EETimes

Test & Measurement World, July/August 2012

Issue link: http://dc.ee.ubm-us.com/i/75724

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 33 of 35

VIEWPOINT T ber at the age of 65—much too soon. Dr. Roger Pollard absolutely loved his is a belated tribute to Dr. Roger Pollard, an esteemed collaborator and colleague who passed away last Decem- development—of engineering and people. His long list of accomplish- ments spans both, and perhaps foremost are the 56 successful Ph.D. candidates he supervised during his time at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Four of those Ph.Ds are current or retired members of technical staff at Hewlett-Packard or Agilent Technologies. Roger's relationship with HP/Agilent began more than 30 years ago. Here's how he told the story in the January 2008 issue of Agilent Measurement Journal: "My Agilent odyssey started in 1981 as a young faculty member at the University of Leeds looking to take a brief sabbatical—one different from the usual route of going to another university in another country to teach the same subjects to someone else's students. Some research background in network measurements made the HP (now Agilent) division in Santa Rosa, California seem the ideal place, so I penned a request to a conference contact. Three months later, a three-line message asked, 'Can you start next week?'" Roger spent the next seven months [Commentary from a technical leader] Remembering Dr. Roger Pollard: A life of innovation, collaboration, and leadership provided a fresh perspective and served as a confidant to many engineers and managers. His visits were eagerly antic- ipated by our R&D engineers—and the members of my team would often ask, "When will Roger be here? I need to run something by him." Through such conversations Roger earned tremendous respect for his technical skills, and many considered him to be a true genius. Across the years, he was a key contributor to several HP/Agilent technical innovations: people skills. When I asked his col- leagues to describe their memories of Roger, here is what they had to say: • Leadership: The ability to simplify complexity, to harmoniously blend strong-willed engineering talents, to motivate engineers to do better work, and to mentor engineers. • Infectious enthusiasm: His sense of humor, a passion for people, the constant delivery of encouragement, and an ability to make the Smith chart exciting (no small feat, that). as part of the team that developed the HP 8510A network analyzer, a land- mark product that played a significant role in transforming the microwave industry. He returned to Leeds and set- tled back into academic life until he received a surprise query the next spring: "When can we expect you?" And so it went for nearly three decades. Roger and his lovely wife, Anne, spent part of every summer in Santa Rosa. He contributed to projects, growth of his personal research interests at the University of Leeds: microwave network measurements, calibration, and error correction, microwave and milli- meter-wave circuits, large-signal and nonlinear device characterization, and terahertz technology. For many years, Leeds has performed some of the world's best research in the terahertz range. Within the broader engineering • Time-domain techniques Those advances were a natural out- • Materials measurements analysis community, Roger was a long-time volunteer for the IMS, MTTS, IEEE, and ARFTS. He served as IEEE vice president for technical activities, IEEE board of directors' secretary, and MTTS president. As chair of the TAB/ PAB Products Committee, Roger pro- vided the leadership for the creation of IEEE Xplore, now a world-class resource for technical information. Above all, Roger will be best remembered for his leadership and • Nonlinear vector network • Multiple calibration techniques & algorithms • The measurement of noise figure in a net- work analyzer • Millimeter-wave component measure- ments and equipment • On-wafer measure- ments • Depth and curiosity: A deep inter- est in subjects beyond engineering —politics, monetary policy, culture, language, and even construction methods. • Technical ability: A genius-level intellect that was innovative but also practical and down-to-earth. retired as dean of engineering of Leeds, we were fortunate to bring him on as an official employee. We often joked that he was our longest-tenured summer intern because it took us 30 years to finally hire him. He told me it had been a dream of his to work for HP/Agilent after completing his aca- demic career. He had it backwards: It was our dream to have him join us. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed my In March 2011, after Roger had weekly one-on-one meetings with Roger. Our conversations were filled with technical discussions as well as his novel ideas, his advice, and a fair bit of humor. Going forward, I'll cer- tainly miss the privilege of counting on his technical brilliance—but it's his leadership and people skills I'll miss the most. He made me a better leader, and made all of us better engineers. Perhaps the best way to think about Roger—at least from an HP/Agilent perspective—is he didn't think out- side the box. How could he? He never saw a box. T&MW Henri Komrij is a senior R&D manager at Agilent Technologies. Test & Measurement World | JULY/AUGUST 2012 | www.tmworld.com –34–

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of EETimes - Test & Measurement World, July/August 2012