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Information Technology (IT) Pioneers

Retirees and former employees of Unisys, Lockheed Martin, and their heritage companies

People M-O, Chapter 15

1. Topical Article Contributors

34 writers have contributed 70 technical articles or tidbits complementing the career summaries; see chapter 100, Our Stories.

  • Don Mager, Kristen Maloney, Ben Manning, Tony Mannucci, John Markfield, Gene McCarthy, Jack Metzger, Ed Michaud, John Miller, Dr. Tom Misa, Herbert Mitchell, Bengt Monson, Tom Montgomery, Raymond Moon, Roger C. Morris, John Mulhern, Sherm Mullen, Keith Myhre, and Tricia Myhre.
  • Ed Nelson, Curt Nelson, Ken Nelson, Les Nelson, John Nemanich, Donald Nesheim, Craig Neudahl, Don Neuman, Ben Nilsson, Ronald Niziolek, Dr. Arthur Norberg, and David Noyes.
  • Dick 'Ole' Olson, Wayne Olson, and Rick Orozco.

2. Career Summaries - M:

2.1 Don Mager, 1955-1985; A tale of two careers.

   Although I had electronics training, I lacked experience as an electronics tech, thus my "computer" career started as a draftsman at ERA, in June 1955. A few months later I was promoted to Electronics Tech on the Air Force Tactical Air Control System (TACS) Project. This system, among other interesting features, had automatic system-to-pilot voice response - in 1955! The display subsystem was developed by Skiatron, a New York company and it had many problems. Lyle Gilbertson was named PE (Project Engineer) to resolve the problems. I was tasked to try to make certain that the digital circuitry (mostly vacuum tubes) was more reliable.  

A big break occurred for me when in 1959 I was assigned to the AN/USQ-17 project. Soon afterwards the 20A (CP-642A) design was initiated and I had the good fortune of being tasked to assist Bob Burkeholder, a brilliant engineer, on the I/O design. Hy Osofsky was the PE and did the control section design; Glen Kregness did the arithmetic section design and Finley McLeod did the memory. What luck to be involved with such a fantastic crew! The check-out of SN-1 was relatively uneventful, but SN-2 (?) was a different matter. Try as we would, for a couple weeks, we were unable to get it thru the 24 hour endurance run - required for Navy acceptance. So, with the Navy's concurrence the decision was made to ship it to it's destination and hopefully during the long truck ride, the intermittent bug would become solid.

  Unfortunately, after installation at NEL, San Diego, it was found by Field Service personnel to still be intermittent. And so, one morning about 2 weeks later I showed-up at work, Plant 5, and Finley McLeod, now the PE, told me they wanted me to go to San Diego to fix SN-2. I was absolutely flabbergasted! After all, Field Service had some very highly qualified/experienced people there. People like Ralph Thompson and Gary Iverson. I had met them pre and during SN-1 and SN-2 checkouts. They were much more qualified than I was. Nevertheless, within a couple hours I was a tech on an Electra [first time ever on an airplane], drinking champagne [probably trying to forget what faced me] on my way to San Diego. I arrived at the NEL site about 6 PM, and there was Gary sitting at the console stepping thru instructions at a pace that made my head spin! But, after a few minutes of trying to understand what was happening, I happened to notice that there seemed to be something wrong with one of the B [index] register indicators. Gary assured me that it was nothing of concern - nothing to do with the real problem. But, probably because I wanted desperately to be able to tell Mac [Finley] that I'd at least fixed something, I persisted that we fix that B indicator problem. And, after awhile, probably just to humor me, they agreed to fix that problem. It took less than an hour to locate and fix the problem, which was a pinched wire. When we turned the computer back on it showed-up a new, supposedly unimportant problem which I again insisted we fix even if not important. Again it didn't take long to fix the problem and at this point the real problem became solid! We quickly tracked it down to a bad PC board (loose getter in a transistor) and we were all confident the problem was solved. By 10 PM Dick Gehring [Field Service VP] was on site and a decision was made to start the endurance run at midnight. I went back to the motel and there sitting at the bar was Ralph Thompson. He said, "St. Paul told us they were sending someone out to help us fix the problem. We assumed it would be Glen [Kregness] or Hy [Osofsky] and then you walked in the door." One of the best backhanded compliments I've ever received.
   During the next few years I was involved in several projects including the 1218 development and the UDT (Univac Digital Trainer). About 1963, I proposed a design for an I/O console which would dramatically improve the performance over the Flexo-writer and Ferranti reader based system. The 1232/1532 I/O console was my first real role as a PE and I also did the logic design. I also did the logic redesign of a special 1218, for the Air Force, such that it would, for security reasons, run in an "interlaced mode". In this mode it would run every 2nd, 4th or 8th instruction {Editor note: 1218M on geneology charts}. Memory lock-out was actually a better way to provide similar security. Another special 1218 based computer was the 1224 for NSA. I was PE and did the control section and Leroy Olson did the I/O design. This computer had some really weird algorithms and was likely one of NSA's first computers specially designed to surreptitiously monitor communications - {editor's note: Ernie Lantto became PE for minor upgrades before production}.
   The 1230 computer was the result of an engineering proposal that Glen K. and I did, in 1964, for a computer for NASA Apollo telecommunications. When Univac won the contract, Red Phillips, our new boss at Plant 5, made me PE. Bob Oulicky designed the I/O, Glen Kregness designed the arithmetic section and I designed the control section. This became the CP-855/UYK, for political reasons called the Modified CP-642B. Although it used the same logic family PC cards as the 20B and the same cabinet, it's memory was twice as fast at 2 usec and it was capable of operating in an instruction/operand overlap mode, thus achieving almost 4 times performance of the 20B. {Editor's note: By organizing the memory into banks with two or three or four sets of addressing and data wiring, processor logic could fetch the next instruction while fetching the current operand.} It was also capable of having up to 262K of total memory with an additional external cabinet. The external memory presented a difficult wire count problem which resulted in my first computer related patent - the idea of sending logic data bi-directionally over the same wires {read and write data lines}, reducing wire count by 50%. Today that concept is ubiquitous.
   One day, just before start of checkout, as I was preparing to go on a one day marketing support trip, Red asked, “How are things going?”. I replied, “Good, but it sure would help if I could park in the ‘professionals’ parking lot, close by plant.”  When I got back from the trip, there on my desk was a yellow parking sticker, a promotion to engineer and our assigned parking spot right next to the entrance to Plant 3! Tom Herschbach, VP Manufacturing, had the spot on the other side of the door. Red sure knew how to wind/tighten a guy's spring!
   It took us 9 months to design, build and checkout the first 1230 unit. The pressure of this project was so great on me that I not only lost a lot of weight (starting at 135 lbs, not much to spare) but also, I nearly went "over the edge". After watching it loaded onto a semi for shipment to Goddard, on a sunny July afternoon in 1965, I got in my car, drove around the corner from Plant 3 onto Prior Ave, parked the car and just sat there for 20-30 min. I was unable to drive, emotionally overwhelmed. It felt like a 1,000 lbs had been lifted off my back. I vowed, to myself, I would never again get that involved in a project - and I never did. I was suffering from PCS (post checkout syndrome) a term I started using a few years later to describe this situation to logic design engineers. Doing logic design is a totally cerebral effort with ever increasing hectic pressure and long hours, culminating in checkout completion/shipment - an abrupt end. Like running into a brick wall! It would be easy to write an entire chapter on this subject. A “shrink” could probably write a book or two!
   The CP-890/UYK navigation computer for the Poseidon nuclear submarines was initially bid as a standard AN/UYK-7.  However, there was a requirement that it go down the submarine hatch without disassembly. Since the AN/UYK-7 did not meet that requirement, Sperry Systems Management (SSM) rejected the proposal. Consequently, I was asked to prepare a Plant 5 engineering proposal. The result was a hexagon shaped computer which would go down the hatch fully assembled – the CP-890/UYK. We were awarded the contract and Red asked me to be PE. I said OK, if during that time I didn’t have to make marketing support trips - although I must confess trips with guys like Bill Rock were always interesting.  Red said, “It’s a deal”, and we shook hands on it. The PE responsibility on this project was broader than usual. The contract required that all the performing organizations’ personnel report to the PE, including Manufacturing, Quality, Reliability and Field Service. The CP-890 was based on the 1230 computer. It had a 1.8 usec, 3 wire core memory and was proposed with a mated-film control memory. The mated-film control memory, although the best solution at the time, was power hungry and quite large. So, when I became aware that an IC with 16 bits had been developed and would soon be available, I immediately requested approval from the SSM and the Navy to use the 16 bit IC in place of the mated-film. They approved. Unfortunately, DSD management didn’t. I was told not to use it because it was too risky - it wouldn’t be as reliable as our P/N 7901000/1001 DTL IC’s.  {Ed note: the 1000/1001  ICs were upgraded to P/N 1003/1004 to implement higher quality control standards.} Mind boggling when one considers that today’s IC’s have more than a million times that much memory! I was thoroughly frustrated/disgusted until one day Red asked me to go on a one-day marketing trip. I reminded him of our deal, but I would be willing to go if he would get management approval to use the 16 bit memory cell.  Without hesitation he replied, “It’s a deal” and we shook on it.  A couple days later, when I got back, there on my desk was a letter approving use of the 16 bit IC.  I now was confident that we’d be able to fit everything into the allowable space. One of the unique challenges was the requirement to be able to withstand major power interruptions.  At acceptance, the customer was amazed that we could flip the power switch off and on and the program never lost it’s way!  The key members of the excellent design team were: Glen Kregness, Dick Erdrich, Neil Macrorie, Bob Wyland, John Bruder, and Jim Warwick. I did part of the control section design. The Poseidon Navy people were extremely pleased with the CP-890 because of it’s outstanding performance and reliability (and it fit down the hatch.) 
   Times were a little slow in 1969, and so we were given the job of designing a 2 wire, core mass memory for Sperry Roseville and of course we needed a memory exerciser. It occurred to me that memory exercisers, like computers, always had many so-called “logic bugs” when first turned-on, but in reality these were implementation errors – very few were actual logic errors.  Typical errors were documentation errors, incorrect pin assignments, duplication of logic elements, PC routing errors, PC assembly errors, wiring errors, etc., etc. So, I challenged Paul Kruelle, who was designing the memory exerciser, to do a design and check for errors to such a degree that when the exerciser is first plugged-in it would immediately run – error free. He took the challenge eagerly. Some time later, when he turned it on, there was one problem – the RUN switch was active in the down position instead of the up position. I asked Paul, “How come you screwed-up?”  He said, “The V-drawing was wrong!” Based on that experiment, we started a campaign to convince everyone in the department that it was possible to have very close to 100% perfect logic designs.  What is required is checking, checking and rechecking to eliminate implementation errors!  We found that to get people to do that, it’s necessary to convince them that all that checking is cost effective. So, we started a departmental campaign. Our slogan was: Accuracy Pays – which we put on give-away trinkets such as magnifying lenses, pens etc. I bring all this up because it was a key factor in the success of the next project – the S-3A computer, also the AN/UYK-43, AN/UYK-44 and several others.
   Things were going just fine, in the fall of 1969, when Red called and asked if I would meet him at The Criterion for lunch. When I got there, there also were Bill Gieger and Don Vizanko. Now what?? After a martini, they let it out – they wanted me to be the new S-3A Project PE. This was the AN/AYK-10 computer being designed for the S-3A anti-submarine airplane. Their idea did not enthuse me. The project did not have a good reputation. About a month earlier, Red had asked me to look into what could be done to get the S-3A processor performance up to requirement.  Because Glen K. was so capable and respected by all the engineers, I asked him to go over and talk with the guys.  He quickly concluded that they could solve the problem by using a few of the higher power type TTL IC’s in key spots in the logic. We passed this on to Red. The suggestion was not utilized because Engineering knew and Program Management confirmed that the contract did not allow those type of IC’s.
   The S-3A project managers were not thrilled to see a new PE. The first thing I did was eliminate a level of management, a few extraneous jobs/positions and daily “action item review” meetings with the managers. At the first meeting with the managers, I assured them I was on their side and we would win, but we needed the best help that we could possibly get, from all the other departments. To get that best help we need a “winner” image. I made it clear that anyone who bad-mouths the project will immediately be let go from the project. The project had major problems: The processor was too slow; The computer was 35 lbs over weight; Design was behind schedule and the project was over budget.
   Solving the processor performance problem was easy. With the concurrence of the logic engineers, I informed Program Management [Dan Brophy] that we would be using some higher power IC’s, told them what the performance would be and please get the contract changed. Within a week or so, the customer (Lockheed) had agreed. One problem down! Eliminating 35 lbs was tougher. Paul Richardson, was the customer required weight analyst - as in airplane design. He did a great job of helping get every possible ounce out of the design. Lockheed people, being airplane builders, riveted everything and we, DSD, tended to weld. They kept suggesting we go to a riveted cabinet which would save considerable weight. Our engineers were resisting because of possible RFI leakage concerns. I finally convinced the engineers that it was a political decision. It makes sense to go to a riveted cabinet. At least the airplane will get off the carrier deck and if there is RFI leakage it’s the customer’s problem – we did what he wanted.
   The biggest challenges were the schedule and budget problems, which were very related. The design employed 12 layer PC boards. Correcting a logic problem on an inside layer was virtually impossible. So the project plan was to breadboard the entire system using wire wrap connections between the IC’s. Based on Paul Kruelle’s “error free” effort, it was clear to me that the bread boarding would likely increase the number of implementation errors, because there were so many more steps. Furthermore, with the project expenditures running at almost $100K per week, the bread boarding approach would cost well over $1M and add several months to the schedule. I was able to convince the managers and engineers: Let’s instead spend some of that $1M plus on checking, checking, and rechecking. It wasn’t long before the logic guys had bets, amongst themselves, as to who would have the fewest errors! At that point, success was assured. Although the “accuracy” effort focused on the logic area, it involved all areas, including build. Checkout, on this complex multi-processor system, was completed in a matter of a few weeks. A great accomplishment! The key managers were “Chuck” Mattson, Dave Bosworth, Larry Lesko, and “Swede” Berg. The key lead logic designers were Tom Petschauer, Lew Carlson, and Gerry Shaw. The first unit, a welded version, was accepted by Lockheed in January, 1971 - on schedule. The first riveted version came in a short time later at 385 lbs.- exactly on target!
   The role of being the PE on computer design projects finally came to an end. The S-3A was the last computer design for which I was the PE. A couple years later I was given responsibility for all computer design/development activity. I was Director of Computer Development for about 7 years – a record. During that time the department did numerous computer designs, the most significant of which were the MPC-1616, the Reconfigurable Module Family (RMF) series, AN/AYK-15, AN/UYK-20, AN/UYK-23, AN/UYK-43, and AN/UYK-44. The UYK-43 and –44 both utilized an MSI technology shared with Sperry Roseville. But, there was a huge difference in implementation technique. They bread boarded their designs. We opted for “Accuracy Pays” and thus had a much shorter schedule and lower development cost – which upper management never did seem to fully understand/appreciate.
   My final year at Sperry was much different than the first 29 years. Although for the first time I had nothing to do with computer design, it was very interesting! I roamed around the country looking for business opportunities for Sperry Defense Systems. One of the opportunities I came across was some interesting “laser scanning” technology 3M had partially developed, but for which they didn’t have a good application. Unfortunately (fortunately?) it didn’t seem applicable to Sperry’s defense business interests either.
   Thus began my second career. In 1985, after 30 years, I left Sperry and co-founded, with a fellow from 3M, a start-up company – Printware. I provided most of the seed money thus became the President and CEO. We developed a computer-to-plate laser imaging machine and soon, with Deluxe Check as our key customer, 50% of the checks in the US were being printed using our machines and using our special plate material. Printware eventually traded on the NASDAQ exchange, but was subsequently taken private. In 1988 I received an “Entrepreneur of The Year” award from MN Gov. Rudy Perpich. About the only thing that was good for was it legitimized putting “entrepreneur” on my business card.
   ERA/Remington Rand/Univac/Sperry – What a great company (people) to have worked with! Don V. Mager

