In Memoriam: Toomas Laaspere (1927-2008)
Toomas Laaspere, 81, died June 10 in Hanover. Born in Estonia, he left his homeland when Russia invaded it in 1944. He spent five years in P.O.W. and displaced person camps in Germany and Belgium before working at a refugee organization in Germany. He came to the U.S. in 1951 to study electrical engineering at the University of Vermont and then earned his master’s and doctoral degrees at Cornell. He taught at Thayer School from 1961 to 1989. During that time, he worked on radiophysics with Professor Millett Morgan, carrying out research on wave propagation related to geophysical phenomena. Working on whistlers — audio-frequency radio waves produced by lightning and the aurora — Laaspere and Morgan designed and fabricated satellite sensing devices launched by NASA in the 1960s. An early promoter of energy conservation, during the 1970s Laaspere advocated for efficient generation, distribution, and use of electricity, including technologies for load leveling and electric heat storage.
Laaspere is survived by his wife of 53 years, Suzanne Champagne, his sister, three children, and two grandchildren.comments powered by Disqus