active figure in Bioelectromagnetics from 1958 to his final retirement in 1997. Dick’s career intersected with and influenced that of many other researchers. Dick was born in Sacramento, CA, on September 17, 1929. After his freshman year of college, Dick joined the U.S. Air Force where he was a flight photographer flying in B-36 reconnaissance aircraft during the latter part of the Korean War. Dick received his B.A. degree is physiology in 1958 from the University of California at Berkeley and, upon graduation, joined the Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory (MRDL) in San Francisco. Members of the staff there encouraged Dick to pursue graduate study, which he did, receiving his Ph.D. in physiology (emphasis on thermal regulation) from Berkeley in 1966. Dick continued his career at NRDL until it was closed in 1969. Dick then joined the staff of Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories located in Richland, WA, where he (and Ed Hunt) continued work related to the exposure of various biological preparations to microwave-frequency electromagnetic fields and microwave dosimetry. Dick did important work on calorimetry during this period. This research led to the introduction of the twin-well calorimeter, the “platinum-rod” of whole-body dosimetry. It became a key technique of calorimetry allowing “wet-bench” scientists to accurately determine in average SAR values in animals exposed to RF fields. It was adopted by many research laboratories conducting RF bioeffects research. In 1975, Dick obtained a small contract from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to investigate the feasibility of exposing miniature swine to 60-Hz electric fields. In pursuing this project, Dick enlisted the help of Bill Kaune, a physicist who had just joined Battelle’s Biology Department, Denny Hjeresen, a psychologist at Battelle, and Dick Richardson, a Battelle electrical engineer. This project was successfully completed and was followed by the awarding of large projects from EPRI and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to study biological effects arising from the exposure of miniature swine and rats, respectively, to very strong power-frequency electric fields. During the next nine years, the Battelle’s ELF program grew to involve many Battelle scientists and produced many research and review papers, research reports, and two books. During this period, Dick was the Manager of the Bioelectromagnetics Program at Battelle and was ultimately promoted to the grade of Senior Staff Scientist, a rare event at Battelle at that time. Dick was very highly regarded by the staff he led at Battelle. He was very good at helping younger scientists develop their careers and insuring that they received credit for their work, both outside and within Battelle. Scientific careers in the field of Bioelectromagnetics that Dick helped develop included those of Larry Anderson and Bill Kaune. Along with his scientific work at Battelle, Dick played a very important role in the development of safe RF exposure standards in this country. He served as a leading biologist and the secretary of the ANSI C95 Subcommittee IV that developed the ANSI C95.1-1982 American National Standard published by the IEEE. This was the exposure standard that introduced the greatest number changes and advancements over any other exposure standards in use up to that time. It incorporated much improved safety, reliability, applicability and acceptability based on the highly improved scientific approaches and broad database in use at the time. It included the application of many new concepts such as whole-body averaged and peak SAR, whole-body and anatomical resonance, hot spots, contact currents, different criteria for near and far field exposures, as well many other changes too numerous to mention here. The major changes and increased complexity of the proposed standard generated a considerable increase of controversies and difficulties in forging the required consensus for acceptance of the new standard. As a contributor of data from a strong interdisciplinary scientific laboratory and based on the great respect and confidence that he enjoyed from his peers, Dick was very instrumental in helping both the subcommittee and parent committee to gain a strong consensus that made the new standard acceptable to a large majority of individual scientists and organizations in the public, governmental, military, industrial and academic sectors of the population. Dick should also be recognized for his major biological contributions as a member of the NCRP Scientific Committee 53 that produced the first national two-tiered general/occupational population exposure standard published in the NCRP Report No. 86 published April 2, 1986. Dick was able to bring on a previous member (Ed Hunt) and an active member (Dr. Harvey A. Ragan) of his laboratory staff to the committee as advisory members to help provide reviews and analyses of their own work as well as others to include in the report in support of the standard. The first obligatory national standard forged and enforced by the FCC (still in effect) came from the above-mentioned standards. In 1976, Dick was asked to be a Topic Leader in the USA/USSR Scientific Exchange Program on the Biological Effects of Static and Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields. One of the more important rationales for the USA/USSR exchange program was to seek some kind of harmonization of the USA and USSR exposure standards through mutual cooperative research. The fact that the RF exposure standards of the two countries differed by as much as 3 orders of magnitude was causing considerable public concern and controversy. Many scientists in this country felt that the sharp differences between the US and Soviet standards might well be due to antiquated research methodologies and exposure techniques that could result in artifacts in the research