2.2 Ben Manning, 1969 - 2006

   Ben joined the Univac International Research & Development Center (IRDC), London, UK in mid-1969, where he maintained & enhanced the NELIAC compiler for a Univac 494 computer. He also built a syntax analyzer to reformat compiler source rather than manually recode and later worked on a real-time scheduler for the STARS Airline Seat Reservation System. In mid-1970 Ben joined Univac UK, in London as the lead on the development of a communications front-end for a Univac 418 III computer at J. Lucas Electrical, Birmingham, UK.
   In 1972 Ben joined Sperry Univac World Wide Marketing, in Blue Bell, PA, to work on the Law Enforcement Application Package (LEAP). This project, under Dr. Hans Hermans, developed the LEAP Programming Language (LPL) interpretive compiler for the Univac 418 III computer. LPL was similar to the modern JAVA language in that instructions were executed interpretively to provide a secure environment. Much of this work was performed at the Pennsylvania State Police Center, Hershey, PA, and on assignment at the Minnesota State Police in St Paul, MN in the summer of 1974.
   In early 1975 Ben joined Sperry Univac, Defense Systems Division at the FAA Tech Center (then known as the National Avionics Facilities Experimental Center (NAFEC)in Pomona, NJ). At the Tech Center he initially maintained support software for the IOP & CPM processors and later developed a Disk-resident Batch Operating System based on Djikstra’s ‘THE’ system.
   In January 1977 he moved to Sperry, Defense Systems, St. Paul, MN, in the International Systems Engineering group under Denny Stanga. In May 1977 he flew to the Telefunken site in Ulm, Germany, to integrate an ATC demonstration that was presented in June 1977 at the Paris Air Show, France.
   In 1978 Ben, Leo Slechta, and Wilson Wen were the principal architects for the TAOC-85 system design. They built & demonstrated the High Speed Search Unit (HSSU) associative processor development, which resulted in multiple US Patent awards – Ben has two of them. One of Leo’s patents from this development was the Variable Cycle Time Clock, which he later used on the AN/UYK-44 development.
   Between 1979 and 1982 Leo and Ben (and later just Ben) defined, built, and demonstrated the System Control Unit (SCU), a hardware executive kernel based on the AN/UYK-502. The 1982 demonstration of SCU performance was accomplished through a port of the Trident Carry-on Reduction System (TCRS) to OS-16; the SDEX-20 kernel was removed entirely, with OS-16 running on the bare SCU-based machine. The benchmark showed a 100x performance improvement in message handling on the network.
   In 1982 and 1983 Ben worked with Tom Wolff, Larry Anderson, Don Bennett, and the technology team on the VHSIC Sub-Micron project with TRW in Los Angeles, CA. On March 1st, 1983, his 1st HSSU patent was awarded.
   Between 1984 and 1987 Ben lead fault-tolerant computing architecture studies for what was the Naval Ocean Systems Center (NOSC), in San Diego, CA. The initial study was for a Fault-Tolerant AN/UYK-44 based on the MIT Draper Labs FTP System; Draper Labs were a subcontractor on the study. The second study was for a Fault-Tolerant PI-Bus approach; the study showed that the Pi-Bus did not support fault-tolerance well. In March, 1985, his 2nd HSSU patent was awarded (this was the system level patent).
   In 1987 and 1988 Ben spent some time in Business Development doing Technology Marketing, mainly in support of the MULTITUDE Parallel Processing system developed by Steve Murphy, Larry Anderson, Don Bennett, and Brian Larson. In 1990 and 1991 he worked IR&D, supporting Vince Splett on the Passive Direction Finder (PDF) Demo and its follow-on, the EW Workstation.
   In 1992 Ben started his IR&D developments in support of Maritime Surveillance programs. Initially, he worked with employees from Winnipeg, Canada, on their ADMOS Demo for the New Shipboard Aircraft helicopter system. This evolved in 1993 into the P-3C CHRD demo system, resulting in the P-3 fuselage mockup demo lab. The equipment in the P-3C CHRD lab supported both the RAAF Proposal demonstrations in Canberra, Australia, and the March 1994 Navy League demo in support of AIP proposal.
   After the AIP Program win, Ben performed as lead on the VDC Firmware development from 1994 to 1996.
   Following the AIP FQT in 1996, Ben moved back to IR&D to define the S-3B X-Windows system architecture. This effort was once again in collaboration with our colleagues in Winnipeg and continued thru 1997.
   In 1998 Ben took the lead on the Java for Tactical Computing (JTaC) IR&D started by Bob Shepard and Steve Sohn. Working with Steve Sohn he helped provide an ATC track feed from MSP airport to project within Plant 8. During this time Ben also assumed the lead of the LMTS COTS Focus Team and participated as the LMTS representative on the NE&SS COTS Working Group and later for the EPI Center Commercial Engineering Practices (CEP) Sub-council.
Ben was the LMTS lead for the LM-21 COTS Best Practice transfer, for which we were a source site. Based on the information uncovered during the best practice transfer he worked with the COTS Focus Team to develop and publish the LMTS COTS Technical Management process (PREN0500), which recently became the MS2 COTS common process.
Ben work as a member of the team that developed the Strategic Sourcing process (PRPR0100), which has metamorphosed in to the current LMTS Sourcing process. Prior to transferring from TechOps into Operations to run the Strategic Sourcing program Ben was a significant contributor to the draft Engineering CMMI compliant process (PREN1000).
   Following the transfer to Operations, Ben helped define the Global Supply Chain Management (GSCM) process. He acted as Manager, Strategic Technologies, in the Production Operations organization for two and a half years.
Ben moved back into TechOps to manage the Anti-Tamper (AT) portion of the MMA program, which we promptly lost shortly after his transfer (no connection here). After the MMA loss Ben took on the lead of the Anti-Tamper IR&D program, working with other LM sites (Orlando, Moorestown), the AT customer and DoD labs, such as Sandia, to help bring the AT culture into LMTS.
   In late 2004 Ben took on the role of Systems Engineering Functional Manager for the RCI Systems Engineering personnel, a position which he held until retiring in June, 2006. He feels that the functional manager role is key to LMTS at the current time because of the need to maintain our high quality workforce despite the demographic shifts that are underway.   

2.3 Gene McCarthy, 1960-

   I was born and raised in Bayonne, NJ - attended High School in Staten Island, NY. I enrolled in the NY Maritime College majoring in Marine Engineering. After two years I realized that the Merchant Marine was not in my future. I was hired at Curtiss Wright as an assistant engineer, while I was applying to St. Peter’s College. I received an Acceptance Letter from St. Peter’s and a Draft Notice on the same day. After serving four years in the Air Force as a Search Radar Repairman, I joined Remington Rand Univac on September 12, 1960. My first project was Field Engineering on the Athena Computer.
   After assignments at Bell Telephone Laboratories, at Whippany, NJ, the Athena Test Facility in St. Paul and the Titan I ICBM site at Buckley Field, CO, the program was cancelled because the Titan II Program was put into service.
I joined the ANEW Program in St. Paul as a Programmer. The ANEW project was sent to the Naval Air Development Center, Warminster, PA in 1965. The ANEW Project was the first implementation of computerizing the Lockheed P-3 Anti Submarine Warfare aircraft. I worked on the P-3 Laboratory Simulation Program and Advanced Signal Processing programs.
   As the USN was phasing in new airborne ASW aircraft into the fleet, the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) decided that as a NATO member, they also would need to develop a Long Range Patrol ASW, aircraft with state-of-the-art Systems Capability. They had the choice of buying what the USN was developing, from the USN or Developing their own ASW aircraft and systems. Of course they chose to develop their own.
   During early 1972, the Canadian DND asking for Concept Definition Phase proposals to multi engine aircraft Companies. DND was asking for an ASW and Troop Carrying capabilities in one configuration. Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed CALAC responded. MD responded by proposing their DC-10, Boeing their 707 and Lockheed their P-3C. Sperry Univac DSD Proposed to MD as well as Lockheed. Boeing was doing their own thing. The DND was enthralled with the MD DC-10; but the DND required more than two for the available Program dollars. If MD had not stopped building DC-8s, they would have been the Winner. The Avionics System they and Sperry Univac proposed was well received.
   The final Request for Tender went out to Boeing and Lockheed. Stan Foote, Director International Marketing asked his Marketing Manager, Gary Holthusen, to bring in a sales person with P-3 ASW experience for assignment to the Canadian Long Range Patrol Aircraft (LRPA) Program. I was asked to move from NADC to Eagan to take the position, which I did.
   DSD already had a team working on the proposal with Lockheed. Therefore my job was to get the lay of the land and talk to the DND Air Force people managing the Program. Canadian AF Major Ziglegansberger was the technical leader of the program and our expert in ASW signal processing. I also met the General, Program Director, and the Colonel, Program Manager and Contracts Director as well as the folks who would enforce the Political requirements which are known as Industrial Benefits.
   After meeting with several City Managers, we selected Winnipeg to City for our Industrial Benefits because of its high tech work force, prominent National Politicians and of course, Winnipeg’s close proximity to Eagan. Overall, it was insinuated to me that Boeing could probably use our help as well as Lockheed. The CAF Program team seemed to want a jet plane rather than the propeller plane that the Americans are in love with. I kept thinking that there would be one winner with two proposers. That amounts to a 50% chance of winning. That would be considered a great chance in some leagues; but not this one. I therefore made plans to visit Boeing. I put together the team with the proper skills and the presentation materials I needed. I then made the argument with my managers to allow me to visit Boeing and they agreed, providing I pitched the S-3 AYK-10 computer. I made a call to the Boeing Program Manager and he agreed to host a meeting where he would have the appropriate people in the meeting. I knew they preferred a distributed system, so I also had Paul Williams prepared to present the UYK-20.
   The only statement the Program Manager managed during or after the AYK-1832 presentation was no thanks. I said I had one more presentation and he agreed. Paul Williams gave the UYK-20 pitch, which did raise a few eyebrows and a lot of interest. Then they wanted to know why I was presenting a shipboard computer for an airborne application. I said that I went on the basis that the aircraft was a 707 and the vibrations and the ambient parameters would be benign. The program manager shot back, “how long would the UYK 20 run if a 30 in. hole was suddenly blown in the fuselage, at 30 thousand feet”? I answered that no one on the plane would know, or care, if that calamity indeed happened. The Program Manager thought for a few seconds and then said, I guess you’re right about that. We went on to bid a six computer system and a high percentage of the Application Software, including the two Univac 1108 based ground systems, which we also bid. The overall proposed dollars were about the same regardless of which prime won. Sleep comes a lot easier with a 100 percent chance of winning.
   Lockheed did go on to win the 18 CP-140 aircraft program and Ground Systems based on price and not the proximity of the US Navy. We did open an assembly plant west of the Winnipeg airport with Gerry Smith and Glenn Johnson, selected by Bob Faust, to manage the plant. Many cables and electronic boards were assembled and installed into the AYK-10 computer in Winnipeg for the CP-140 program.
   As I was meeting with the CP-140 program folks in the DND Headquarters building in Ottawa, I was asked by Gary Holthusen to visit a Lt. Cmdr. Carruthers of the Canadian Navy, who had some questions concerning the UYK-20 computer. I called Cdr. Carruthers and made an appointment to meet with him. I called the Commander from the lobby and he came down to meet me. He also took the opportunity to brief me on the makeup of the Navy as well as the organization he was part of, Directorate of Maritime Combat Systems. Jim Carruthers worked for DMCS-7, Systems Engineering, led by CDR. John Matthewson. DMCS-7 was responsible for all the System Interfaces that go onto a given ship class. DMCS-1 thru 6 are assigned as Navigation systems, Radar systems, Communication systems, Sonar systems, Gun systems, Machinery Control etc. A Navy Captain is Director of Maritime Combat Systems.
   Cdr Carruthers was tasked with developing a mini Command and Control system, known as ADLIPS, for the newest destroyer class ships, the DDH-280 Class. New computers and software were required and Cdr. Carruthers was interested in learning about the US Navy UYK-20 for the Computer system. He had previously investigated all the Competition’s computer offerings but I was the first Sperry Univac marketing person he had the chance to talk to. I told him about the UYK-20 and had several more meetings with Jim and interested military and engineering personnel from the other sections of the DCMS. At one meeting with about 30 Canadian DMCS engineers, I had Mel DeBlauw answering there questions for about two hours concerning just about every technical nuance imaginable and Mel answering the questions from his memory to their satisfaction. One more question was asked about some minute detail on packaging and Mel held his chin with his fingers and really stared with a deep from for a couple of minutes and said “I just don’t have that detail on the tip of my tongue”. The audience roared and Jim Carruthers and John Mathewson were proud of the knowledge base of Sperry Univac.
   Jim ended up ordering 18 UYK-20 computers for the ADLIPS program. The Software was developed by Litton Systems Canada, the ADLIPS Contractor. After Buy-off at our Clear Water Plant, DMCS had them consigned to a storage crib in Clear Water until the program was ready for them.
   In the meantime, the US Navy approved a development contract to double the amount of the UYK-20 Memory. I told Jim that we had the Development contract and after talking to his colleges and the ADLIPS program people, he called me to Ottawa to meet with him and his DMCS superiors, Cdr Matthewson and the Captain. Since the new expanded memory would go into the same slots as the previous memory, Jim asked if Sperry Univac would buy back the unused memory of the computers in storage and insert the new expanded memory and they would pay the difference in price. I said it sounded reasonable to me but I would have to check our contracts department.
   It sounded good to my management, Tom Knops and John Spearing, however, Don Blattie, our Contracts Manager said the memories in storage were officially bought and accepted by the Canadian Navy and would therefore be considered as used equipment by our US Navy contract. Our US Navy contract calls for exclusively new equipment. We could not put them into the next computers coming down the line. I felt as though I was in a vise until I asked Don Blattie about the Foreign Navies that were buying UYK-20 Computers. Do they also require exclusively new equipments in there contracts? At least one did not. The exchange was made and the Canadians bought the first 16 Expanded Memory UYK-20 computers that our Company sold.
   The CPF program is discussed with the “CPF Anatomy of a WIN”. The Canadian Navy went on to build 8 ships of a planned 16 ships. An abstract of Jim Carruther’s SHINPADS paper printed in the April, 1979 Naval Engineers Journal may be a useful definition of SHINPADS.
   My last program of importance was the P-3 AIP program. This was the first set of a complete modernization of the P-3 Fleet of ASW aircraft. I was also the first total competitive Aircraft and System Upgrade Prime contract that we proposed and won. Our competition was LM Marietta. It was a great win. The initial contract was for $29M for six aircraft. The remaining 240 aircraft upgrades followed.
   My last success was to happily retire in 1996 after 36 satisfying years.  

