US Flag - fm

Information Technology (IT) Pioneers

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

People P-R, Chapter 16

1. Contributors of Topical Articles, P => R

28 writers have written 110 articles or tidbits, supplementing career summaries:

  • Lowell Palacek, Norm Palzer, Jeff Parker, Layre Parkins, Charles Parmele, Ken Pearson, Wes Peters; Al Peterson, Dick Petschauer, Dale Phelps, Ed Phillips, Gerald Pickering, Larry Pierson, Michael Pluimer, Jerry Proc, and Lee Purrier.
  • Jim Rapinac, John Rego, Thomas Reischel, Al Reiter, Bill Rhode, Gary Rist, Dick Roessler, Al Rollin, Paul Roselle, Doug Ross, and Bob Russell.

2. Career Summaries - P:

2.1 Bob Pagac, 1967-2011.


I have worked in the defense industry for over 44 years with the “same company” in management, subcontracts, technical engineering, and field support engineering and have held a secret security clearance my entire career.
I started at Univac and while my companies’ names changed; my home base remained in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Through all of the mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, we went from Univac, Sperry, Burroughs, Unisys, Paramax, Loral, and finally in 1997 to Lockheed Martin.


I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and in 1961 graduated from Washington High School and directly entered Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). I received an Electronics Technology (ECT) two year degree in 1963 and our Electrical Engineering (BSEE) four year degree in 1967.


In 1967, I started my career at Univac as a Field Engineer working out of Plant 5 on Prior Ave in St. Paul. My first field assignment was at Bell Telephone Laboratory in Whippany, NJ starting in mid 1967 which lasted until 1970. During 1969, I was the Site Manager. In 1970, I returned to St. Paul to begin training for my next field assignment for Lockheed California Company at Rye Canyon and Valencia, California. I was the field site manager at Valencia working on the S-3 aircraft hardware and software integration for this Anti-Submarine Warfare carrier-based aircraft. I worked on Lockheed’s flight line/factory at Burbank where the S-3 would be produced. I was responsible for the installation and maintenance of the initial nineteen (19) S-3 mission computers on the first 19 aircraft. I also supported the S-3 “flying test bed” which was an older P-3A four (4) engine propeller-driven aircraft. I supported Lockheed as I flew on ten (10) of those “test bed” flights.

I returned to St. Paul in 1973 and accepted an assignment in airborne program management. Maintenance management of both S-3 and P-3 support and logistics activities for airborne computers was my primary task. I managed our team of engineers during the three (3) weeks we spent in Burbank to upgrade the initial S-3 airborne computers on the aircraft.

In 1976, I accepted a position in Air Traffic Management responsible for the installation/integration, checkout, and acceptance of the New York Tracon and Enroute Airport Radar Terminal System (EARTS) airport facilities with the FAA as our customer. Our EARTS “Test Bed” was at the Farmington, Minnesota Enroute Site.

I accepted a position in our subcontracts group in 1978 with the following responsibilities:

  • -        Coordinate all subcontract activities from inception of a procurement through the proposal, negotiation, execution, delivery, and closure phases
  • -        Act as team leader on all major subcontract negotiations
  • -        Manage all required consultants
  • -        Lead all Teaming Agreements

I subcontracted with suppliers of complex electronic systems in the following countries: Japan, Germany, Israel, Egypt, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

  I returned to program management in 1982 as the Life Cycle Manager for the medium ship-based computer for the US Navy and other international users. This included integrated logistics support, spare parts, technical documentation, performance and maintenance data analysis, maintenance and technical support engineering, repair of failed parts from the various fleets, and management of the field change program.

  In 1983, I accepted a program management assignment in the international ground, surface/subsurface, and air programs group. In 1984, I became the Japanese surface/subsurface and air program manager directing all activities in the Japanese programs and proposal efforts. Because we were doing defense business in Japan, we required a Japanese Trading Company for all of the Japanese tasks on the various contracts. This particular relationship required extreme care and coordination so as to not do something embarrassing to/with the customer. Patience and understanding were required to do business in Japan. During this timeframe, I concentrated on the Japanese air side of the business interfacing with the Japanese companies Toshiba, Fujitsu, Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), Shimadzu, Sumitomo, and Mitsui.