results resulting in erroneous conclusions. Such research artifacts plagued the work in this country when RF-bioeffects research was in its infancy. For research at ELF frequencies, Dick and his staff carefully designed the exposure sources to eliminate the known causes of undesirable artifacts. These included lack of control of temperature, noise, shocks, hair stimulation, induced body currents from contact with water and food sources and a myriad of other problems associated with exposure to high strength EMF fields. Through many blue-sky meetings with members of his own interdisciplinary staff as well as help from consulting physical and life science experts from outside of his laboratory, Dick and his staff were able to develop new biological and exposure technologies that markedly reduced artifactual contamination of research results. His laboratories set many benchmarks of excellence that were carefully and thoroughly documented and made available to other laboratories throughout the country. Through Dick’s interactions with the Soviets on the exchange program, the latter also enjoyed the fruits of his meticulous work. In two consecutive visits to the Institute of Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Diseases, directed by Professor Boris Savin in Moscow, the American group was very much surprised to see the marked change of a laboratory between the visits less than a year apart. In the first visit the laboratory was filled with artifact prone microwave exposure facilities of WWII vintage. On the later visit the laboratory was observed to have been converted over to an ELF research facility containing newly installed equipment that was nearly undistinguishable from that used in one of Dick’s laboratories for artifact-free long-term exposure of groups of rodents. Nothing better could have shown Dick’s value to accomplishing the mission of the exchange program. Dick was a founding member of the Bioelectromagnetics Society and was the first Chair of its Publicity and Public Relations Committee. Dick also served on the Board of Directors of the Society and was the second editor (1984—1989) of Bioelectromagnetics, the journal of the Bioelectromagnetics Society. In 1984, Dick decided to leave Battelle and join the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Laboratories in Research Triangle Park. Dick started work at EPA in late 1984, as director of the Experimental Biology Division, which had a large EMF program and staff spread over two branches, each with two sections. In 1987, the Health Effects Research Laboratory under went a reorganization, and Dick became director of an enlarged Developmental and Cell Toxicology Division, composed of three branches, each with three sections, that included staff of his original division. During this time, as editor of the Bioelectromagnetics Journal, Dick scrupulously used outside guest editors to manage submissions from EPA employees. Dick retired EPA in 1990 and moved to Spokane, WA where he lived for the remainder of his life. Upon retirement Dick accepted a position with W.L. Associates Inc (1990—1996) reviewing research projects funded by the U.S. DOE. During the period of March 20-22 1991 in Carmel, California, Dick helped to organize and Chair an important workshop on ELF fields sponsored by EPRI to assess current knowledge on health effects and develop a set of recommendations for new research that would meet the needs of health risk assessment, The effort resulted in the publication of Supplement 1, 1992 of the Bioelectromagnetics Journal. The issue contained many seminal papers and recommendations for future research on ELF health effects. Dick was a member of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, New York Academy of Sciences, International Microwave Power Institute, International Society of Biometeorology, International Union of Radio Science, American Physiological Society, Radiation Research Society, Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, and Sigma Xi. Dick was listed in the Who’s Who of Science.
Although Mary Ellen was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, her red hair, the natural blush of her cheek, the rapid pace of her speech, the sparkling green of her eyes, and her ready laugh conjured an image of an Irish elf. Until she spoke, with the revealing accents of a mid-American, one would think she hailed from the Emerald Isles. She went to sleep the evening of 13 January 2000, not to waken again. Mary Ellen earned a B.A. degree in 1968 in general psychology, biology, and philosophy at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. She was a graduate student at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. Arriving in Kansas City in 1969, she opted for a major in experimental psychology with an emphasis on behavioral and structural teratology. Her classmates and instructors called her "Meese," doubtless a takeoff on her favorite laboratory animal, the mouse. She earned her masters degree in 1971; the title of her thesis, which involved some highly original work, is Behavior and Teratology of Mice Following Exposure to Microwaves.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense had funded Mary Ellen ’s thesis work, but the Agency was winding down support of microwave research. Mary Ellen foresaw greener academic pastures in research on ionizing radiation. With the offer of a fellowship, she moved to the University of Georgia at Athens in 1971.Under the preceptorship of Professor Leland Peacock, a leading behavioral investigator of X-radiation, Mary Ellen completed course work, doctoral examinations, and dissertation research in short order; her preliminary and her final doctoral exams were passed With Distinction in 1973. Her dissertation, Repeated Exposure to X-Radiation and Radiation-Induced Taste Aversion, was accorded best dissertation in 1973 at the University of Georgia by the Society of the Sigma Xi.