2.4 Ed Michaud, 1953-1986.

March 1953 to December 1986
   I began my career with Engineering Research and Associates, Division of Remington Rand. My first job assignment was on Project 1112 which was titled "Construction of ERA 1103 Computer Systems. The Project Supervisor was F.P. (Frank) Mullaney and the Project Engineer was R.P. (Bob) Murnane. The total employment of ERA in St. Paul was about 600. From 1953 through 1964, I worked in a varying number of administrative positions with increasing responsibility in Engineering, Product Design and Manufacturing and was ultimately promoted to Manager, Contract Services and Spare Parts in the Contracts Administration Group.
   In 1970, I was named Group Manager of General Services in Industrial Relations. I replaced Mr. Knight Pryor who had retired. That position was in charge of all physical facilities and associated services for the Defense Systems Div. This included all tenant functions including leasing, building design, construction, maintenance, industrial and government security, office services, communications, transportation and energy/environmental management.
   In 1977 my position was expanded to include responsibility for Defense Systems Facilities in Clearwater, FL; Salt Lake City, UT; and Winnipeg, Canada. With this added responsibilities, came a promotion to director.
   In the fall of 1984, the Sperry Corporation created the Defense Systems Group under the leadership of R. L. (Dick) Seaberg. It included all Military and Defense business and related facilities in the Gyro, Flight Systems, and Marine Divisions - world wide. As a result of this reorganization, I was promoted to the position of Executive Director, Facilities and Security - Defense Products Group. The duties of my position required extensive contact with State and local government and business entities involving property and community relations. It was a position that was very action oriented and involved in many varied aspects. I can truly say that I enjoyed most every day.
I retired from this position in December, 1986.   

2.5 Don Moe, 1957-

   This is Don Moe’s profile - he worked for several Lockheed Martin predecessors experiencing many diverse career assignments while in the computer application field. These experiences started at Remington Rand in the 1957 and were enjoyable, including the positive experience of working both in the military and commercial divisions of the company. This career acquainted him with many people while giving him knowledge of different applications, events, and customers.
   Don Moe majored in college in Mathematics and Business Administration. After college, he joined Remington Rand, later renamed Remington Rand Univac, then Univac, Sperry, then Sperry Univac, and Unisys. At these companies he worked on computer engineering projects in both the Defense and Commercial divisions. Initially, he was a statistician/mathematician where he worked on various mathematical studies for the company. While in this position he learned to program from a co-worker; and he went on to program several mathematical equations he was using in his work on the computer. He became fascinated by programming and transferred into a programming group. Don was fortunate to be involved in the infancy of the computer age and to work on “state of the science” projects in the technical engineering field for customers like: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force. In the company’s Defense Division his work consisted of the design and development of scientific computer programs used in the guidance of missiles Simulation (SIM), Computerized Training for astronauts (Simulation Checkout and Training System (SCATS), statistical analysis and reduction of satellite telemetry data (Gemini Launch Data System-GLDS), simulation programs and other engineering applications. He worked on the Department of Defense (DOD) classified missile guidance programs involving both Satellite Intercept (THOR-ABLE, DELTA) and Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Launches (TITAN). These programs were involved in the early exploration of space and Soviet intelligence gathering via spy satellites launched from Vandenberg AFB in California and Cape Canaveral in Florida. There were also programs involved in Satellite interception launched from Johnston Island in the Pacific. These programs involved working with major DOD contractors like Lockheed and Government agencies like NASA. He personally developed numerous engineering/scientific programs; logic simulator, reliability analysis, missile guidance simulation, real-time telemetry, training simulators and engineering beam stress analysis. In the Domestic Division he worked on application programs in the education field (Chicago Board of Education), application programs for large scale computers, automated engineering design programs used to logically design (via Boolean equations) new computer architectures, and test programs to verify the functional operation of computers and their peripherals.

   After several years working as a computer software engineer in the technical field, he advanced to supervisory and management positions at age 29, where he was involved with the design, development and support of computer systems. While in Engineering he assumed project management roles on large hardware and software projects. In engineering management, he managed 30 professional engineers with the accountability to develop hardware and software programs in support of computer product integration and acceptance. These groups included engineering, system engineering, support engineering, software development (both in application, systems programming and test programming). He provided leadership to professionals (35 engineers) performing systems analysis in support of system definition and design to achieve stated objectives. This group included system analysts, system engineers in the design, development and integration of new DOD systems. He was accountable for a group of professionals (30 engineers and programmers) responsible for developing software used in the checkout of major computer systems. This test engineering and simulation software experience included the development of both simulation and test software for both Defense and Commercial hardware configurations. He also helped structural engineering organizations (10-60 professionals) to perform specific charters. This involved manpower planning and establishing working relationships between customers and internal company organizations.
   He entered the Program Manager organization where he was responsible for the management of all the software development programs associated with the Navy business area. Some of the major programs were Technical and Management Services (TEAMS), Tactical Flag Command Center (TFCC), Dynamic Simulation Subsystem (DSS), Automatic Direction Finding System (ADF), and Improved Tactical Air Operations Center (ITAOC). He was the Program Manager for a 50 million dollar Navy project contract for technical engineering and management support. The company helped him to demonstrate management ability on major computer development contracts both from an administrative and technical viewpoint. One of the most recent was the Program Manager responsibility for a multi million government (Navy) contract. In program management, he had responsibility for various projects and programs. These projects helped develop his capabilities, and he used special skills in customer interfacing, business development, teaming negotiations, proposal strategy/negotiations, system analysis, engineering management and program management.
At Unisys and its predecessors, he traveled over two million miles.

   He consulted for several other computer companies after he left Unisys, such as Atlantic Research Corp (ARC), Computer Science Corp (CSC), Marktech, Smart Solutions, Knowledge Management Inc. (KMI). His consulting experience included the following: Therapeutic Immunology, Inc. (TII), a medical company, where he coordinated requirements (project management) between Medical Doctors, PhDs, and management personnel. At KMI he worked on a users manual for the software development company that designed and developed a state of the art system utilizing artificial intelligence technology/knowledge based systems. At Marktech Group, Inc., he worked on new business Development for a small medical computer company, working with major primes and other small companies to sell Marktech's expertise and develop teaming agreements and project management functions. At Smart Solutions, Inc., he also worked on new business development for a computer company involved in developing knowledge-based systems utilizing the technologies of multimedia, and information dissemination. At ARC/CSC, he has primary project responsibility for the development of the technical and cost proposals for a large ($50+M) proposal. A great journey with no regrets!
   On a plane ride to Texas with Dick Lachenmeyer, I met Vice President Hubert Humphrey.  

2.6 Joyce Mortison, 1961-1988

I am a Unisys/Lockheed retiree that worked in the computer technology field for 27 years. My educational background is: BA Economics and Mathematics, University of Cincinnati

MBA University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN

My first job was at Procter and Gamble, doing market research and multiple regression analysis. From there, I had the great fortune to be on the ground floor of both the emerging computer world plus space exploration. I worked for GE/NASA on the Saturn V, working with Von Braun's staff and other German scientists. I found contributing to the US space program was awesome and very rewarding.
My next opportunity was being a Research Fellow on the Faculty of the Univ. of Minnesota. I did statistical analysis on 150,000 children for a US Congressional Subcommittee that brought funding for the School Lunch Program, Low Income Health Clinics and the Maternity and Child Health Programs.

Next I worked at Univac in St. Paul. My research projects included software engineering, structured design methodologies and the software life cycle support tools. I designed the PROVAC (Process Visibility and Control System) that allowed management visibility into the software development life cycle. I made presentations at Gull Lake, COMPCON 77, and at the 3rd National Security Industrial Assoc Software Conference. I served nationally on the NSIA Software Quality, Reliability and Assurance Committee as well as the IEEE Software Engineering Technical Committee.

My next job adventure was under the Jimmy Carter energy initiatives. Our team won the proposal to create the Solar Energy Center in Golden, CO along with four Regional Centers. We created Energy Information Computer Networks into all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. I was the Information Technology Manager for the Mid-American Solar Energy Complex in Eagan, MN.

My next job adventure was to return to Unisys where I was a Software Engineering Resource Manager handling Underseas Resource Projects. This assignment was in the Systems Engineering Division under Dave Kolling.

Some of the changes that I have seen in the workplace is that women are advancing in management opportunities and better equal pay situations, comparing the 1980's to the 1960's. So things are getting better and more equalized for women as time goes on!

Submitted: Joyce Mortison  

2.7 Lyle Mozak, 1969-1987

What an incredible web site.... awesome ! I worked for Univac - Sperry for 17.5 yrs.. from 1969 - 1987. Started as a hardware technician, then systems, then pre-sales, sales then management. Sold first Mapper system in Canada here in Edmonton, Alberta to automotive parts distributor - Loveseths Ltd. Consulted for years and to this day still use Mapper - Coolice on NT server 4.0 for own business and customer web sites. MAPPER and I were made for each other... written inventory, order entry, accounting, plus many other applications. Lots of memories ... trips to Roseville with clients (City of Edmonton - Western Supplies - Alberta Blue Cross) even got to fly in the Univac Corporate Jet... (pictures to prove it!) I've got an old 1720 sorter ... lots of unique items from 9480, 1110 and other computers.. even complete and working Sperry UNIX computers model 30 and 50 .. plus a complete Unisys Unix computer (expansion cabinet plus 2-cabinets - can't remember the model.. plus all the manuals... plus reel to reel 16-mm movie (I think 9480), plus 80-col card gauges, plus other publications... Just could never get rid of all this.. Keep up the good work.. your documenting of the legacy of computers is awesome and more need to know about it.