  We began concentrating on the Japanese P-3 upgrade effort in 1992. Japan had been building the P-3 aircraft through a license from Lockheed since 1980, and they required an upgrade to these aircraft. In 1994, we entered into a Manufacturing License Agreement (MLA) with Toshiba for the upgrade of seventy (70) of their aircraft. This was a twenty (20) year agreement to end next year in 2014. I led our team members from contracts, engineering (systems, test, and hardware), operations, quality control, training, and logistics. We implemented this MLA and delivered manufacturing processes and procedures, engineering drawings, and quality requirements necessary for Toshiba and their subcontractors Fujitsu and Shimadzu to manufacture, test, and deliver our airborne processing system to their Defense Ministry.

  In 1995, Loral purchased the defense portion of Unisys which lasted until Lockheed Martin purchased most of Loral’s defense divisions in 1997. The majority of our international airborne business was with Japan and expanded into the next decade. We delivered special test equipment and training to KHI for their lab testing of the airborne processing system that Toshiba would supply for their P-3 system upgrade. We also had a license agreement with Fujitsu to supply them with testing processes and procedures for our video display processor for their radar and software upgrade.

  In 2007, we turned our attention to Europe; Germany was ready for a sensor upgrade to their P-3 aircraft. This sensor was an EO/IR (electro optical/infra-red) unit for surface surveillance that was becoming extremely critical for the anti-piracy missions around the world, especially off of the African coast near Somalia.

We signed a contract with the German Ministry of Defense in 2009 for the procurement, installation, test, and customer acceptance of this sensor for their P-3 aircraft. I led the team that delivered this EO/IR sensor and integrated it with not only the hardware but the software, training, and documentation.

With the impending closure of Plant 8 in Eagan, I was forced to retire from Lockheed Martin in May of 2011 after more than 44 1/2 years of service because my two airborne programs were transferred to Lockheed Martin in Owego, NY.


After my retirement from Lockheed Martin in 2011; I joined the VIP Club and started doing volunteer work on the legacy documentation at Plant 8 in Eagan. I am now doing the documentation and cataloguing at the Dakota County Historical Society (DCHS) LAWSHE Memorial Museum in South St. Paul with other volunteers who had retired from Lockheed. I've also done volunteer burger grilling at the annual Club picnics in Highland Park these last three years.

2.2 Larye Parkins, 1965-1990.

I worked at METC in 1965, 1969, and 1970, on 1218s, 642Bs, the 667, and delivered the first AN/UYK-7 to Dahlgren, Virginia. I worked on the AEGIS EDM-1 project in Moorestown, NJ 1970-1974, and the Trident and SSN-688 projects in Newport, RI from 1974-1980. At Moorestown, I also helped decommission the one and only AN/UYK-8: the RCA project folks had us remove all the chassis, place the cabinet in a trash can, then reinsert the chassis for a "disposal" photo shoot.
I was "prematurely retired" from Unisys while at Submarine Base Bangor in 1989, having last worked on white papers for the AN/UYK-43 embedded disk designs.
After a brief foray into commercial software as a COBOL programmer, in 1990-91, while working on my MSE at Seattle University, I spent almost 5 years supporting ACDS test engineering on contract at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, while teaching computer science at night to pay off my graduate school bills. For so long, the 24 years I spent at Sperry and Unisys was just a mostly blacked-out section of my resume punctuated with incomprehensible acronyms, prompting prospective employers to ask, "and what makes you think you are in the same business?" Somehow, I've managed to map the non-obvious similarities onto a new career in Unix, but it wasn't easy. I think we have a lot to offer to the history of computing before Microsoft and the Personal Computer, and I've really enjoyed browsing through the personal anecdotes and chronologies on your web site.

I am about to retire "for real" from a 13-year career in Unix system administration and software engineering, most recently 8 years as an "accidental bio-informaticist" at the National Institutes of Health, Rocky Mountain Laboratories.

In 2005, I put together a brief history of my first 40 years in computing, of which most, at that time, was with Univac/Sperry/Unisys or, later, working on combat systems test engineering for other support contractors. The PDF version is pending.

