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Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering


Henry Hamilton “Ham” Chase ’47 Th’49 of Keene, N.H., died November 2, 2013, with family at his side. He grew up in Newton, Mass., where he attended Rivers Country Day School. His Dartmouth education was interrupted by active service in the U.S. Army Air Corps in pilot training, but he returned to graduate and earn his master’s at Thayer School. Throughout his life, Dartmouth remained special to him, not only for his education and lifelong friendships, but because Hanover was where he met his wife, Dorothy, a graduate nurse at Mary Hitchcock Hospital. After graduation, Ham worked at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford, Conn., for five years, followed by stints at General Electric and New Departure Bearings prior to moving to Keene to work with Miniature Precision Bearings. In 1963, he founded Clean Way Industries Inc. to engineer and build contamination-free “clean rooms” and related operating systems. His company helped push forward the envelope in creating contamination-free rooms originally designed for the manufacture of miniature ball bearings and later, for wafer board assembly of computer chips. He was a founding officer of the American Association of Contamination Control (AACC). As an early promoter of solar energy and environmental concerns, he founded Clean Energy Systems in 1972 to sell and install solar energy systems and was especially proud to work with several of his sons in this endeavor. He was a licensed, instrument-rated pilot and for many years flew for both work and pleasure. Survivors include Dorothy, his wife of 62 years; children Alan, Carol, David, Suzan, and Robert and their spouses; 17 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by son Thomas and brother Philip.

John Edward Joyce Jr. ’47 Th’49 died on June 13, 2014, at his home in Morristown, N.J. He was born in Newark, N.J., and attended Seton Hall Prep School. He was assigned to Dartmouth in the naval V-12 program. In college he participated in intramural athletics, was active in the Interdormitory Council and attended Thayer School. His active duty in the Navy was in the Pacific theater. As a mechanical contractor he started as a pipefitter’s helper. On the death of his father, he, with his brother, ran an electrical-mechanical maintenance business until he retired. He was awarded the Mechanical Contractors Association of America Distinguished Service Medal for his service to the industry. He was a member and past president of the Mechanical Contractors of New Jersey. He was fascinated by politics, and served as Warren County Democratic Committee chairman and on the country tax board, pollution control finance authority and advisory committee on alcohol and drug abuse. He worked outside his parish to modernize the plumbing system for Mother Teresa’s nuns in Newark. In retirement he enjoyed travel and scuba diving with his wife. He is survived by his wife and six children.

Paul J. Barnico ’49 Th’51 passed away at his home in Beverly, Mass., on March 2, 2014. He graduated from Dartmouth with bachelor’s and master’s in mechanical engineering. His son, Tom ’77, says a discovery in the sub-basement of Thayer—of a Junkers Jumo 004 jet engine taken from a captured German Messerschmitt 262 during World War II—sparked a life-long fascination with aircraft. Upon graduation from Thayer, Paul commenced a 37-year career in the aircraft engine business at General Electric in Lynn, Mass. The 1950s were an exciting time in that nascent business, he said, and he relished the work. One of his teams designed and manufactured the GE T-58 turboshaft helicopter engine; variants of the original still power Marine One and other aircraft today. He earned an M.B.A. from Northeastern University and managed projects for GE in engine marketing and business forecasting. He once wrote that he “felt privileged to have worked for so long with so many talented, industrious people in so many different functions at GE-Lynn, including design engineering, manufacturing engineering, line manufacturing, and project development and marketing.” Upon retirement from GE in 1988, Paul served for 26 years on the Beverly Airport Commission. In 2013 he was honored by a resolution of the Beverly City Council citing his many contributions to the airport. Paul was predeceased by his wife, Katherine, in 2001. He is survived by Tom and daughter-in-law Kate, daughter Karen and son-in-law Jeff, daughter Lauren and son-in-law Ed, and seven grandchildren, including Kristen Barnico Th’09 (plus her fiancé, Bob D’Angelo ’08 Th’09 ’11).

Robert E. Fiertz ’51 Th’52, who worked in chemical manufacturing for 35 years, died in Bonita Springs, Fla., on June 10, 2014. Services were held in Severna Park, Md., where Bob and his wife, Marilyn, lived for 40 years before moving to Florida. Bob came to Dartmouth from Manhasset, New York, and was an All-American lacrosse midfielder in college. He was a member of Chi Phi and earned a mechanical engineering master’s from Thayer School. He served briefly in the U.S. Army during the Korean War before beginning a career in manufacturing plant management, working for DuPont, Exxon, Chevron, Vectra, and Celanese. He also served as interim president of Igene Biotechnology, a company focused on the research, development, and commercialization of nutrients for the feed industry. “My career provided a wide variety of technical and manufacturing challenges, ranging from constructing the first polyester film plant to managing a synthetic fiber plant, from mining heavy materials to manufacturing aluminum honeycomb structures, and from producing medical devices to serving as the interim president of a biotechnology company,” he wrote in his 50th reunion book. “I enjoyed phasing into retirement by teaching at the local community college for several years.” He is survived by Marilyn, daughters Pam ’81 (and husband John), Sandra (and Gustave), Cynthia (and Jim), and Barbara (and Paul), 11 grandchildren, and brother Alden ’52.

Louis Charles Semprebon Th’61, an ionospheric physicist who has a mountain in Antarctica named after him in honor of his work as assistant scientific leader at Ellsworth Station, died March 19, 2014, in Claremont, N.H. Upon graduating from Spaulding High School in Rochester, N.H., he joined the U.S. Navy for two years as a radio technician decommissioning ships. He then worked in Eastman Kodak’s research labs in Rochester, N.Y., while studying at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He went on to earn a B.S. in physics at UCLA in 1957 and then worked for the National Bureau of Standards before being sent to Ellsworth Station in Antarctica for the International Geophysical Year (1957-58). Upon his return, he and wife Ann then moved to Lyme, N.H., and Louis completed his master’s in ionospheric research in 1963 at the radiophysics department at Thayer School. They moved to Hanover, where he worked as a research engineer for the remainder of his career. His research of Earth’s ionosphere included frequent travel to sites in Alaska, Canada, Fiji, and Peru. Louis loved music and singing and was active in several church choirs, the Shaker Revels, the North Country Chordsmen barbershop group, and local madrigal, Bach Study. He arranged music, sound, and lighting for the Parish Players for many years and occasionally acted. Louis leaves Ann; brother Albert; son Rolf and his wife, Joan; son Andrew and his wife, Deborah; son Jeffrey; and grandchildren Julian, Amelia, Laurel, Louisa, and Liam.

Aaron D. Powers ’93 passed away on March 20, 2014, at the Vermont Respite House in Williston, Vt. He was born in Burlington, Vt., on Jan. 25, 1972, the son of Michael and Marlene Powers. Aaron graduated from Essex (Vt.) High School and at Dartmouth he earned his bachelor’s in engineering and belonged to Phi Delta Alpha. He received his master’s in biomedical engineering from the University of Vermont in 2006. He was a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Vermont until shortly before his death. Aaron worked the past 10 years as an engineer for Ascension Technology Corp. He enjoyed running, hiking, reading, playing his guitar, watching the boys play baseball and hockey, and spending time with family and friends. He is survived by his daughter, Bailey; his parents; paternal grandmother Virginia Powers; longtime partner Heather and her children, Joshua and Jared; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Categories: Alumni News, Obituaries

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