Best regards, Lyle Mozak Edmonton, Alberta Canada  

2.8 Keith Myhre, 1972 - 1991

   I hired into Univac on July 5th, 1972 after graduating with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (BEE) degree from the University of Minnesota. At the time, there were few new hires, but the JPTDS (Junior Participating Tactical Data System) project was staffing up - Carl Rock and I joined the project together. Our supervisor was Norris Nielsen, and our manager was Dick Kuhns. When I was told I’d be programming the ICKCMX (Integrated Circuit Keyset Central Multiplexer) POFA (Programmed Operational Functional Appraisal), I had two questions: 1) What is an ICKCMX? 2) What is a POFA? Eight months later I was at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington debugging the program.
   Carl Rock and I were two of the first Univac employees to take engineering classes at the University of Minnesota via UNITE (UNiversity-Industry Television for Education). At lunch time, we would head down to the education department in the basement to watch TV. The TV was black & white, not color, and we had a push-to-talk microphone to ask questions of the professor while he (there weren’t any “she’s”) lectured. We both received MSEE degrees without ever having to set foot on campus to attend class. Although it took me six years to get my master’s degree in electrical engineering, I was able to do it while working full time, and with Univac paying for the majority of the costs via tuition reimbursement.
   In late summer of 1976, I was asked to go on a six month temporary assignment to Ulm, Germany as a combat system engineer to work with team member AEG-Telefunken on the F-122 Frigate proposal for the German Navy. Two weeks later I had a passport, my household goods and Bricklin were in storage, and I was on a flight to Germany. Team leader Al Bettis, along with the other Sperry Univac team members Morley Moe and Clyde Ketelson, were already on site, and Marketing (Gene Schultz) wanted me in Ulm as soon as possible. So I was put on a Northwest flight to Chicago, where I flew Swissair to Zurich and Lufthansa to Stuttgart. Economy class on the Swiss Air flight was full (this was before the days of business class), so I was booked into First Class – my first and last time! When the Northwest flight landed at O’Hare, the flight attendant paged me to meet a Swissair representative at the door. I was the first person off the plane, where the Swissair representative escorted me down the jet way stairs and walked me across the tarmac to the Swissair First Class Lounge. I was impressed, thinking that I could get used to international travel! After landing in Zurich, I had a four hour layover for my Lufthansa flight. The jet lag, combined with drinks in the lounge and on the flight over the Atlantic, made me sleepy. So I took a nap in the main airport lounge. When I woke up, it was still an hour before my flight departure – no problem, right? Wrong! That was my first introduction to stringent European airport security, where paramilitary soldiers patrolled the concourses carrying automated weapons. And to buses that transport passengers from the terminal to the aircraft. I got to my gate 20 minutes before the scheduled flight departure, only to find out I was too late. The last bus had already left for the plane! Six hours later I was finally in Stuttgart, and on to Ulm for the next six months. The Sperry Univac/AEG-Telefunken/Bremer Vulcan team won the F-122 Frigate competition, affording a number of Sperry Univac personnel the opportunity to go on temporary assignment in Bremen, Germany for development of the F-122 Frigate.
   Following my return from Ulm, Germany, I was the project engineer on the concept definition of the SHINPADS (Shipborne Integrated Processing and Display System) Serial Data Bus. Other team members that designed the SHINPADS Serial Data Bus included Dick (Ole) Olson, Steve Anderson, and Ross Starkson. SHINPADS is a distributed system architecture for a shipboard combat system. The chief architect was LCDR John Mathewson of the Canadian Navy, who based his master’s thesis on SHINPADS. The Canadian Navy specified the SHINPADS Serial Data Bus as the interconnect system in their Canadian Patrol Frigate (CPF) RFP. Since I was an “expert” on the SHINPADS Serial Data Bus, I was assigned to support the Hollandse Signaal Apparaten (HSA)/Litton proposal development team and was the only Sperry Univac person on their team. Everyone else worked on the winning CPF team! I spent the better part of six months at the HSA/Litton facility in Longueuil, Quebec (across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal) helping write their proposal.
Navies around the world had a great deal of interest in the CPF combat system architecture and the SHINPADS Serial Data Bus. At the request of International Marketing, I made dozens of presentations to potential naval customers in Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Greece, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. Despite all of the interest, no navy other than the Canadian Navy has implemented a distributed processing architecture like SHINPADS. Interestingly, my wife Tricia (Patricia Bailey Myhre, who has worked at the company since 1976) and I were vacationing in San Francisco in October 2005. It happened to be Navy Fleet Week, and several Canadian Navy ships were docked at the Embarcadero, including a Patrol Frigate. We stopped a LCDR who was leaving the ship, and asked him whether SHINPADS was still in use. He stated it definitely was and was certainly familiar with it, even though it wasn’t his area of responsibility.
   In 1978 Sperry Univac Defense Systems Division was teamed with a German shipyard (Bremer Vulcan) to build several frigates for the Imperial Iranian Navy. The shipyard would build the ship, and DSD would be the combat system prime contractor and system integrator – a heretofore role never performed by DSD. Joe Stoutenburgh assigned Dale Klette to head the program office. Dale drafted Ron Favorit, Lou Besser, Gary Reetz, and me to be the core team to define the combat system, develop system specifications, define statements of work for subcontractors, write the proposal, and do everything else required of a shipboard combat system prime contractor. The five of us were crammed into a single room in the lower level of Yankee Square, with me being the only non-smoker. Working seven days a week, long working lunches at Lean’s (affectionately called Building “E”) at Highway 3 and Diffley Road were not uncommon. Unfortunately, the Shah was overthrown by the Revolutionary Guard in January 1979 and the project was cancelled.
   Univac developed the Tactical Support Center (TSC) in the 1960’s to perform P-3 mission planning, crew briefings/debriefings, and mission analysis. The TSC used the P-3 onboard computer, CP-901. Later, the TSC was renamed the Anti-Submarine Warfare Operations Center (ASWOC). From 1983 to 1986 I was the marketeer for the ASWOC Upgrade program. Sperry Computer Systems Division pursued the U.S. Navy acquisition as a prime contractor, with Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and BTG as team members. Part of our ASWOC strategy was to institute an incremental computer upgrade, including replacing the CP-901 computer with a CP-901A (same form factor but all new innards). With only about 20 computers needed for the ASWOCs around the world, we couldn’t justify amortization of the non-recurring costs over such a small quantity. To alleviate this, we enlisted the support of the airborne P-3 community to replace the onboard CP-901 with the same ASWOC CP-901A. When Sperry & Burroughs merged into Unisys, SDC took over the lead in pursuit of the ASWOC Upgrade program, and the ASWOC computer upgrade died on the vine. Interestingly though, the concept had legs and eventually ended up onboard the P-3 aircraft as the CP-2044 computer.
   Reduced DoD budgets and a changeover from custom designed computers to COTS (commercial off the shelf) equipment resulted in layoffs and plant closings in the mid to late 1990s. In 1989 I began a new role heading New Venture Business, reporting to Jay Jones, VP of Marketing at Unisys Electronic and Information Systems Group (EISG), our division moniker at the time. In this role, I was responsible for the identification, pursuit, and development of non-traditional business opportunities by leveraging EISG core technologies and capabilities into non-DoD projects/products. As part of the task of educating EISG on the changing business climate and the resulting paradigm shift, I made 66 presentations in six months to 5,000+ employees throughout the U.S. to provide a company business update and solicit new business ideas, and also instituted an electronic bulletin board on MAPPER to solicit new business ideas from employees.
   By 1991 I had trained myself well enough in new venture business, that when an entrepreneurial opportunity “knocked”, I answered the door and joined a start-up company in the field of RFID (radio frequency identification) and pet micro-chipping.   

2.9 Pat (nee Bailey) Myhre, 1976 - 2007

   I graduated from Creighton University in 1976 with a BSMath degree. My college advisor suggested that I apply to a company called Univac. So, off went a resume and application to which I received a very polite rejection letter, but was called three weeks later to come in for an interview.
   That one and only interview resulted in my obtaining employment at Corporate Square, Building C working on the Iranian DD993 program in software test with Mark Roline as my supervisor. At that time, I didn’t know the word “mentor”, but in retrospect I had many and among them were: Tom Lunney, Denny Abbot, and Jerry Osieki. In those days, we worked hard and played hard – we worked a lot of shifts, long hours, and weekends but there were also the happy hours, softball leagues, and project picnics which allowed people to let off steam and just have fun. The DD993 program essentially came to a halt when the Shah was ousted in 1979. A few of us were left to finish some items as the DD993 and her sister ships were destined for the U. S. Navy.
   Next was a temporary assignment to Mare Island, CA in 1980 on the Marine Air Traffic and Landing System (MATCALS) program. The team that was assembled to work MATCALS came from various locations of Sperry (as we were then called). Bob Wright and I were to be responsible for the software testing. I was used to working with NAVSEA personnel and working through the comment and comment resolution phases for documents in order to reach an acceptable document for the program and the Navy. On MATCALS, I lost count of how many times the test plan was rejected with no accompanying comments. Each time there would be a meeting with the Navy representatinv and when asked what was wrong with the document so that we could correct it, he said “I can’t tell you that” – there had been some scandal and therefore an overwhelming reluctance to make comments in fear it would be interpreted as Sperry being told how to do their work. How frustrating and how very difficult it was to try to pick from thin air what should be changed or improved. Shortly before I left MATCALS in August, 1980 the test plan was finally accepted and if I spend any time thinking about it, I’m still not sure how that happened.  I never did see a working system and as I understand, the successful program that did result was one that I probably wouldn’t have recognized.
   I had a stint that was less than a year but seemed like a lifetime on the Israeli 6977 communications program. We were sequestered in a locked room at Corporate Square, Building D and I never did get meaningful work. I was working “with” some extremely intelligent people who had come from Bell, but who never quite saw me as other than a pseudo secretary. This was still in the days of very few females in the industry and these were chauvinistic personalities. Fortunately, I was so inconsequential that when the program was terminated and the lawsuits started, I was not stopped from seeking other work.
   By 1981, International Navy Systems was short of work. Mark Roline’s entire test group (which by now consisted of me, Bob Buth, Daryl Beckmann, AiLinh Li, and Joanne Nagel) was “loaned” to Underseas Systems to work software test. Our boss there was Mike Haugen. The loan arrangement became a permanent one when International Navy Systems ceased to exist. This was my first experience of working at the Military Engineering Test Center (METC) on Minnehaha Ave., the original home of ERA.  We had the infamous patch panel which allowed configuration of two systems – if you could find cables long enough to reach where they needed to go and that worked, and didn’t kill yourself during the re-cabling process. Gene Achterberg was in charge of METC and to this day, I remember the many phone pages – Pat Bailey (or whoever) line 7733. One “unique” experience while working at METC was being snowed in at the plant with Joanne Nagel and several others during a winter blizzard – it wasn’t exactly the Ritz Carlton to begin with and there were no perks for the weary lab rats who tried to make the most of being stuck at Plant 2 with nowhere to go. I was able a make a trip to Groton, CT as part of a trouble shooting team during my time on the program and therefore had my first opportunity to see where our software was to be used.  What a neat experience.  It was also during this time that Tom Clancy wrote “Hunt for Red October” which gave millions of readers a glimpse into some of what we worked on at Sperry.
   In 1986, I had a great opportunity to work in Australia on the RAN DDG program for 3 months. As a result of this, I had the pleasure of meeting John Booher, Jim Miller, Don Tredinnick, and others from Eagan who were either on temporary assignment at that time or who made frequent trips “down under”. It also enabled me to see a part of the world that I had not experienced before.
   I briefly returned to Underseas, but soon was working on the Canadian Patrol Frigate (CPF) program. I performed some software testing but worked as a lab shift leader for Tom Lunney and Mark Roline. As the system was being put together in Montreal, I returned to the test arena and made many trips to Canada to help with test and integration.
  After CPF, I worked my first aircraft-related program, which was the Airborne Battlefield Command & Control Center (ABCCC) program for the Air Force, again performing software test. Our hardware and software system was housed in an enclosed capsule that was loaded into the belly of a C-130. I worked with Don Tredinnick under the management of Burt Gunderson. Once more, we were making the trek to Plant 2 to work in the capsule. Late nights in the warehouse area on the east end of Plant 2 could be spooky at times and more than once I about jumped out of my skin when the guard poked his head inside the capsule to see how things were going. I decided that working alone at Plant 2 under those conditions was not a good thing for me or anyone for that matter and more thought was put into having teams in place during the different shifts. The highlight of ABCCC was being able to be on a couple of test flights from the Air Force Reserve Base at the Minneapolis Airport.
   After ABCCC, we closed the doors to Corporate Square to make the move to Plant 8 and my long career in the Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) area began. In 1990, I started in software test for the CP-2044, which was the upgrade of the software and capabilities for the P-3C aircraft. It was through this program that I met Art Francis, Tom Rougier, Hue White, and John Rachac, among many others. I was again working for/with Bob Buth. From CP-2044, the natural progression was to the Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program (AIP) in 1994, which took CP-2044 and transformed it with color displays and other hardware and software upgrades. In the ensuing years, AIP has also made huge changes which keep the P-3C MPA performing a vital role for the U.S. Navy. I again worked for Burt Gunderson and it was from his urging that I moved into an aircraft integration role along with the software testing. I made many trips to Greenville, SC, and Patuxent River, Naval Air Station (NAS) to test the AIP aircraft. I was one of only a few people from Lockheed Martin – Eagan (and the only female) who became flight qualified with the Navy to allow me to fly along on test flights. My software test and aircraft integration continued on the Upgrade Improvement Program (UIP) for the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) to bring AIP to their P-3s. No trips were originally planned to Norway, but I was able to go three times to Andenes (above the Arctic Circle) to the Andoya Air Station. I assisted with software testing on the Block Modification Upgrade Program (BMUP) and the Capabilities Upkeep Program (CUP).
   Still in the maritime patrol aircraft domain, I’ve recently changed services and aircraft, now working on the Coast Guard Deepwater program. The Medium Range Surveillance (MRS) program is being deployed on the CASA HC-235A and Long Range Surveillance (LRS) soon to be deployed on the C-130J.
   So, in almost 31 years with Univac/Sperry Univac/Sperry/Paramax/Unisys/Paramax/Loral and finally Lockheed Martin, I’ve been involved with surface ships, submarines, and aircraft for the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard along with foreign allies of the Australians and Norwegians. In 1976 when I was newly employed, I never envisioned a career that would offer so many opportunities and the great people whom I’ve met along the way.  

2.10 Bob Myller, 1957-1999.

The 50’s: My first hints of interest in electrical engineering occurred in high school when my Physics teacher, Walter Schwede, a rather soft spoken, run silent run deep sort of a guy, explained electricity, ohm’s law, etc. with such clarity that I was impressed and hooked. While most of the other kids couldn’t handle all the imagination it took to deal with the abstract, untouchable, nature of electricity, Mr. Schwede took a liking to me and spent extra time explaining things and helped me develop my understanding; I even became a ham radio operator and learned how to fix radios. When I finally graduated from Moorhead Hi in 1953, I was almost sure that EE was going to be the way to go. I had some fleeting interest in Architecture but EE was confirmed when I flipped a coin and it came up with the EE decision. The following fall I enrolled at North Dakota State University in Fargo and started my four-year trek to a BSEE degree. During my later high school and for most of my college years I worked in TV and radio repair; all vacuum tubes in those days, of course. Anyway, it paid for my tuition; all of $44 per quarter! Can you picture me on that long hike between the Sigma Phi Delta Frat House and the North Engineering Bldg at NDSU on a cold windy January day with my brief case full of books and a slide rule conspicuously dangling from my belt?

My first real engineering job was at Wright Air Development Center in Dayton, Ohio, as a summer student in 1956. One of the highlights that I remember was one day the summer students were on tour in the big new IBM computer center. I don’t remember how many thousands of vacuum tubes it had but the guy describing the system said that they had now reached a major milestone in performance by achieving error free operation for almost one hour! Unknowingly, this was my first introduction to MTBF (mean time between failures).

During my final quarter at NDSU, in1957, I went on several interview trips to prospective employers. Times were very good then and most us received more job offers than we could possibly deal with. I think I still have letters of offer from 44 companies! Some of the companies I visited were: Collins Radio Cedar Rapids, Motorola Chicago, Cook Research Chicago, RCA Camden NJ, Stromberg Carlson Rochester NY, Honeywell Minneapolis, General Mills Minneapolis, and Remington Rand Univac St. Paul.

I soon made my final decision and started at Univac in July 1957. I was overwhelmed by their generous offer of $425 per month! My personnel advisor was Earl Juhl and he brought me from Plant 1 on West 7th up to Plant 5 in the St. Paul Midway district. He introduced me and handed me off to Bob Madvig head of the TACS/BADGE Engineering group I was assigned to. His opening remark was: “We don’t have enough chairs for all you new guys we’re getting up here!” I was part of the pool of engineers being reserved for the expected new BADGE (Ballistic Air Defense Ground Environment) Air Force Contract. For the rest of the summer most of us newcomers had little to do but read books and take classes hoping to beef up our meager knowledge of digital engineering techniques. By late summer of 1957 we learned that the BADGE program had been cancelled. Would this be our first exposure to a mass layoff? No! The company treated us very well and managed to integrate most of us into other existing programs within the company.