2.3 Richard Petschauer, 1956-62, 1971 -

I was manager of the Film Memory Engineering Dept. till June 1962 when I left the company for 6 years. I started in 1956 in the Memory Dept. and was assigned to the Research group to design circuits for the first film memory project, a research type that was based on a 1955 Paper by Art Pohm and Sidney Rubens. Later we got a project from the Air Force to develop a non destructive read out (NDRO) memory [also non volatile] that could replace the drum memories used in a missile guidance. Major Gerry Probst was Air Force project manager. At that time a department was set up in engineering to do this. The Research Dept. continued with its separate activity. I was named supervisor of circuit design in the dept., and about two years later the manager.
My film memory paper {Editor’s Note: See the Engineering, Memory page.} could use some names of some of the people involved. For example I was car pooling those days with Earl Joseph and Leo Kennedy. One day I told them we can now build a very fast small thin film memory. Earl was on a task force to define the commercial 1107 computer at the time, and that is how the 1107 got it. Even today, the 1100 series still has a small fast memory besides the main memory.
I came back in 1971 to the Roseville Group. I have some good stories about those times too. Later a wrote a booklet summarizing the logic and memory technology from the 1103 to about the 1190. At one time there was a copy in the company library. I have a copy. I also have a copy of my 1961 paper at the Western Joint Computer Conference on the first multi-plane thin film memory ever made. At that time there were only two major computer conferences a year.  

2.4 Dr. Peter Patton, 1960-69

Lowell, I still remember fondly our cooperation on the AN/UYK-7 cache memory studies. you were a great guy to work for. I went to St Paul as principal programmer in 1961 to checkout the fleet test system on the Oriskany using the original NTDS computer AN/USQ-17 designed by Seymour Cray. We then redid it as the USQ-20, adding modern features [at that time] like interrupts and packaged it vertically. The Q-17 used monitored buffers for Input/Output control. I had to rewrite the CS-1 compiler with Clyde Allen for the Q-20. I did the first 418 demo with Vic Benda and later consulted for both NAVSEC and Univac on the AN/UYK-7 and then again on the AN-UYK-43. I remember all those guys fondly: Doc (George) Chapin, Leon Findley, Clyde Allen, Don Ream, Paul Hoskins, Cmdr Leichtweis, and Bill Rock. Those were the days, Lowell.

The first computer at the University of Minnesota was the Univac 1103 and the center there was started by Dr. Marvin Stein as the Numerical Analysis Center. I think Marv came from Northrop in CA where he ran an 1103 for aerospace research. As a matter of fact, I vaguely remember he came with the machine [which was traded in for a new 1103A at Northrop] when Univac gave the used trade-in to the University. At the time (1958) I was in charge of systems programming at Boeing where we wrote our own compilers/interpreters. Boeing bought an 1103A at the same time to go alongside their new IBM 704 which replaced an IBM 701. That too is an interesting Univac story.

I do think you should highlight the fact that the 1103 was the beginning of computing at the University of Minnesota and that the University has gone on from that start to achieve world recognition. They never used anything but a Seymour Cray designed machine, Univac 1103, CDC 1604, CDC 6600, Cyber 76, Cray 1 and a Cray 2. When Marv Stein left the position as director of computing to start up the their Computer Science Department in 1971 he recommended me as his successor. [At that time I had left Univac to join Vic Benda and Fred Lang (creator of Univac's first FAA On-Line system using the file computer and those little paper strips] to join Aires International (AiC) as General Manager.] I was very flattered. I was a "fringe character" for the first three but I was director of computing for the last three machines. I am an old man now, Lowell, and I have a lot of stories. Please advise what topics I should concentrate on to keep from just giving a stream of consciousness memory dump. You remember how difficult memory dumps are to understand!

When CDC separated from Univac they took the 490 drawings with them, and as later proved in the court room, changed the word and bus length from 30 bits to 48 bits and brought out the 1604. The University was one of the first, if not the very first installations. The Univac attorney took 1604 and 490 drawings to the courtroom window, superimposed them and showed that the only changes were the company logos in the lower right hand corner and all the single line drawings of the busses were changed from /30 to /48. A rather convincing argument, I thought.

All the best, Pete Patton

Lowell, I misspoke when I called Fred Lang's FAA project the "OnLine" system. Of course it was the EnRoute System. He used the Univac File Computer which succeeded the old RemRand mechanical punched card units. The machine kept track of all flights in an FAA airspace control area and was updated by radar and/or manual inputs. It printed out little strips of paper about 3/4" by 8" and these were posted in slots on the ATC's "board" and moved about manually as flights took off/landed, entered/left airspace, etc.