Mary Ellen ’s next move was to Oklahoma. She joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology at Tulsa University in 1973. Her talent as an investigator was matched by her ability as a leader: For two years, from 1978 until 1980,s he served as Chair of Social and Behavioral Sciences. During the academic year of 1982, she served as Chair of the Psychology Department. Because of her skills as scientist and leader, Mary Ellen was sought for many advisory positions in private and government sectors. At one time or another, she served: As a visiting Scientist in the Neurophysiologic Study Section of the FDA ’s Bureau of Radiological Health; As a member of Committee No.53 (microwave data analysis) and of Committee No.79 (ELF Electric and Magnetic Fields) of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements; As a member of the Electromagnetic Radiation Advisory Counsel, U.S. Department of Commerce; With the Working Group on Development and Teratology for the American National Standards Institute (Committee C95.4);On the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; And finally, in committee work for the US-USSR Cooperative Agreement on Physical Factors --microwave radiation --in the Environment.
Mary Ellen was often engaged in the governance and activities of The Bioelectromagnetic Society. At time of her passing, she had served several years as editor of The Bioelectromagnetics Newsletter .The Society ’s President-Elect in 1992,she served as President during the 1993-1994 term. In addition to research papers that she published with colleagues in Bioelectromagnetics and other scientific journals, Mary Ellen was co-editor of two major texts: Electromagnetic Fields and Neuro-behavioral Function (with R. H.Lovely; Alan R.Liss,1988),and Emerging Electromagnetic Medicine (with R.H.C. Bentall and J.C.Monahan;Springer-Verlag,1990).Not one to shy away from hardware, Mary Ellen and some of her engineering colleagues at Tulsa University secured a total of four U.S. patents during the late 1980s and early 1990s on microwave-powered devices for laundering and sanitizing clothing.
Adversity poses a telling measure of character. The loss of a husband to divorce after a marriage that lasted from 1968 to 1979 was a painful blow to Mary Ellen. The separation was a hurtful lesson; she lamented that the breaking-up was so painful that another marriage would be out of the question. Bitterness and recrimination were not the legacy of this experience. Rather, with her characteristic aplomb, she returned to her teaching, research, and consulting with renewed dedication.A second challenge, cancer, was met in the mid 1990s with courage and a determination to remain active. After surgery and removal of many lymphnodes, Mary Ellen was visited by chronic pain and, later, by a recurrence of neoplasms. Somehow she kept her senses of humor and duty, the latter as evidenced by her continued editing of the Society ’s newsletter. Although in chronic pain the remaining months of her life, she would don her skis and race down snow-laden slopes--the final run within a few days of her last awakening. She will be missed.
In Memory of Robert B. Olcerst 30 October, 1948 – 15 January, 2000
Robert B. Olcerst, a scientist who resided in Baltimore, Maryland, died of a heart attack in Chicago on a business trip on January 15, 2000. He was 51 years old. For twenty years he was the president and owner of Brujos Scientific, Inc., a consulting firm with a broad range of services and interests.
Born in New York City, on October 30, 1948, Olcerst grew up in Spring Valley, NY and attended New York University, where he received his B.S. in Engineering Science in 1972, and his Ph.d. in Environmental Health Sciences in 1982. Dr. Olcerst was employed by IBM and Johns Hopkins before forming his own consulting company. Brujos Scientific offered services in industrial hygiene, toxicology, and applied research. He also developed an environmental statistical computer program, worked on indoor air quality, environmental hazard assessments and performed training for workers in lead and asbestos abatement. Olcerst received a patent in April 1998 for his Ventilation Assessment Monitoring Device.
Ever the student, Olcerst was a Certified Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology, Certified Industrial Hygienest, Certified Safety Professional, Certified Hazard Control Manager and Certified Environmental Trainer. He was the author of over 47 publications and was a speaker at many conferences. He joined BEMS in 1979. "Dr. Bob" will be remembered by all who knew him for his insatiable curiosity, his lack of convention and his wonderful sense of humor.
Dr. Olcerst is survived by his wife, Virginia, and his three children, Leah, Anna and Aaron, all of Baltimore, his father Morris, who resides in Arizona, and a brother, Glenn, who lives in Pittsburgh.
From BEMS NewsLetter Jan/Feb 2000