One of my first days on the job in July and still not used to the constant paging over the Public Address (PA) system I noted that the operator had left her mike on and we became aware of the background chatter in their room. Suddenly and loudly over the PA system the operator screeched “ooo, Wally, quit that”! Then quickly the PA mike went silent but the entire plant 5 burst out in laughter and many went looking for “Wally”.

I was assigned to the TACS (Tactical Air Control System) just entering its early first build stage. This was a hodge-podge of analog and digital equipment all packaged up into helicopter transportable boxes. I remembered that the biggest problem was keeping all those myriad cables and connectors working for more than one hour at a time. It was so hot in Plant 5, prior to air-conditioning, that we were allowed to work the graveyard shift. I got to design some of the production test and simulation equipment - not real exciting but I figured I had to start somewhere, and, yes I used my favorite vacuum tube, the 12AX7, to build a series of blocking oscillators to produce range rings on the display screens!

In January 1958 I was granted a three-month leave of absence to go on active duty in the US Navy. This amounted to Boot Camp at Great Lakes, Ill, after which I was back at Univac. I was assigned to the Minuteman Program designing field test equipment, but now with transistors.

The 60’s: I jumped at the chance to get in on the early stages of the NTDS (Naval Tactical Data System) Program. My first boss there was Curt Christenson, he came looking for me because I was from NDSU, his Alma Matter of a few years earlier. He thought the North Dakota people had a good work ethic! I worked with Cliff Ashe on the design of the IDAC (Interconnecting Digital Analog Converter) connecting the ‘Q-17 computer with the analog weapons fire control system; I also worked on Keyset Central, Keyset Central Multiplexer (KCMX) and other segments of the NTDS. Most of the boxes were the size of refrigerators. I remember going over our design with guys like Dave Lundstrom and Bob Burkholder. By 1961 the first systems were being installed on three naval ships: two destroyers and one aircraft carrier. At this stage I was making many trips to San Diego helping to get all “this stuff” working on board the ships. We were caught in the midst of opposing factions in the Navy; the conservative ones saying it would never work and the younger ones pushing hard to make it work. Any setbacks during the integration were, of course, used to threaten us with extinction. One Navy friend of Univac, Lt. Commander Radja, kept us encouraged during the hard long days (and nights) with many setbacks. We would often work 36 hours over a weekend without a break while the ships were in the harbor. Then we would fly back home and work on hardware and software fixes for the latest problems and bring them back to San Diego the next weekend only to do it all over again. I remember that Jay Kershaw was a great encourager to me and other young engineers during those early NTDS years.

Little by little by little we got it all working and the unbelieving factions begin to quiet down and even join the new digital age. Soon we began looking at tactical systems for Naval Submarines and Naval aircraft. Key people I worked with during these years leading the NTDS expansion were: Jim Ketchem, George Workman, Bill Geiger, Bob Scholz, Jack Sater and others in Systems Engineering. Key hardware guys that made this stuff work were: Al Kasyinski, Bob Phelps, Al Arndt, Cecil Metz, and others. We all worked for a number of years in Peripheral Engineering under Don Vizanko and Red Phillips; great guys to work for! We had several subcontractors that worked tirelessly along with us during these times also: Kearfott and Ford Instrument come to mind that I was close to.

International opportunities began to appear from the Navy’s of Germany, the Netherlands, England, Greece, Japan, etc.

The 70’s: An assignment I really enjoyed and that pushed me professionally was on the S-3A Program under Dan Brophy and Jerry Neese, both in Program Management. Red Phillips and Don Vizanko took me to lunch one day at the Blue Horse and presented me with this opportunity. I came to the program during the initial integration phase largely carried on at the Lockheed Rye Canyon facility north of Los Angeles. Univac was a team member with Lockheed and was called in to help with some of the struggling subcontractors on the S-3A Program. I got in the midst of one of the toughest problem subcontractors: Loral was the supplier of the mission critical work station displays on the aircraft and were having a very difficult time meeting schedules and making their displays work reliably. I was the engineering member of the team that went out to Loral in the South Bronx, NY, to determine whether they should remain on the program or be replaced. South Bronx was an education to us innocent green guys from the Midwest to say the least. It was like entering Berlin the day after the war ended. We made our way through all of this to the Loral plant. They seemed like reasonable, capable, people but beat to a pulp by Lockheed and their own suppliers. We visited several of their suppliers in the New York area and were appalled at what we found. Plants once busy and bustling now barely had their lights on and only one or two people visible. We learned that cost cutting goes only so far. Lockheed and Loral had gone far beyond the point where the heart and sole of previously proud and successful small companies was gone. Granted these were tough years for everyone, the early 70’s.

Univac decided to study the displays and launched a proposal to replace Loral. Whether that action alone was the deciding factor or whether Loral finally got the message, their performance began to improve and they managed to maintain their position on the S-3A Program. This was a tremendous learning experience for me from not only a systems and hardware engineering standpoint, but also business strategies, cost control, people management, program management, etc.

In the mid 70’s I was back on new and expanded applications of the NTDS. One case I remembered was on the DEAC, Data Exchange Auxiliary Console. Here we had several subcontractors and our own design to integrate. At one point in the program we had a real mess, we were simply not getting things to work together and we had been at it for way too long. Our strong Navy supporter of Unisys, Don Ream, was at one of our program reviews and I was giving the briefing on the DEAC progress (or lack of progress) trying to give him understandable reasons for our dilemma. In the midst of my pitch he stopped me and pounded his fist on the table and got everyone’s attention. He said that he will keep coming to Univac, in spite of our difficulties, for our products and services because he see’s in us a work ethic that is missing when he goes to the east coast or the west coast suppliers. When he comes to Univac he gets to talk to the engineers doing the hands on work. When he goes to our competitors on either coast he only can talk to upper management and marketing people and they only tell him what they want him to hear. At Univac he gets to the heart of the program and understands the issues and technical challenges and appreciates talking directly to the engineers. Maybe it’s a case of: under times of stress an engineer may blurt out the truth!

The 80’s: My next assignment was on the Superconducting Gradiometer Magnetometer Sensor (SGMS) Program. This was an R&D Program to develop a step (or more) improvement in the performance of P-3 towable ASW magnetic sensors. This involved cryogenic Josephson junction technology. This was about as far away from typical Univac technology that many of us were aware of. Nonetheless management seemed to be in favor of proceeding combining an existing IR&D Program with a USN Program from the US Naval Coastal Systems Lab in Panama City, Fl. We built a special test station at the Rosemount Research Center to get away from magnetic disturbances. The sensor was charged with liquid helium to achieve superconducting temperatures near absolute zero.

The projected performance levels were largely achieved but deployment proved to be out of sight due the handling difficulties of liquid helium. There was a lot of interesting engineering content in this program; key people were Hy Osofsky, Neil Hahn, Roy Prohofsky, Ray Schneider, Chuck Lutz, Don Jones, Jerry Sauter, Bob Oswald, John Imsdahl, and many others.

Our international naval programs were now growing and my next stop was to lead the hardware development for a submarine weapons fire control system for the Greek Navy. The USN had released the standard computers (UYK-7 and UYK-20) for international programs and was the catalyst for getting us on this program. The UYK-20 was an imbedded version in the recently developed Tactical Modular Display (TMD) and served as the combined workstation and computer for this system. There was a lot of hardware development particularly for the direct setting, firing, and control of several types of torpedoes. Key people I worked with on this program were Jim Chupurdia, Dick Johnson, Jim Franta, Bob Phelps, Scott Larsen, Bob Gjovik, and many others. There was a lot of international travel involved with trips to Athens Greece, and Lubeck and Keil Germany. Our Greek resident customer rep was Micheal Vicatos, a very professional engineer whom we all grew to respect. I enjoyed the overseas experiences a lot working with the foreign nationals, touring the historic sites, and partaking in the food and culture. These systems were installed on existing 209 Class submarines at the HDW Shipyards in Kiel Germany. There were only five systems delivered (the Greeks only had five 209 sub’s) so there was not much potential for a big production run.

Concurrent with the Greek program was a somewhat similar but smaller program for the Egyptian Navy. This was really an international program in that the submarines were designed by the Russians, built by the Chinese, operated by the Egyptians, and now upgraded by the Americans. Tacoma Boat Building Co. was the prime contractor for the upgrade. Key people on this program were John Booher, Bob Phelps, Pete Highmark, Dirk Visker, and others.

During the years I was involved with the international programs I had the opportunity to study conversational German. Gertrude Ostrem was our language consultant and I met with her occasionally gaining at least a beginner level of German and proved very useful during many of our overseas trips.

The 90’s: We had now become Lockheed and I next had the opportunity to move into the Airborne Systems Engineering Group under Jim Erhardt. The AIP (P-3 Upgrade) was in it’s early stages and there was a lot of engineering work to do essentially striping all of the existing and aging electronics out of the USN P-3’s and installing new computers, displays, and extensive additional systems capabilities. We were the prime contractor on this program and had many sub’s working for us including Lockheed Aircraft. Many trips were made to Lockheed Ontario during the design stage. As the program moved into the production phase the aircraft modifications were done in Greenville SC. People I worked with on this program were: Rick Martin, Wayne Griesel, Vince Cistera, Chuck Burk, Jim Inda, Duane Sandstrom, Kim Tharp, and many others.

Our experience on AIP led us to similar systems integration engineering roles for international customers that had fleets of P-3’s. We wrote proposals for P-3 upgrades to Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, Brazil, Norway, etc. The Norwegian program was the next to come in and this was the last program I worked on before I retired. Here I worked for Don Hayden and with several of the same people from the AIP. Jim Olijnek was our program manager. We hosted several Norwegian Air Force resident members during the design phase.

I closed my career on Nov 30th 1999, turning in my badge and security clearances and walked out of Plant 8 for the last time. I must say that I couldn’t have asked for a more rewarding and fortunate career. Our generation was fortunate to have worked at a time when there was usually plenty of interesting work (most of the time). Yes, there were layoffs and downsizings but I was one of the fortunate ones to steer through all of this and essentially made it unscathed for 42+ years. I was also fortunate to have worked in a field with such change and diversity, thinking about the technology we had to work with back in the 50’s compared to the late 90’s and even now, eleven years after that. I had several opportunities to move over to CDC back in the 60’s and 70’s with Dale Strand and others tugging at me. Also had several opportunities to move to program management and even to Clearwater FL but for various reasons I stuck with engineering.

In my retirement years I continue to be active using at least some of the skills developed during my active career years largely in people and money management for non-profit organizations, serving on boards of administration of churches, missions and youth camps.

My wife, June, and I and are happily retired and still keep up our home of nearly 40 years in Apple Valley and a lake cabin near Brainerd. We have two sons and six grandchildren all living in Colorado.   

2.11 Frank McKenna, 1975-1984

Mr. McKenna did not work in the Twin Cities, however he worked almost a decade for Sperry Univac in South Africa, Australia, Canada, Australia, Blue Bell, Australia then with Burroughs in Australia.  Then he founded another company, Knowledgeone Corp.  This is a classic example about a software engineer who developed a technology foundation at Univac then went off on his own.  Read his Resume.

3.12 John Miller, 1958-1969

I joined Univac early 1958 as a mechanical engineer. Worked on NTDS and later on CP-901. I was pleased to read that the CP-901 performed so well. The amount of testing that Director Arnie Hendrickson demanded during the design phase paid off. He kept saying, “looks good, but one more test”.  When Manager Finley McLeod transferred to the AN/UYK-7 development, I was named Engineering Manager for the CP-901. Then was asked to set up manufacturing organization in plant 1 for the CP-901 because of the new technologies. UNIVAC's first conduction cooled computer with pluggable printed circuit cards.  I left Univac in 1969 when asked to join Hy Osofsky, McLeod, Birkholder, Koschmann, Gountanis, Stoutenburgh, Stanga, Bergman to form Atron Corporation.   After a few years Atron was acquired by Mohawk Corp, I started Turtle Mountain Corporation, read the 1990 NDSU story about TMC.  {Editor's note: development data about the CP-901 from Mr. Miller has been added to the CP-901 Legacy section.}

I will forward an earlier story that told of an open house at Belcourt and included an interview with Joe Stoutenberg. It was printed in the Washburn Leader which is close to Underwood. I found that my mother cut and retained most everything written about the family. 

Background Comment: Lowell, that your family lived in Sanish in the late 40's is quite a coincidence. My Underwood football team played at Elbowoods very close to Sanish.  When I graduated from high school in 1953, I got a summer job with the Corp of Engineers on a survey crew. Our primary task was to plot elevations from Missouri River bank-to-bank upstream from the 'under-construction' Garrison dam. We also took soil samples bank to bank including the riverbed. We would go out for a week at a time so I stayed in Parshall and New Town during the week. New Town was like a wild west town with all the construction workers. The survey crew leaders were WW2 vets so a good experience for me. Lucky I was under age and a Methodist.
Speaking of that, you said you went to a bible camp near Underwood and the river. There was a bible camp a mile from Underwood run by the Presbyterians and there was Asbury camp south of Washburn on the river which I believe was Methodist {sic. Lutheran.} Mother would take us down there for Sunday night camp meetings during the summer. {sic. It is a small world, what is the probability that John and I saw each other when I was at that camp the summer of 1948. Lowell} 
 John Miller [12/21/2021]

3. Career Summaries - N:

3.1 Mert Nellis, 1953- ; ERA & Remington Rand

   I first became acquainted with Engineering Research Associates (ERA) at the IEEE convention in New York City about April 1952 where I was impressed with the ERA booth that was manned by John Hogan. John’s very enthusiastic presentation of boundary displacement recording and other technologies immediately caught my attention and I subsequently applied for a position as EE with the company. This was my transition from the U.S. Navy Schools Mine Warfare where I was Assistant Officer in Charge of Degaussing to a civilian engineering job in my home state of Minnesota.
   In January 1953, I reported for work at Remington-Rand Univac at 1902 W. Minnehaha Ave., St. Paul, Mn. I had been interviewed for a job at ERA several months earlier while still in the Navy but before I reported for work the company became Remington-Rand and my acquaintance, John Hogan had moved to other employment.
   I lasted one day with Jack Hill familiarizing me with digital magnetic storage drums before he transferred me to an analog special projects group that was mostly doing work, sponsored by the U.S. Navy, using analog boundary displacement magnetic recording. But other projects were also pursued, some were, video tape recording, strain gauge weighing, and data processing of ore car weights. It is interesting to note, however, that Jack Hill and I later worked together at Ramsey Engineering Co., a company that was started by another ex-ERA Engineer, John Riede.
   One of the projects on which I worked was for the Navy, recording on large drums as a means of delaying analog signals. The surface of a drum was coated with a magnetic oxide that could be magnetized with a non-contact boundary displacement recording head. The drum surface was precise and concentric so that the heads could be placed within 1 millimeter of the surface. The drum was driven at a rather slow constant speed so that the transport time from recording head to pickup head was seconds and adjustable by changing the distance of the pick up on the track. A large drum with approximately 10 channels processed signals from 10 hydrophones using this phasing method to turn the hydrophone array into a beamed listening system.
   Another project was the ore car weighing system installed at the Great Northern iron ore docks at Alouez, WI. A strain gauge track scale weighed the slowly moving ore cars to obtain their gross weight. The analog gross weight was digitized and used with the ore car tare weight that was held in a digital memory bank and accessed by an operator entering the ore car number visually as the car passed. The system subtracted the tare weight from the gross to get the net weight of the ore in the car. A flexo-writer then typed up the whole transaction to be used in billing for the transported iron ore. Two things were memorable about this system:

  • The tare weight digital memory system for the empty weight of 10,000 ore cars consisted of two six foot relay rack cabinets full of cross-bar relays. Today a thumb drive would do the job, and
  • The arithmetic was done by a mechanical adding machine automated by keyboard solenoids. Today a microprocessor would do that and more!