Fred left Univac to start the first software company Aires International with Rich Daly. When all the business went to DC, he sold out to Daly and started Analysts International Corp. He raided programmers from Univac Military Division to staff his new company. For many years his main customer was CDC although AiC built system and applications software for many other Twin Cities firms as well.  Pete 

Lowell, Good to hear from you. [January 14th, 2021]
We are both well and I am still teaching full-time at age 85. Mostly graduate classes in either aerospace  or software engineering to in-service engineers from Tinker AFB, Boeing, and Northrup-Grumman.
I did not come on the scene at UMinn until 1969 after I had left Univac to join Analysts International. I led an effort to develop a ten-year plan for computers in State Government, Local Government and Higher Education. I met Marvin Stein for the first time during that project. He was a true pioneer in computing and there is a good Wikipedia article on him. By then UMinn had gone to the CDC 1604 then the 6600 and he faculty was demanding timesharing. Dr. Stein was opposed to timeshared computing and resigned to take up chairmanship of the new Computer Science Department which he and Bill Munroe founded. Dick Halverson then replaced him as interim computer center director. After finishing the ten-year plan for the State I was offered the job as assistant director under Dick Halverson who was anxious to return full-time to the EE Department. After a year, I became director. I was never involved in the academic politics that led to Marvin's leaving the computer center. Before I accepted the job, however I met with him and told him that I would not accept it if I or my study for the state was in any way, even unknowingly, responsible for his leaving it. He assured me that I was not and that he was much more interested in developing a new academic department in computer science than running a computer center, and strongly encouraged me to take the job. So, Lowell, I can't really help you with this essay. I came on the scene much too late.
Pete Patton

2.5 Jane Pejsa, 1956-1961

Editor's note: Jane is noted on a poster board as part of the Minnesota History Center's " Minnesota's Greatest Generation" exhibit. The following is an excerpt from the story which she sent to Dick Lundgren.}

Regarding getting a job in the first place:

Then one day I received a phone call from my Carleton Math Professor. This was in mid-year 1956. He asked me, “Are you still working in that dippy job at the phone company?” And of course I was. He told me to get myself over to a place in St. Paul called Remington Rand, where one of his women math majors, a year ahead of me, had just signed on. And so I did. I was promptly hired, on my own terms—3 full days a week—since I had a small child at home.

Regarding the new working home:

What an absolutely wonderful place I found my new working home. It had originally, during WWII, been a glider factory, and more recently the home of a new “computer” firm ERA. It was in the process of acquiring new ownership and a new name. Mr. Norris and several other senior employees had left to start a firm that would become very famous—Control Data. Thus the glider factory crowd had been acquired by Remington Rand and at the time I joined was being taken over by Univac. That is how I remember it though this may be backwards.

I was given a table next to a wall—upper half a glass wall--in a tiny office with my boss Jules Mercel, clearly a very, very intelligent man. I spent the first days studying what this computer, the Univac Scientific, was all about. It was being built under government contract. I even had a title—Systems Analyst—though I had no idea what the title meant. I was a new programmer. And of course this was machine language—binary, which we early interpreted in octal. Octal arithmetic came very easily to me. Our programming tasks included putting the contents of numbered stored locations, into the accumulator and at least two other registers, removing them, and doing other stunts to simulate addition, subtraction, multiplication, and—the most difficult—division.

Regarding the work environment:

I am sure that no two doors in the entire building were the same. Probably no two desks were the same. This giant computer comprised several large metal floor-standing metal containers, with a working table standing among them, all this housed in a large room. On the table stood a keyboard to punch paper tape with our octal numbers, pairs of scissors and glue pots, plus a little machine to secure pieces of paper tape, as we corrected and otherwise changed our little programs. Imagine, at this time we still did not have a way of saying directly “add,” “subtract”, “multiply”, “divide.” Each day we signed up for a stint on the computer to try out our latest coding. There was always a lineup for this privilege. I believe there was also the possibility of “testing,” a means of developing a meaningful set of commands, particularly in the case of division. In hot weather, even with air conditioning, the Univac Scientific very early would be shut down because of heat. I think of all the time wasted that year in shutdowns and waiting for one’s turn at the Computer.

For all the problems and the makeshift work areas, the glider factory was the most exciting place I had ever encountered. Then one day my boss Jules Mercel told me he was leaving for California, to join the Rand Corporation. I knew he was very, very smart as well as tolerant of this babe in the woods. I remember him storming into our little office, slamming the door and saying, “I have never attended a meeting out of which came a new idea. This meeting was no different.

Regarding relocation and a new boss:

Very soon after my boss left, our whole operation was moved to the Griggs-Midway building on University Avenue. I believe the computer pieces were also moved. This time we programmers took over a part of an entire empty floor, no partitions of any kind. I don’t even remember for whom I worked at that time. All I remember was that everyone from the top to the bottom took 2 to 2.5-hour lunch hours and no one seemed to care. (I did not. Somehow this really disturbed me.) Apparently the firm was rolling in money at this time. We were now moving into not only government money but also some private contracts.

Eventually we were given a proper office and my new boss was Earl C. Joseph. We were four women who worked under him and we all sat with him in a nice modern little office. As you may recall, Earl Joseph sometime later left Univac and launched himself into a new career. He really defined and founded the whole area of Futurists, an area that now seems to thrive. About a decade ago I attended one of his lectures. I reminded him that I had worked for him for about 6 months. He, however, had no idea who I was. So it goes.

Regarding her target computer and a new programming language

This was now the first months of 1957. The Univac Scientific was now the 1103, which presumably had been completed. We were together, now designing software, still in machine code, to test what was new in the emerging 1103A. Presently we were again on the move, this time to a very pleasant building out on Mississippi Drive in St. Paul, right at the corner of Ford Parkway and the river. I recall it was one-storey with large broad show windows facing west and south. Possibly it had previously been a show room of some kind. From the beginning it was just temporary since Univac had started construction of a major plant downstream on the river. Probably I worked here just a few weeks. What is memorable is the fact that we all were pitching in to develop a new high-level language that would take over the world. We all knew that IBM was equally busy on its new high-level language. I was already convinced that Univac would lose. And of course it did, for IBM’s Fortran did take over the scientific world. I wish I could remember the name given to the language Univac was trying to develop.

I worked just a few weeks at the Ford Parkway plant, for my second child was scheduled soon to be born. Actually he arrived three weeks late. I could have stayed longer. I had no interest in coming back after the baby was born. The new plant seemed too far away from Old Lowry Hill in Minneapolis, where we had built a little house. Presumably this was the end of my computer life.” [It wasn’t.] 

2.6 Phil Phipps, 1955-1989

  1. Graduated from Willamette University, 1947-1951, with double major in Math and Physics. GPA above 3.5/4.0
  2. Attended Iowa State College, 1951-1953, for an MA degree in Nuclear Physics. Had an assistantship working for the AEC. My research and thesis was focused on “Short half-lives (a few seconds) of isotopes produced by photo nuclear reactions" using the AEC Laboratory 60 MEV synchrotron.
  3. Attended MIT, 1953-1955, in Applied Math and obtained a MS degree. My thesis was on the machine solutions to a non-linear partial differential heat equation with a nearby singularity boundary. I then left MIT to go to work in the computer field.
  4. 1955—Applied for work at ERA and reported for work at Remington Rand/Univac/Sperry Rand/ UNISYS until November 1989 at retirement. Initially worked with a team on programming the Univac 1103 to solve large (100 x 100) sparse linear programming problems.
  5. 1955-1960—Worked with the Athena Ground Guidance computer as supervisor for guidance software development for the Titan I missile. Initially, directed and trained programmers to do fixed point arithmetic for the ground guidance equations developed by Bell Telephone Labs. The Athena was an 8192 16-bit word capacity drum computer with a small core memory of 256 24-bit words. Other guidance programs were developed by the group included the Thor Delta missions of the Air Force. As part of the software development considerable support software tools were designed to compile, test, checkout, and validate/exercise the guidance computer software. Trajectory simulated guidance data on the 1103 was designed to generate the radar data that the computer would see in an actual mission. That radar data, which took about 3 hours to compute, was then punched into a thousand feet of paper tape and run on a high speed tape handler to supply the radar data to the Athena in the real time of 5 minutes. The expected guidance commands were generated from the 1103 version of the Athena guidance program were also punched into the paper tape. The tape handler was designed to provide the simulated radar data to the Athena and compare the exact guidance commands from the Athena with those that came from the 1103 simulation. It worked like a charm provided the tape didn’t break or a bit of chaff hadn’t stuck in any of the holes in the tape!
  6. 1960-1969—Performed IR&D research on applying Univac computers to new anticipated missile and satellite missions. This entailed visiting Navy and Air Force offices and labs to discuss anticipated new/needed functions the better to size the future computer needs.
  7. Wrote the winning proposal for the radar directed satellite/re-entry vehicle automatic acquisition software/system for Air Force’s Atlantic Missile Range to be stationed at the Ascension Island. I was personally responsible for the mathematics to do this. The software group that I directed used the militarized 1206 computer. The problem to be solved was to use acquisition data relayed from Cape Canaveral to a remote site to direct the FPS-16 radar to automatically acquire and track the approaching space vehicle, track the vehicle through re-entry and splash-down, then report the splash-down point coordinates. Tracking in the re-entry phase had to be open-loop, i.e., the radar was “blind” during that phase due to the plasma generated by the heat of re-entry. After the blackout period the radar was directed to re-acquire the vehicle. At first the radar operator did not trust the computer and insisted on controlling the re-acquisition himself, which most of the time failed so the exact splash-down coordinates could not be determined. In later tests the operator in desperation gave permission for the computer to control the re-acquisition, which it did perfectly the first time! The computer had been tracking the vehicle open loop prior to re-entry. If the space vehicle was just to fly over, the new acquisition data, orbital parameters were relayed to further down-range tracking sites. The next site was in South Africa.
    Later, a programming support group was established at Cape Canaveral as an extension of our St Paul group. Bernie Jansen headed up that liaison task. Even later a similar group was established at the Pacific Missile Range at Pt. Magu. The latter supported many, many launches including range safety functions. They guided over 500 launches without a single mishap due to computer or software malfunction!
  8. Managed the follow-on software development for further downrange mobile van mounted acquisition/tracking sites. Manny Block was the able manager for the integration of software and computer equipment for those projects. The first such site we installed was for the upgrading of the South Africa site.
  9. 1962-1963—Participated in the proposal and management of the software development group for the ARIS tracking ships. Sperry Gyro, the prime, provided the analysis and equations. The software group did the fixed point scaling, programming, checkout and integration with the other ship mission hardware. The accuracy of the tracking algorithms had to be at least an order of magnitude better than was used for land based acquisition and tracking. The ARIS ship had to spend at least two weeks on station just surveying in their location by triangulating various stars to get the location of the tracking site to within about 100 feet! The nine degrees of freedom the ship's hull flexure experienced had to be computed and accounted for while tracking stars or mission satellites.
  10. Managed the guidance software development group for various Air Force programs using the 1824 on board guidance computer. Again, fixed point scaling of the guidance equations was needed. The biggest challenge for the programmers was to “shoe horn” all the programs into the 1824 memory; every byte and bit was needed!
  11. 1960-1969—Performed analysis of requirements studies and proposals for undersea computer applications. The main candidate application was for the passive submarine sonar station. Underwater acoustics, digital signal processing, target classification aids and display applications were needed to be understood and integrated into the submarine environment. In addition, from the passive sonar data over time the target track had to be developed automatically. During this time I participated in the company’s digital UNIVAC 1616 HFFT computer design.
  12. This understanding by the software and analysis group was later used to develop software algorithms for target tracking of under and surface targets for buoy operation for the S-3A ASW plane.
  13. 1971-1975—My analysis group developed the first digital MAD detection and location algorithms for the LAMPS helicopter project. This digital system was later tested and found to be as good as or better than the trained MAD operator in actual field tests. And later, algorithm and software were development for the cryogenic MAD system, which was designed and developed at Unisys, St Paul.
  14. 1974-1975—Participated on the initial requirements for the UNIVAC commercial 1108/array Processor.
  15. 1974-1976—Worked on algorithm and simulation development for computer-aided anti-aircraft gun tracking and firing for 20 and 35 mm guns in a new business venture.
  16. Managed the Federal Railroad Agency feasibility study for real-time analysis of acoustic signals for the rail inspection vehicle study contract. We developed the digital anomaly detection and classification of rail flaws from multiple ultrasonic acoustic returns from energy pulses fired into the rail at various angles. The objective was to determine what digital computer capability was needed for real-time processing on board a rail inspection car running at 30 mph. It turned out a new computer design would have been required to handle the computation load even at 5 mph! The current hardware technology was not up to the job at that time.
  17. Proposed, and was awarded the development of an automatic real-time manual Morse code translator from signals taken directly off the air. The customer was the Air Force. The system had to be adaptive to the operator’s “fist” and variable rate of transmission that characterized the human sending operator.
  18. Personally participated in a number of highly classified digital signal processing contract studies for prime contractors with whom Unisys was teamed.
  19. Later I planned and carried out IR&D application research projects in anticipation of military RFPs and new business planning. Acted as liaison in signal processing and artificial intelligence technology (1971-1982) with the Sperry Research Center in Sudbury, Massachusetts.
  20. 1980-1989—Formed, developed, hired and helped train the artificial intelligence (AI) application group using IR&D funds in order to help qualify DSD for advanced military tactical contracts requiring that capability. When contracts were won, one or more of my group would be loaned to the project to help incorporate whatever AI techniques would be appropriate.
  21. 1987-1988—Participated in an NSIA government-sponsored industry committee “The Anti-Submarine Warfare Committee” to determine the future role of digital undersea surveillance in ASW. This was a 2-year program.
    Helped develop several probability decision analysis methods using multiple information sources that were “noisy” and often contradictory. This was needed for multi-sensor data fusion processing, particularly for target tracking. The methods included: Bayesian conditional probability, Dempster-Shafer statistics.

It should be noted that throughout many of these accomplishments, I had the help and leadership of a lot of wonderful, dedicated people. Many, many thanks are due to all of them.

2.7 Gerald Pickering,

I am very proud of my 32 ½ years with Univac. It is the only company I ever worked for. By and large I felt that Univac could accomplish technically anything it set out to do; more than anything the United Airlines Project was proof of that. I am particularly proud of my contributions to NTDS, the turning of International into a profitable division, unbundling the Univac product lines and in essence turning Univac commercial from strictly a seller of hardware into a provider of system services.

I am proud to have ended my career with an involvement with NEXRAD which proved Sperry was the provider of state-of-the-art system solutions. Each and every time I watch a weather report tracking a dangerous storm, I must constrain myself from jumping up and proclaiming to everyone within listening distance: "That's NEXRAD at work. I had a hand in developing it." A more complete ‘career summary’ is in the Article for the Month, “CREATIVITY-SUCCESS-OBSCURITY”.  

2.8 Mark Plait, 1968-1989

I started with Univac in 1968 and worked in Graphic Arts, Documentation Control, Configuration Management, and the Trident program as a Quality Engineer during my tenure with Univac/Unisys, until 1989, 21 years later. I greatly enjoyed my time on the Trident program working with Bill Techtmann, Jack Lavers, Vic Patras, Bob Luken, Ray Doehling and many others over the years.  Mark Plait

2.9 Richard Prokop, 1963-1964

I worked at UNIVAC, plant 3, in St. Paul in 1963-1964. I did wiring and rework on night shift. My boss was Merle Holger. It was a great job. I often wondered what happened to Merle. I've got some pictures and other stuff saved somewhere. We worked on the NIKE/ZEUS program, you have an interesting web page. I'll be checking back. take care! 

4. Career Summaries - Q:

4.1. David Quiggle, 1969 - 1996

I started with UNIVAC Defense Systems in Eagan in 1969 and lived through all the rest of the name changes up through Lockheed Martin.  I left LM in 1996 having spent ALL of that time in the field working as a Field Engineer supporting various Defense and NASA contracts.  Consequently, I had very little "face time" with the "in-house" corporation with the exception of those folks I interfaced closely with on those projects.  Some folks I worked for over the years include Jerry Sargent, George Fedor, Curt Anderson, Roger Feichtinger, Larry Koral, Don Neuman and Dave Dzubay to name a few.  Others that I worked with include Leo Valley, Bob Kroeger, Jim Inda, Roger Engle and many others too numerous to mention.  Projects supported include the RTS Satellite Control Facilities, NASA/JPL Deep Space Project, and the B-2 Bomber.  Work sites include field engineering support at Palo Alto CA, Kodiak Alaska, Kaena Point Hawaii, New Boston New Hampshire, Seychelles Islands Indian Ocean, Valencia CA, Pasadena CA, Cape Canaveral FL, Cebreros Spain, Sunnyvale CA, Pueblo CO, Pico Rivera CA and Seattle WA.  As you may guess, my last service with the company (then Lockheed Martin) occurred while in Boeing territory in Seattle.  When the B-2 project ended I was left with the choice of finally returning to Eagan MN or changing jobs to avoid up-rooting my growing family in Seattle.  At that time, the family roots were set so here we remain in the Seattle area.

