Monday, June 27, 2011

#35) In Memoriam - Howard Stahle

Howard at the 2006 Libravet Reunion
This report just in from Bruce Perkin:

Howard Stahle passed away on May 21st.  He was 78 years old.  Howard is remembered as "Mr. Logic Design" for the many extremely competent digital designs that he and the group he led performed.  Old timers will remember Howard as a once physically robust individual who rode his bicycle to work every day, rain or shine.  Spinal nerve disease ended that; but even when confined to a wheelchair, he continued to drive himself around in his minivan. He also insisted on keeping his office upstairs, adjacent to the lab and the engineering development taking place, right up until his retirement in 1995. 
One of the most significant of Librascope's digital design accomplishments occurred late in Howard's career.  That was the application of digital logic to custom integrated circuits required to miniaturize the graphics engine of the BSY-2 submarine system.  Ten different ICs were designed using several different technologies.  While the industry generally assumed that it was very lucky to use "first silicon" for even a single design, Librascope was able to use the original run for all ten ICs.  Howard worked diligently with all of the engineers on the project, none of whom had ever designed an IC before. His efforts assured that the ICs would work and also work together.  All of his correcting, coaching, and teaching was well received by the individual engineers assigned to each IC and that made the project successful.
Howard's wife, Bernie, also a long time Librascope employee, survives him.

1 comment:

  1. I am sorry to hear about Howard. I liked him and liked working with him. He was central to the development of the unique sonar display capability developed in the early 70's in the Blue Room. The hardware supported cutting edge sonar display research and as an after thought lead to a Librascope credit on the movie "The Hunt for Red October".

    The story related by Bruce about the AN/BSY-2 system was probably his crowning achievement. With that success, Librascope had the personnel and knowledge to develop special purpose integrated circuits for industry. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the magnitude of the accomplishment was not appreciated at the corporate level and the opportunity to exploit the unique capability was squandered.

    Never-the-less, it was another state-of-the-art accomplishment Librascope can be proud to have made.

    Ray Hand