   I worked on the installation of this system and met Ed Nelson when he was assigned as Field Engineer on the project. Ed was on this project when I left the company. Below are listed some of the people that I remember in the department:

  • Howard Daniels - Head of the department
  • Curt Fritze -Assistant to the Head
  • Dr. Val Hersfeld - Engineer Scientist
  • Don Sampson - Engineer Scientist
  • Bob Reisinger - Electro-Mechanical Technician
  • Harley Schultz - Electro-Mechanical Technician
  • Frank Kline - Electrical Eng
  • Mert Nellis - Electrical Eng.
  • Ed Nelson - Electrical Eng.
  • Roland “Tex” Ritter - Electrical Eng.
  • Bob Kurtz - Electronics Technician
  • Ben Swezey - Electronics Technician
  • Woodie Edstrom - Mechanical Technician

   When I recently used 'Google' searching for Boundary Displacement Recording I got an article about ERA and boundary displacement recording that was in Modern Mechanix in Jan. 1953.
   I guess, looking back, my greatest exposure to a variety of talented engineers occurred during my short employment at Remington Rand Univac and many of them went on to make significant contributions to present technology. Those were exciting days…..but so they are today as well! Wm. Merton Nellis   

3.2 William [Curt] Nelson, 1952-1981.

   Lowell, I successfully got to the other legacy entries and enjoyed reading them. This exercise really put my memory to the test -- after all, it was 54 years ago when I first started working at ERA! Curt
   My career at our company started in March of 1952, working for Engineering Research Associates, Inc. About that same time, ERA was being sold to Remington Rand as a means to obtain more working capital for a relatively small ERA organization of about 800 employees. I went to work for John Riede, who had embarked on an automated TNT production system for the government at Joliet, Illinois. My job was to design an alarm and warning system for the control building. Later, I aided in checking out the system operation at Joliet.
   I finally got onto a computer project in 1954 when I was assigned the design of the input power system for a large scale computer called the ERA 1104. This system was for Westinghouse and was to be installed at Patrick AFB near Melbourne, FL. Its function was guidance of the Bomarc missile to attack enemy aircraft. I was responsible for the design, installation, and checkout of the input power up to the point where the distribution of power was made to the vacuum tube system. I also participated in the selling off of the system to Westinghouse and supplying spare parts for it. During 1957 and '58, I was involved in another large scale system to be installed at Eglin AFB in Florida. Here I was responsible for the checkout, installation, and acceptance of the computer. I 1959, I was assigned design responsibilities for portions of the titan I ground guidance computer. Later I was assigned project engineer follow-on duties for that system.
   In 1961 I was moved to an missile borne computer program, supervising computer checkout on the A-NEW program. By 1962, the company was involved in an Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft borne computer system and I became a supervisor of design and development for the 1830. The ASW project subsequently developed into a production program about 1968 - I was assigned to the systems engineering task. This included continuation in design, program coordination, financial and scheduling supervision, customer support to naval Air Systems command, proposal management for follow on production contracts, including contract negotiation, technical support, and field problem feedback activities. I was involved similarly with the ongoing P-3C program until my early retirement on October 1, 1981.
   In retrospect, I cannot point to any outstanding achievements since for the most part I was a "plugger", filling in holes in the programs that needed attention and mostly jobs nobody else wanted. However, the jobs I had gave me an opportunity to work with the finest people imaginable and count them as my friends. I put in nearly 30 years of doing what I was assigned to the best of my ability with a company that I highly respected.
Curt Nelson,   

3.3 Edwin J. Nelson 1951- ; Clock # 971, My Legacy

At ERA and later company names - My bachelor degree in electrical engineering from University of Minnesota was granted in March 1950.  In March 1951 I was accepted and went to work in the physics department at ERA, managed by Dr. Sidney (Sid) Ruebens. He was my supervisor. My co-workers were Don Sampson, Arnie Berg, Paul Oberg, and Mike Holm.  The first project I worked on was sponsored by the U.S. Air Force, and involved studying the photoelectric properties of semiconductors. Don Sampson and I built rotating devices with a variety of semiconductors mounted on them. We sprayed the semiconductors with high frequency signals and then read the signals that resulted. We used a variety of semiconductors in an attempt to find a media that would store the high frequency signals. The second project Don and I worked on was a research project for the U.S. Government in the field of the thermoelectric properties of metals. The ultimate intent was to design a small device that could be used in the desert to create electrical power for a radio by burning camel dung. This was before the common use of computers, so we created yard long formulas, inserted values into these long formulas, and then manually solved the equations. The results of these mathematical calculations allowed us to select metals for the thermocouples. Then we formed the thermocouples and built and tested the device. On a third project, Don and I collaborated with Paul Oberg and Arnie Berg [the project engineer] to work on a long wave magnetic tape reader/recorder. Arnie and Paul worked on the magnetic read/write heads and Don and I worked on the electronics. Since the electrical waves were long the read/write heads also needed to be much longer than standard read/write heads. These heads were typically six inches long as compared to a normal head length of ½ inch. We worked on this project from June 1952 to May 1954 and the project was successful. {Editor's Note: At the right is a copy of one of Ed's early paycheck records - it used the UNIVAC 90-column card.}
   1954 I transferred to the ERA engineering division from the physics department.  I was responsible for the maintenance and support of the Great Northern Ore Car Weighing System at Allouez, Wisconsin from May to October 1954 and again from April to October 1955. Being the first ERA field engineer and since there was no ERA field organization, I reported to Bob Buelow in Marketing. While at the ore car weighing site I worked with other engineers and technicians to install the equipment, modify the site to fit our equipment, check out the operation of the equipment, and train the Great Northern operators. From October 1955 to June 1956 Don Sampson and I were co-project engineers on a project to design and develop a Remington Rand Univac scale subsystem. This unit replaced and out-performed the commercial “off-the-shelf” unit that was the original Great Northern weighing system. In the spring of 1956 before the ore season started, we moved to Superior, WI,  installed this new equipment, re-designed some of the other equipment on site, implemented the hardware changes we had designed in St. Paul, and worked with the customer to get this newly modified system accepted and certified as a State of Wisconsin scale.
   In June 1956, I transferred to the Remington Rand Univac Field Engineering Department. At that time, there was a File Computer section of which I was a part, a scientific section for the maintenance of the 1100 series computers, a commercial section for the maintenance of the Univac line of computers, and a spares section that supported all of the other sections. My initial job from June 1956 to June 1958 was as the supervisor of Technical Liaison and Installation for the File Computer line of computers. About 20 support engineers and technicians, constantly on field trips all over the United States, reported to me. I was responsible for the installation, checkout, and customer acceptance of delivered equipment, installation of field change orders, telephone technical assistance to the field sites, supplying on-site technical assistance to field sites when requested, and generation and supplying technical bulletins to field sites. I always had a packed bag in my car because I was never sure if I would be on a technical support trip that day. I recall getting home at about midnight one night from a field trip and leaving for the next assignment by noon that day. Also, I remember that I was on trips and working over most holidays. One Memorial Day we flew over Indianapolis and saw the Indy 500 car race being run. Another time, we flew over several major cities on July 4th and saw the fireworks from above. The DC-3s had a cruising altitude of 4000 feet so it was easy to see the ground from the airplane seat. At this time the transistors were packaged with epoxy seals and not in welded metal seals. As a consequence, in areas where the humidity was high the transistors failed at an extremely fast rate. When in Baltimore, Maryland installing a File Computer we had replacement transistors sent to us by the gross, and we replaced up to 100 per day at that site. It was not long before the transistor manufacturers had changed their process to use welded metal seals.
   In January 1959, I was asked to take a two-week trip to San Diego for maintenance of NTDS equipment. I packed two suitcases and ended up being there for nine months. When I arrived in San Diego I was to be responsible for the NTDS hardware, and there was another engineer who was responsible for the software. After this software engineer quit, I was responsible for both hardware and software. The software developers were in St Paul, and the software checkout was performed at our site in San Diego. Almost every day the software developers in St Paul would send San Diego a software patch that needed to be installed in the operational software before the daily operational tests could be performed. Paper tape was the software patch media. I developed the system of transmitting the software changes and outputting the software patch to teletype paper tape and transmitting the software patch over the teletype lines. This process saved San Diego personnel from keying in pages of software changes. From June to October 1959 I was responsible for the maintenance of the two USQ-17 systems, the on-site training of Univac and Navy maintenance personnel, extended tests of Univac and other contractor equipment, interface tests of Univac equipment with other contractors and customer equipment.
   Between July 1964 and July 1965 I was a Systems Engineer on the Army War Room Project. My task was coordination and providing engineering direction to the Unisys subcontractors supplying equipment to the Army War Room installed in the Pentagon. The subcontractors involved were ITT Fort Wayne who provided the large screen displays, Stromberg-Carlson who provided the CRT Displays, Gerber Scientific who provided the electro-mechanical tracer-plotter, and Filtron of Long Island New York who provided and installed the shielded room in the Pentagon. I traveled to Fort Wayne Indiana six times to conduct acceptance tests at the ITT factory. I made one trip to Filtron on Long Island with an Army War Room technical officer. What I remember about that trip was that Filtron was late in making delivery of the shielded War Room. T he War Room was ¼ inch thick steel that surrounded the entire area within the Pentagon. Their response in being late was: “if the delivery date was so important to you why didn’t you put a liquidated damages clause in the contract?” Between July 1965 and March 1966 I was a systems engineer attached to the Purchasing Department, reporting to Larry Reid, the Moonbeam Program Director, and I was responsible for technical coordination and direction to the Moonbeam subcontractors. Moonbeam was the code name for a shipboard data processing system that included a Unisys computer, a Soroban Engineering card reader/punch/interpreter (CRPI), a Data Products high-speed printer, Potter Engineering tape units, and a Kato Engineering motor generator set.
   Between March 1966 and September 1968 I was Navy Program Manager along with two other Navy Program Managers and the Program Director, George Workman. I was responsible for three US Navy Programs. They were the Moonbeam or 3M, FBM ships, and the Remote Switching System. The tasks we had were establishing and updating the project initiations, monitoring the costs as related to budgets, and being the customer contact point conjunction with marketing. The marketing representative and I spent a day every two weeks in Washington DC.
   On 31 March 1969 I left Univac and went to work for the start-up company ATRON. I was at ATRON from March 1969 to October 1974.
   In October 1974 I returned to Univac. From October 1974 to October 1975 I was a Staff Engineer of the Iranian Operations at Unisys, responsible for developing the Iranian Shore Facility in Univac building C. One interesting fact about this facility was that the entire area had a false floor for the cable runs, and there were over 3000 cables in this false floor cavity. From April 1978 to November 1978 I was the Manager of Site Operations reporting to the ILS Support Services Director. My responsibility included the management and direction to the four Iranian sites, the ZKSD site in St Paul, F122 software development center, the CP-140 site at Burbank, California, the DIAC-Patuxent River sites, and the technical representatives in Japan, Iran, Australia and Germany. I was also responsible for the site planning of ISD sites and site operations proposal inputs to ISD proposals. At the time the Shah was being overthrown in Iran, our tech rep in Iran was based in Isfahan and was conducting training on and maintaining gun site equipment manufactured by our Salt Lake City facility. He called one day to say he had been watching a demonstration of 200,000 people the day before. I asked him to please get out of Iran as soon as he could and however he could get out. About a week later I got a call from him and heard that he was safely home in Salt Lake City.
   Between May 1981 and March 1982 I was Program 6977 ILS Manager reporting to Tom Morris, the 6977 Program Director, and Dick Roessler, the Customer Services Director. This was a major communications project for the Israeli Government that Univac managed using a matrix management concept. I was responsible for all ILS activities of the program and had about 60 people reporting directly and indirectly to me.
   I developed the ILS approach for the Greek Army (HERMES) Communications System. This effort included in-depth negotiation with Italian and Greek subcontractors, coordinating the Univac ILS effort, generating subcontractor statements of work (SOWs), and conducting cost evaluations. I spent about three weeks in Athens preparing the proposal. Between July 1982 and April 1984 I generated the cost and technical data for the ILS section of various other system proposals, including the U.S. Navy shipboard UYK-43 computer depot maintenance plan and production proposal. Between December 1984 and August 1985 I was the ILS manager of the ATC New York Tracon proposal responsible for the ILS section of the proposal. I negotiated with various potential ILS subcontractors and worked closely with the consultant proposal contractor that was preparing the graphics section of the proposal. Between August 1985 and November 1986 I was the ILS Manager supporting various proposals and projects. During this time I generated the initial ILS plans for the ASWOC upgrade, supported the UNISYS project office on the ASCOMM Midterm project for ILS tasks, supported the CP-901 Improvement Proposal Manager for ILS tasks, supported the Airship Proposal, and worked on a Salt Lake City classified proposal for ILS tasks. I generated and coordinated cost and technical inputs to produce the Sperry/UNISYS ILS section of the MK-53 proposal, assisted the ILS manager by generating graphics section of the air transportable ABCCC proposal, assisted the proposal team by writing sections of the US Navy NUWES proposal, and generated the ILS section of the Hellenic Navy proposal.
   I feel very fortunate having worked for many different engineers who were a pleasure to work for and that I lived at a time in history when the technical world was changing at a fast rate.
Ed Nelson,   

3.4 Kathy [nee Wroolie] Nelson, 1969-201x

I started at Sperry Univac, Plant 1 at Shepard Road, one week after my 21st birthday back in 1969. I had no idea what Sperry Univac did/made. I knew they were affiliated with the Remington people so maybe they all made shavers (?). It didn’t take long to find out that they were involved in computers – something that I had read about in science fiction books – or things that I saw on Star Trek.

