The college lost seven faculty members over the past year.
Vitelmo Bertero, professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering and former director of the Berkeley Earthquake Engineering Research Center, died in October at the age of 93. A native of Argentina, he was considered a highly influential figure in earthquake research, pioneering countless studies and authoring over 370 papers and reports on the subject. He received the Berkeley Citation, the ASCE Nathan Newmark Award, the ACI Arthur Anderson Award, AISC T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award and the EERI Housner Medal. In 2006, he was named among the “top 10 seismic engineers of the 20th century” by the Applied Technology Council and Engineering News Record.
Nathan W. Cheung, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, died in March 2016 at the age of 66. He worked in research at the Exxon Research Laboratory and Bell Telephone Laboratories before receiving a Ph.D. in applied physics from CalTech in 1980; he joined the Berkeley faculty that same year. He co-founded the Silicon Genesis Corporation, the Plasma Doping Users Group and Silicon China Limited, and served on the advisory board of the SemiLEDS Corporation.
Ray Clough, professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering, died in October at the age of 96. Clough developed the Earthquake Engineering Research Center at Berkeley and served as its director from 1973-77. Named a “Legend of Earthquake Engineering” at the World Conference of Earthquake Engineering, Clough coined the term “finite elements” in 1960, and the articles he authored are still considered the definitive texts on the subject of structural dynamics decades later. He was awarded the Prince Philip Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.
J. Karl Hedrick, professor of mechanical engineering and former department chair, died in February at the age of 72. Known for his contributions to nonlinear control theory and its applications to transportation along with nonlinear estimation and control, he directed the Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH) Research Center and the Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory. He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Society of Automotive Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and was a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering.
James Hunt, professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering, died in February at the age of 66. He joined the Berkeley faculty in 1980 and was best known for his work on contaminant transport in porous media, such as groundwater aquifers. Among several leadership roles on campus, he served as an associate vice provost for academic planning and facilities. He directed the Berkeley Water Center and the Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering, and is widely remembered as a devoted teacher and mentor.
Kenneth K. Mei, professor emeritus of electrical engineering, died in February at the age of 84. Born in Shanghai, he served as an interpreter in the Korean War from 1952-54 before earning three degrees at the University of Wisconsin. He joined the Berkeley faculty in 1962 and was also appointed professor of Buddhist studies in 1992. He retired in 1994 and became honorary professor at the City University of Hong Kong and adjunct professor at Shanghai University. Among many advances in computational electromagnetics, his measured equation of invariance (MEI) method in 1992 enabled large problems that were previously resolvable only by supercomputers to be solved by personal computers. His Ph.D. work on formulating Maxwell’s equations into integral equations, now known as the “method of moments,” is credited as the beginning of the era of computational electromagnetics and perhaps one of the most important techniques for analyzing scattering, antenna and microstrip circuit problems.
Jerome Sackman, professor emeritus of engineering science, died in December at the age of 87. Sackman held teaching positions at several universities, including Columbia University, Universidad Católica in Chile, Luleå University in Sweden and National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. He won several awards in his field; among them the Berkeley Citation, the Nathan M. Newmark Medal and the Robert Ridgeway Award, along with mentions in American Men and Women of Science and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering.