Monday, October 2, 2017

Milestones: WA3FET Honored by RCA; N1CC, ex-W2UWN, Silent Keys

Jim Breakall, WA3FET
(from Penn State Univ. website)
Antenna designer and Penn State electrical engineering professor James Breakall, WA3FET, will be honored by the Radio Club of America this month with its prestigious Sarnoff Citation. According to Newsline, Breakall developed the OWA, or optimized wideband antenna, used by many hams. He also designed antennas for the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Alaska and frequently works at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. In fact, according to the ARRL Letter, Breakall has a contest station near the observatory that was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. He will receive the Sarnoff Citation at the RCA's annual awards banquet this month in Pittsburgh.

Former ham and former MIT President, professor and student Paul Gray (ex-W2UWN and K1ZVT) became a Silent Key in September at age 85. Gray spent most of his life at MIT, starting as a student and moving through a variety of teaching and administrative roles, according to the ARRL Letter. He served as the university's president from 1980-1990 and is credited with increasing the number of women and underrepresented minorities in MIT's student population.

Also becoming a Silent Key in September was former QCWA General Manager Jim LaPorta, N1CC, who passed away at age 76. LaPorta was a very active contester, most recently winning his category in the 2016 IARU HF Championship and placing in the top ten for his category in the 2016 ARRL Sweepstakes, according to the ARRL Letter.