I decided to apply at Univac based on a huge ad that I saw in the Minneapolis paper. I had been going to college at the time and had run out of money. I thought that working for $2/hour for a while; I would accumulate enough money to finish school. Well, it is 42 years later and I never did finish my degree at the University of Minnesota.

I started out working as the secretary for the Manager in the Employee Relations department at Plant 1. We were responsible for issuing parking stickers, assigning parking spots, running the Red Cross blood drives, United Way and sponsoring & outfitting all of the various sports leagues that the company funded. We had almost 100 slow pitch softball teams, 10 fast pitch softball teams, broomball, basketball, football & bowling teams. We also put on two shows a year for employees, one in the summer (the Summer Pops) and one in the winter. For 50 cents a ticket, an employee could bring his entire family to see a show and get a four course dinner. We also had the annual company picnic, in the summertime of course. I also sold Vikings & Twins tickets in my spare time.

I worked in this position until 1973 when I left Personnel to work for the General Manager of Marketing at Univac Park or Plant 8. It was very hard to ‘work your way up the ladder’ as a secretary. You had to literally wait for someone to either leave or die and then you could take a typing & dictation test to possibly move up to her/his position.

I worked as a secretary until 1977 when I was offered a job as an Expeditor/Program Terminal Aide for the MTASS/I program. In this position I was to enter all of the program information for the Programmers using a terminal that was hooked up to a main frame computer somewhere in the depths of the basement of the building. There were no PCs back then; you had to sign up for time on the various terminals (these were few and far between in the building). Usually you were allowed two hours of computer time. One of my other jobs was to transport computer cards between plants. Computer cards contained punches that were read by a computer. It wasn’t unusual to have trays that contained hundreds of cards in numerical order. My biggest fear was spilling the cards and totally hosing up all of a Programmer’s work. I was gradually ‘promoted’ to copying programs to paper tape & later, onto large magnetic tapes.

In 2001, I was brought into the Configuration/Data Management group to work on the Virginia/Seawolf ECS program. I was on that project until 2004 when I was assigned to the Q-70 program as data management – my current position.

Through the years, I’ve been privileged to see some really astounding accomplishments made by the various companies that I’ve worked for the last 42 years; i.e. Laser guidance systems on aircraft, unmanned surveillance drones, the Internet, GPS, and not to mention all of the innovations that came about as a result of the Space Program. It’s been amazing!  

3.5 Don Neumann,

Thursday, November 16, 2006 12:40 PM I enjoyed your website enormously!
   I was the Univac manager/systems engineer for the Air Force Satellite Remote Tracking Station (RTS) program. I worked on this 20 year project from the beginning until the end. The 1230 mTc was a dual processor, dual I/O cabinet specifically designed to meet the Air Force requirements on this program. This computer was used exclusively for tracking and commanding of Department of Defense classified satellites for a 20 year period. We beat Control Data in this competition because they were bidding two CD 3800 computers that would require a large building to be built at each of the remote tracking stations. The Univac bid would fit all equipment within existing buildings. Glen Kregness packaged two CP-890 computers in a single cabinet (the size of a 1218 computer). He also created an inter-processor instruction set. These concepts are still used in Intel 2-core and 4-core processor chips today. We bid this program with Ford Aerospace providing the telemetry and heavy terminal equipment.
   When we decommissioned the Kodiak Alaska tracking station, the Jet Propulsion lab in Pasadena CA picked up the free 1230 mTc and used it as an image processor for several of their outer solar system flights. NASA never used this computer. The computer never had thin film memory. The 1230 mTc was delivered with 64k of core memory and later we replaced the core memory with 256k of triple redundant semiconductor memory in the same cabinet.
   I have a lot more history and photos on this program. Let me know if I can help.   

{Editor's Note:  It is appropriate and ironic that the desk weight presented to Don when he retired casts a shadow that looks like a satellite tracking radar! [lab]}

3.6 Hans Neukom,

I came across your club’s web site through a hint by George Keremedjiev, Director, American Computer & Robotics Museum, Bozeman, MT.
Let me introduce me first: I worked for UNIVAC Switzerland from 1969 to 1978, among other projects on the UNIVAC 494 systems at UBS bank in Switzerland. In my retirement, I studied history at the Zurich University and researched the history of early computer systems in Switzerland and also the ENIAC (please search the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing for my previous published articles).
I am currently researching the ATECO (Automation of telegram exchange with computers) project of the Swiss PTT in the early 1970s. The ATECO contract was given to the Swiss subsidiary of UNIVAC; the ATECO configuration used three UNIVAC 418-II computers working in parallel to achieve a very high reliability. From the records of the Historical Archives of the Swiss PTT, I have learned that NASA had licensed the concept of three UNIVAC 418-II systems working in parallel for its own use in satellite communications. I am trying to find out in what context NASA used a triple UNIVAC 418-II (or possibly the military version UNIVAC 1218).

Maybe some of your members were working on UNIVAC 418 systems and might still have some information on NASA’s use of the 418 systems. So I am kindly asking you to forward my request for help to your members. Thanks a lot for any help you can provide.

Hans: Thanks for contacting the VIP Club. We have put a note into the announcement section of our website home page [] - will keep it there for 6-8 weeks to see if any general browsing people respond. We will also put your message into our next newsletter, seeking feedback from our membership. In the meantime;

  1. Peruse, this includes info about the 418 at the U of MT that Dr. George Keremedjiev has on display.  The NASA triple system shown in this article has two 1218 computers and one 418.
  2. Read through , it shows the lineage of this ISA family.
  3. Scan through for info about a variation of the 1218 computers in a special application.
  4. Look at, this site may give you some leads.
  5. has some circuit card details include component updates to PC cards of both the 418s and 1218/19.

A couple of our VIP Club board members have already copied you on their responses to your inquiry.  I’m a bit slower as have been on a 3-wk vacation.  If you encounter conflicts within the information that you collect; data from historian George Gray is quite accurate as he is quite diligent and has collaborated with UNISYS fellow Ron Q. Smith for information accuracy.
We would welcome your story(s) about experiences with UNIVAC/Sperry/UNISYS equipment to add to our website anthology.  Perhaps we’ll generate another 18-bit history paper.
Danke Schoen, Merci, Gratia, Thanks LABenson

3.7 Les Nelson, 1969-2010

I grew up in central Minnesota, on a small farm between Upsala and Swanville
My degree is Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (BEE) from the University of Minnesota in 1969. I started work at Sperry Univac in June 1969 in Field Engineering supporting the CP-901 Computer during development of the Tactical Support Center (TSC). I returned to MN in May 1972 working for Curt Nelson in CP-901 system support. Through subsequent years I worked on numerous proposals including two years in the black world. Subsequently, my work was in signal processing which included NEXRAD activities described above. After a decade of NEXRAD I worked in Japan P-3C programs for Art Francis then when Art retired I became project engineer leading the effort to participate in the Japan P-3C replacement aircraft, their P-1.After Japan projects, I had the following roles as Technical Director for P-3C activities until retirement in January 2010:

  1. New Zealand proposal to update their five aircraft with mission systems, sensors, radios, navigation, COMINT, cockpit upgrades as well as a trainer and software maintenance system. We lost the $200M effort.
  2. Pakistan acquisition of 7 aircraft with our proposal for the mission system, sensors, radios, navigation, and cockpit upgrades. We won the contract which became $260M.
  3. Contract to update the P-3C trainer acquired by Germany from the Netherlands.
  4. Quick reaction successful program for German Navy to install a new EO/IR system on one of their P-3Cs in six weeks for deployment to Djibouti.

I retired in January 2010, joined the VIP Club, then in 2013 began volunteering at the Lawshe Memorial Museum.


4. Career Summaries - O:

4.1 Richard 'Ole' Olson, 1965-2008.

The Highlights of my career have been:

  • Involvement in important demonstrations to significant customers,
  • Being involved in acquisition of significant wins, and
  • Project / Chief Engineer of certain projects.

