Aggie Ingeniero, April-May 2008


08_05_08_jedlicka_russellProfessor Russell Paul Jedlicka laid to rest

Russell Paul Jedlicka, associate professor of computer and electrical engineering at New Mexico State University, passed away on Tuesday, March 11, 2008.  Jedlicka’s association with NMSU began in 1977 as a graduate student. Students, friends and colleagues from all over the world are deeply saddened by his death. He was laid to rest on Sunday in Las Cruces.

Jedlicka received his bachelor’s of science degree in electrical engineering from Kansas University in 1977. He earned a master’s of science degree in electrical engineering in 1979 and a doctoral degree in 1995 from New Mexico State University.

While working on his master’s degree, Jedlicka worked as a research intern at NMSU’s Physical Science Laboratory.  He was a member of the technical staff at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colo. From 1980 to 1982, and a project engineer at the Remote Sensing Laboratory at the University of Kansas from 1982 to 1983 when he returned to the Physical Science Laboratory at NMSU.  He was branch manager and senior engineer at PSL until 1999 and also was a college instructor in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering during that time. In 1999 he became a full-time assistant professor.

“I have known Russ since we were graduate students in the late 1970s. I have always thought of him as an engineer’s engineer,” said Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Head Stephen Horan.  “He was great with both the practical side of antenna design and construction.  He also knew the theoretical side of antennas.  Most of all, he could effectively present concepts to the students.  Russ was well respected by his peers on the faculty.”

Jedlicka was nationally known for his work in antenna analysis and design as well as analysis of electromagnetic coupling in complex systems. He designed many antennas, including units on the Cassini spacecraft exploring the planet Saturn, and antennas for the Stardust, Genesis and many other space and terrestrial applications.

In January 2007, Jedlicka was recognized for winning the Donald C. Roush Excellence in Teaching Award. Named for a former NMSU executive vice president in recognition of his 35 years of teaching improvement in New Mexico, the annual Roush award recognizes NMSU faculty for teaching excellence.

Jedlicka taught courses in circuits, electromagnetics, wireless systems, microwave engineering, antennas and radiation. He was consistently lauded on student evaluations.

Condolence messages have been sent to the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering from friends, colleagues and students from all over the world. A blog in his memory has been established athttp://www.topix.net/forum/source/las-cruces-sun-news/TL43KA8T0CH38DJ7G/p2.

Following are some of the messages:

From LAG in Juarez, Mexico:  “A great professor and person. His sense of humor in combination with his intelligence was exceptional. He will be missed but he has left many good things that I guess we all will remember. Because of him, many students graduated and became better persons in their lives with a profession. Dr. Jedlicka was a model of professor.”

Unsigned:  “…I wish every student could have had the same opportunity to learn from him and laugh with him that I and so many others have had. I wantthose who have not had a chance to take his courses or get to know  him to at least know who Dr. J was, and a little bit about him. His influence in my life will never go away and it saddens me to know that future generations of electrical engineers to-be will not have him around.”

Larry and Gerald Stolarczyk and the Stolar Research Corp. family members: “Dr. Russ was especially gifted as a dedicated educator with innovative scientific and engineering skills. He made Maxwell`s fundamental equations come alive in the physical realization of antenna and guided wave structures.  His reviewed technical papers in IEEE conferences and publications were often cited as a recognition of great work by his peers.  His unselfish and dedicated work made him a standout team player in every organization that he worked with-always ready to go the extra mile. He was a compassionate friend and confidant that made him a man to match New Mexico’s highest mountains. To Sue and his beloved family members, he will be missed but remains alive in our hearts.”

Jedlicka sponsored numerous capstone design classes, served as a faculty counselor for the student chapter of IEEE, a non-profit professional association for the advancement of technology; and mentored student research projects for the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation.

Jedlicka had numerous publications in journals and referred conference papers.  He had several sponsored research contracts, having received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories, and other agencies.

Jedlicka is survived by his wife Susan Muir, and their children Bethany, Axel and Isabelle. He is also survived by his son Ethan of Albuquerque.

An avid runner, hiker and cyclist, Jedlicka completed the non-stop rim-to-rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon several times. He ran many races, including the Governor’s 10K in Cloudcroft and the Baylor Pass Run. He hiked the Gila and the Organ Mountains year round.

Various individuals have expressed interest in establishing the Russell P. Jedlicka Memorial Scholarship in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Those who wish to make memorial gifts should make them payable to the NMSU Foundation with a reference to the Russell P. Jedlicka Memorial Scholarship.

Condolences may be sent to Jedlicka’s family through the department of electrical and computer engineering at ece.nmsu.edu.

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