Highlights in Chronological Order:
   Lead Computer Programmer for 437AP Missile Guidance Program, the first one on the CP-642B computer. Two months at the Cape (July & August 1965). Significant Demonstration to USAF Officers. This was a close one. Charley Gardner, the Program Manager occupied the USAF for several minutes while the Field Engineers got the CP-642B computer ready. I only had time to load the program, no time for confidence tests. Everything went smoothly—and why not, with the excellent Field Engineers that we had (Dexter, Roger, and Odelius).
   Lead Computer Programmer for the AN/UYK-7 Common Program, which became the Standard Real Time Executive for the Multiprocessor AN/UYK-7. Dennis Christ was one of the programmers in our group. My opinion of Dennis was the same as Ernie Lantto’s when Dennis transferred to Germany to work for Lantto. Dennis was on his way up (he ended up becoming our General Manager).
   Lead development of demonstration programs for the largest demonstration ever given by Univac (unveiling the AN/UYK-7): 1200 formal invitations, 675 attendees in small groups (30) at 2121 Wisconsin DC. This was big time. We hired a movie actor to read the script in a darkened room. Jim Stage sat on a chair and narrated to support the movie actor’s script. At that time I was the Project Engineer for Common Program, using the only AN/UYK-7 that we had (Serial 0). From our team of nine, Tom Sinkula, Tom Harsh, and I furnished some demo programs. We compiled once in Eagan, and patched the 1,500 memory locations on site. One demo item was to power down the computer, and the typing would continue once it was powered back up. Another was pulling a memory module out, holding it, and the computer would keep operating. This was actually a bug; it should not have been able to do this. As I was explaining the demo program selection to one group, I looked back to see that the display was blank. I surveyed the audience: there was a gentleman in back grinning. I asked him if he turned the computer off. He said yes, "to see what would happen." I said this was not part of our test program: “turn it back on.” It worked, and I was as surprised as he was. I had learned by this time that being the “mouth piece” is easy when one has a good support team like Tom and Tom, in this case.
   We gave demos in the Military Equipment Test Center (METC) using several different AN/UYK-7s. I remember preparations for one demo to Don Ream and to Eric Svendsen. The initial plan was for Ole to talk and for Dennis Christ to run the computers. The decision was made for Jim Stahley to talk and for Ole to run the computers (this was a step down!). As Jim Stahley is talking, a red fault light came on. Jim says: “We seem to have a technical problem here, and I will soon turn the mike over to Dick Olson who will explain what is going on.” Thanks, Jim.
   My favorite years were working with the USMC. See the Systems, Marines page for details.
   The ACM 75 National Convention in Minneapolis was a highlight. I presented a software methodology paper on Hierarchical Input Processing Outputs (HIPOs). Earl Joseph was the General Chairman, and I was the Local Arrangements Chairman, who was the Floor Manager for the convention. When the convention started at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, Dick Haugen lined up his 15 people and told them that "this man is your boss for the convention."
   Winning and demonstrating the Shipboard Integrated Processing and Display System (SHINPADS) Serial Data Bus (SDB) was a major highlight. Gene McCarthy had a close relationship with the entire Engineering and Program Management Team (Chuck Burk). Marc Shoquist, Dick Kuhns, and Paul Williams were involved in the early conceptual days. Following the conceptual definition with the customer, I was the Project Engineer for detailed design and implementation, with support from an excellent team led by Marc Shoquist and Bob Oulicky (hardware), Steve Andersen (systems) and Walt Ruzick (software). In order to satisfy the customer (CDR / Captain) Jim Carruthers, Bill Davis invented the passive tap for the Serial Bus. Others were using Active Taps in a Ring Bus. An extraordinary number of live demonstrations were given to several hundred people from nine countries. During design and checkout of the SDB, several Canadian Engineers were integrated into the Eagan development team. These Engineers became the cadre that Glen Johnson’s Winnipeg Factory had for 10 years. John Westergren also spent significant time in Winnipeg. Glen and John were the last Americans to leave.
   Once we “bested” Litton Canada we had a series of sole source contracts. The largest was $3M Canadian; negotiations for this contract were interesting. The Canadian Government brought in Aaron Rumstein to negotiate (apparently they thought that Jeff Else was too close to us). In order to keep control of the development, I had bid the microcode at 1/3. The negotiations found Aaron slamming American Engineering. The 4th item was the underbid firmware. Aaron gave speech number 4. I was silent. "What do you have to say?" “It’s a fire sale.” Jim Carruthers: "He’s right – go to the next item”. “Now we negotiate."
   We had the SHINPADS SDB on display north of the courtyard in Plant 8. We gave over 100 demos hosted by 55 of our marketers. The SHINPADS SDB was a foundation element in winning the Canadian Patrol Frigate (CPF) Program. At the time that it was awarded, CPF was the largest contract ever won by Sperry Rand Corporation - $1B+ The Sperry Univac Eagan software portion was $125M. (The largest software contract ever awarded at the time (about 1970) was to Univac for S-3A software - $20M).
   We had many SHINPADS SDB demos in Canada. I remember orchestrating a demo to Dr. Bill Perry, who later became Secretary of Defense. The closest that we came to potential failure was when an attendee during a demo asked if he could short out a Bus Access Module (BAM) to cause the SDB to reconfigure to another channel. I said: “This is not part of our test program, but here is what should happen.” He tried it, and it worked; I was so relieved. Dan McLeod did outstanding work in Ottawa supporting these demonstrations. Dan is an EE major, who was a field engineer, and then became a programmer. I remember getting one telephone call from Dan saying that we were out of spare memories. It was pretty easy to find an AN/UYK-20 memory, but very difficult to get it into Canada in time for the demo. I put the spare memories on the desk of the Canadian Customs Agent (I should have had a funded permit costing $2,800). I had neither. Soon I had three levels of Customs Agents. After explaining the significance of the demo, I asked if I could use a phone to call Canadian Navy (Jim Carruthers) or U.S. Dr. Bill Perry. Finally they asked how much money that I had (I showed them my billfold containing $300). After some discussion they took $50 and let me in. Later I did receive my $50 back.
   I took a one-week trip throughout Germany presenting the SHINPADS SDB. During the years that Gene McCarthy rode the planes (every week for 6 years). I sometimes went with him (Ole took 60 trips to Canada – of 548 trips that I took for the company).
   Canada was a most enjoyable place to visit. Jim Carruthers, our Canadian customer recommended us to Brian Johansen, Petro Canada. We received a $350K analysis contract from Petro Canada, about 1981, for tracking ice bergs with radar and for putting an environmental shelter on off-shore drilling rigs. The price of oil went down, and that was the end of that. Marc Waldof took a helicopter flight in zero visibility to an off shore drilling rig. (He is braver than I am).
   Winning the Data Bus Studies from Rome Air Development Center (RADC) was a significant highlight. This was made possible because I hired Ron Foss who was leaving the Air Force, from his duties at RADC. These data base studies furnished the foundation for the Advanced Planning System (APS) and follow-on work. Lauren Cady was the Lead Technical Person, with strong support from Ron Foss, and Harry Fager (Program Manager). The net result of this was $40M, with a minimum of company investment.
   Traveling to South Korea three times in 1985 supporting Marketing (Tom Allen, Monte Widdoss) was a highlight. Meetings changed location, and we even had a memorable party with our subcontractor. Seoul is so close to North Korea. The South Koreans were worried because they were to host the 1988 Olympics. While there, Univac exhibited at the AFCEA conference. One night there was an entire city blackout, except for one vehicle in the distance. I stayed in my room. I bought a custom made leather jacket in 1985 for $40 (which I still wear).
   Winning the Airborne Battlefield Command Control Center III (ABCCC III) program was a highlight. I remember Harry Fager noticing in the Commerce Business Daily the ABCCC III offering. The CBD response date was past, but a nice letter got us included to be one of 37 respondents. We won one of the CD contracts (against TRW). We “clobbered” TRW in the competitive CD phase. I will always remember the orals day in Boston: all 8 of us showed up, without prior collaboration, with blue suits, white shirts, and red ties. Let me see if I can remember who were there: John Nygaard (Marketing), Larry Debelak (Program Manager), Boston Marketer, Harry Fager, Jack Schaubert, John Nickolai, and Ole? It was a most difficult program because Upper Management severely slashed our Production bid. At least some recovery happened, it ended up being a $100M+ program.
   When we won ABCCC III, one of the first things that I did was to hire Bob Chappelear, who was an operational ABCCC expert on ABCCC II. Bob made a major difference. Overall technical performance was excellent. We designed, built and tested through USAF Operational Test & Evaluation 2 of the 8 capsules (in 33 months), just in time to control the war in Desert Storm. I never will forget when Jim Rossman (Field Engineer) and Fred Svenson (Programmer) were in a Jeep crossing the desert. They looked up to see a Scud missile. Fred was more curious, Jim was more concerned. Fred’s wife found out that Fred was in Desert Storm from one of the people on the project. She was not happy.
During the 1990’s I spent 46 months on site in California, six months on Peace Shield, a total system for Saudi Arabia. 108 people were assembled in Camarillo for the 6-month proposal effort. The USAF came to us and wanted us to bid. Al Zettlemoyer said no, it is wired for Hughes. He was right. We were significantly lower in price and had the best technical proposal (we found out later). Each contractor was given $10M to bid. We scheduled it so that we would make $1M profit.
   I spent three months on the first Airborne Laser (ABL) Proposal, and the year 1996 on site for the ABL competition between Rockwell Collins (our team) and Boeing (the other team). Boeing bought Rockwell three months before the proposal was to be turned in, so you know who won (Boeing). Hughes was part of the Rockwell team. Other Lockheed Martin personnel were part of the Boeing Team, which was about 1/3 of the award (significantly more than we would have gotten from being part of the Rockwell Team). Hughes personnel had been part of the Peace Shield Team in Saudi Arabia. An incentive was to give the Hughes employees the $35M award fee for making the schedule (they did it and were rewarded handsomely). These were interesting times. I shared an office with Neal Cooper, E Systems Greenville (I was the Deputy IPT Lead). We used to have a few drinks with two four-star Generals and one three-star General who were Rockwell consultants. I also met an Astronaut who had been in space. There were 145 personnel on the ABL Rockwell Collins Team (I was the only Eagan person there on site, but I had wonderful help from Lauren Cady, Mike Doll, and others).
   A significant ABL highlight was the final live demonstration to about 200 personnel, mostly Government (Civilian and Military) and contractor teammate personnel. As I finished being the “mouth piece” orchestrating the live demonstration, the Colonel sitting right in front of me said: “You are enthused about this project.” My reply: “Colonel, it is easier to get someone enthused who has once been enthused than to get some one enthused who has never been enthused at all.” At the “victory party” I was given recognition for having the best quip of the multi day session.
Spending 25 months on TMRC was not a highlight, although my wife came to California for eight of the 46 months on site in the 1990’s. Receiving a call from the Vice President of Engineering at home on a Sunday I knew that I had been tapped. It came out OK—after we won the lawsuit (another story – 15 months preparation).
   My 43 years' experience has been: 14 years as a Programmer / Lead Programmer: Missile Guidance (CP-642 Computer), Project Engineer Real Time Executive (AN/UYK-7 computer), and Lead Programmer USMC Programs (AN/UYK/20 computer); 5 years Project Engineer for Distributed Real Time Serial Data Bus for the Canadian Patrol Frigate Ship (12 are in service). (This was from initial response to a competitive study (bested Litton) until delivery of EDM Hardware units), three years Engineering Manager (26 personnel - USN, USA, USAF, Canadian contracts); five years Chief Engineer for Airborne Command, Control, and Communications (ABCCC) an advanced USAF Communications Platform (this was from initial response to a competitive study (bested TRW) until delivery of the first two production units just in time to control the war in Desert Storm); 46 months on site in California during the 1990's (Peace Shield - six months); Airborne Laser (ABL) three months, then 12 months ABL (1996); in between 25 months on Turkish Mobile Air Defense System (TMRC), 15 months preparation for TMRC Arbitration; nine years in Q-70 organization (three years as Project Engineer of Q-70 Mission Essential Variant, developing prototype demo units; six years proposal and/or Systems Engineering activity - Proposals USN LHA, USA CHS-3, Australian LHD, Australian AWD, USN DD(X) Phase IV, CEDS Price to Win; JTRS, LCS). Lead Engineer on several System Engineering Analysis Studies: LMTS System Engineering Plan (SEMP); Cadmium Oxide Study; Q-70 Communications Study.
   I certainly did not expect, when I was driving home down University Avenue in early 1963, that I would be here for over 44 years. It’s been a good ride. The people have been great. As Jack Sater remarked: "We always seemed to help each other out when needed." We have lived through some tough times, but now with Lockheed Martin we face a brighter future. I could have written many more pages, but I should try to live within the 2 – 3 page Career Summary Guideline.
   Ole considers the social aspects associated with his career as being a positive contribution to job satisfaction.
For the first 10 years after Ole joined the company, he was very active in sports (Fast Pitch Softball, Slow Pitch Softball, Volley Ball, and Basketball (B League)). Teams that Ole formed without pirating players from other teams won one or more championships in every sport.
   The first time that Ole was approached about running for Slow Pitch League Secretary, Ole did not object since he did not know that many people. HE WON. This was a difficult job with 48 Teams, adding / subtracting players - teams had different colors, etc. The second time, Ole did not know that he was running until he saw the ballot (stuck again).
Ole and 7 others formed the Norwegian Independence Day Luncheon in 1973. This is planned so attendees can leave work, eat lunch, hear a 20 minute speaker, and return to work within an hour. This luncheon has had over 100 attendees many of the years. Guest Speakers five years have been Norwegian Military Officers on site here to support Projects for Norway as well as other authors and consulate persons.    

4.2 James Overocker, 1965-2005.

My career with the corporation [originally Univac] started on 12 Jul 65 when I was hired into Dave Kolling's NTDS organization. I had just graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD with a BA degree and a dual major in Math and Physics. My first assignment was as an applications analyst working for Matt Schrieffels on the DLG-28 Program. I was assigned to work with Max Tiede and Jim Stage on the AAW -DDSOT software development project, but first had to learn how to program the 1206 (CP-642A) computer. Off I went to St. Paul's Grand Ave. and the Alexander Ramsey Junior High School and Al Rache's programming class to learn machine coding and the CS-1 compiling system language. With coding sheet in hand, back I went to the rear of Plant 5 on north Prior Ave. I started to learn about testing the performance of the missile and gun fire control systems on-board the DLG-28 class ships. AAW-DDSOT performed, in a digital computer, the same computations which were being performed by the weapon systems analog computers and displayed comparative graphics for the responsible ship's officer's analysis. What a great place to learn about NTDS!

Max Tiede and I then spent some time developing a precision navigation program for keeping track of the at-sea position of wooden hulled, mine-sweepers to a very precise granularity. The method involved radar readings and triangulation from known geographic positions. I believe the accuracy sought was about ten yards. If only we had had a Tom-Tom GPS.

The remainder of my first ten years was spent developing Simulation Programs for numerous systems on-board several classes of ships for the US Navy and other Navies around the world. The initial concept of interface simulation or wrap-around simulation was developed by my second boss, Jim Donaldson. It greatly facilitated the development of operational, test, and training software. Even though Jim moved to another company after only a few years, our friendship has lasted and we meet each year around Christmas to catch-up on personal and family news. I later found myself working for Wilt Anderson and I worked my way up in project engineering and technical management.

In late 1975 I made my only real career switch when I moved to Program Management (ten years in Engineering followed by thirty years in Program Management, that simply was my career). I started in the International Systems Division with Bruce Grewenow and Bob Alexander and started learning the skills necessary to manage programs, all around the world. I spent eight years traveling the world and saw many wonderful places, met many dedicated, hard-working people, and made some life-long friends.

In Oct. 83 (this was one of only a few dates I actually remember from throughout my entire career), I was invited to change organizations and became the program manager for the Trident II Memory Processor Program. I had to learn how to get to Great Neck, NY and how to deal with the old Sperry Gyro culture. Some of the managers we dealt with were Warren Rossemongo, Rudy List, and the lovable Fred Moutier. Our management had committed to delivering the initial Memory Processor (MP) computer in only 24 months, while many in our division felt it was an impossible task and we needed about 50% more time. I remember forming the MP Tiger Team [I probably still have one of our bumper stickers around somewhere)]and working nearly around the clock for months on end. We did meet our delivery target, with the help of many, many folks from throughout our organization, and celebrated a gigantic accomplishment! With our team's fantastic performance now demonstrated, we were asked by the Great Neck crew to take over an ailing display processor from its original design sub-contractor. The Auxiliary Display Terminal (ADT) turned out to be another very successful program.

In the late 80's I was recruited to join the Air Traffic Control organization to be the program manager for another very large program, ARTS III Interim Support Program. With this program I departed the world of US defense business and never returned before retirement. Due to the magnitude of the ARTS Program, I had a large PM Office which included Dick Lachenmeyer, Mike Huck, Merle Cole, Keith Oliver, and Jim Blumke. While dealing with the FAA was quite a change from the military, our team was able once again to perform and won numerous performance/delivery incentives.

{Editor's note: NY [yet another opportunity to travel]. We had a somewhat virtual organization as we managed our programs from Eagan, performed the engineering in Valley Forge and Owego, manufactured the products in Clearwater, and dealt with customers at numerous locations around the country. I retired in Mar 05 (just short of forty years). Throughout my career I was surrounded by competent, dedicated, goal-oriented people who tried to do the best job possible for the customer and the company. Despite the numerous mergers and acquisitions, the staff kept their focus and always strived to grow the business. It strikes me with great sorrow to see the eminent closing of the Eagan operation. With its extremely rich history of innovation, performance and integrity, I feel it deserves better.  

4.3 Jim Olijnek, 1965 - 2003

I joined then Univac in 1965 for a summer job in the Plant 2 semiconductor test lab while still in college. That fall, I moved to plant 1 part time in Program Reliability on the Nike X program working for Ed Deeb. After graduation, I went full time working on CP-901, UYK-7, UYK-8, and S-3A in Program Reliability working some of the time for Norb Ewald and some for Ed Deeb usually located with the design engineering program team.
In 1972 I transferred to Program Management on the S-3A Hardware program, later on as PM for LAMPS SASP and LAMPS MAD working for Dan Brophy and John Spearing. The other members of the Avionic's PM staff were Wally Hafstad, Bob Pagac, Quint Fabro, Tom Knops, Jerry Neese, Jack Schwartz, Rick Stevens, and Tom Rougier.
In 1975, I took over Program Management for Navair Avionics Programs including CP-901, S-3A, TASES, LAMPS, CV/TSC, and VP/TSC. Over the next several years, I held various Program Acquisition and Engineering Management positions.
In 1987, I returned to Program Management as Director Maritime Avionics Systems including AN/ASQ 212 [P-3C update], S-3B, Japanese P-3C, Korean P-3C.  I held several PM and Program Acquisition positions till retirement in 2003.  My favorite though was the Norwegian UIP.


In this Chapter

Topical Article Contributors [left]

  1. Career Summaries - M: 2.1 Don Mager, 2.2 Ben Manning, 2.3 Gene McCarthy, 2.4 Ed Michaud, 2.5 Don Moe, 2.6 Joyce Mortison, 2.7 Lyle Mozak, 2.8 Keith Myhre, 2.9 Pat (nee Bailey) Myhre, 2.10 Bob Myller, 2.11 Frank McKenna, and 2.12 John Miller.  
  2. Career Summaries - N: 3.1 Curt Nelson, 3.2 Mert Nellis, 3.3 Ed Nelson, 3.4 Kathy Nelson, 3.5 Don Neumann, 3.6 Hans Neukom, and 3.7 Les Nelson.
  3. Career Summaries - O: 4.1 Richard 'Ole' Olson, 4.2 Jim Overocker, and 4.3 Jim Olijinek.

Chapter 15 edited 8/24/2022.