I must say I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated my entire 27 years with the company.  It was a very gratifying job that afforded ample opportunity for travel and worldly experience far beyond my Minnesota upbringing and U of MN education.  I keep fond memories of all those I encountered on this journey.  And I did work another 16 years with the Boeing company before retiring from the workforce for good.  Now I happily keep busy playing golf, skiing and still traveling in my retirement years.  It would be very hard for me to write a better ending for this journey.

Please keep me on your non-member list as I will try to join in a picnic or other activity whenever it coincides with an occasional visit to Minnesota.

David M. Quiggle, Univac-LM 1969-1996 posted 12/17/2015

3. Career Summaries - R:

3.1 Jim Rapinac, 1961-1987

1961 to 1987 Career Summary. Corporate names were Remington Rand Univac, Sperry Rand Univac, Sperry Univac DSD, Sperry DSD, and UNISYS - briefly.
   July 1961 - Joined Remington Rand Univac as Production Planner for ADD, Advanced Digital Device, an airborne computer for ICBM guidance. Project was later cancelled by the Air Force.
   1962 - Assigned as Production Coordinator for CP-667 Program.
   1963 - Became a PERT Planning Engineer under Lyle Franklin who reported to Gerry Brings. I did the CP-667 Pert Planning.
   1964 - Transferred to Navy Avionics Marketing and reported to M. R. Clement Jr., who reported to Vern Leas. Assigned to ANEW, the development program for a digital version of the P-3C ASW aircraft.
   1966-70 - Group Manager, Avionics Marketing
   1970-71 - Director, Marketing, Salt Lake City Operations
   1972-74- General Manager, Special Programs, Salt Lake City
   1974-1978 - General Manager, Technical Services Division, St. Paul, MN
   1978-1985 - Vice President, Marketing & Sales, Sperry Univac DSD
   1985-1987 - Vice President, Systems Operations, Sperry Defense Products Group and later - UNISYS.
   April, 1987 - Resigned for personal reasons. At this time I was responsible for Avionics Systems, Surface Systems, Undersea Systems, Ground Systems, Field Engineering, International Operations, and Canadian Operations.
   I served under the following DSD Vice President/General Managers before resigning: Bob McDonald, Gerry Probst, Forrest Crowe, Dick Gehring, Ernie Hams, Dick Seaberg, and Bill Geiger/Ed Decker.

Career Highpoints and Impact Items
   1966 - Won P-3C CP-901 Computer production and operational software contracts. Over 400 CP-901’s were produced. CP-901 was the first high volume airborne computer on the market.
   1968 - Teamed with Lockheed Aircraft and won S-3A 1832 Computer production and operational software contracts, the largest single DSD contract at that time.
   1972 - As General Manager, Special Programs, Salt Lake City, shut down unprofitable Sergeant and Shrike missile lines and focused on wide band airborne data links and UAV microwave control and guidance systems. This division, now part of L-3 Communications, is a leading supplier of tactical data links with over $300M in annual revenues.
   1974-78 As General Manager, led the growth of Technical Services Division from a base of 300 professionals to over 1100 professionals over 4 years with corresponding growth in revenues and profits.
   1983 - DSD bookings exceeded $600 million and we won 5 major new business programs over the space of 5 months including UYK-44 production, UYK-43 production, Canadian Patrol Frigate program, AYK-14 second source production, and CP-890 Poseidon Computer production.

Leading Technology Items:
   CP-667 Computer Development: The U.S. Navy’s first 36 bit military computer with 32 I/O channels and mil-spec approved wire wrapped back panels.
   S-3A 1832 Computer: The first and only airborne computer with thin film memory.
   X-Ray Enhancement Program: This program provided for early detection of breast cancer using 1218 computers and Jet Propulsion Lab image enhancement software. This system, located at the DSD facility in Valencia, CA. detected breast cancer in retrospective studies of enhanced mammogram x-rays 3 years earlier than with other detection methods. Program was terminated by Sperry Corp. in 1975 due to potential medical liability problems.
   Canadian SHINPADS: The first shipboard digital data bus that was used on the Canadian Frigate Program (CPF) along with the UYK-502 computer designed for CPF and produced in Winnipeg, Canada. 

Jim Rapinac also provided us with interviews, Rapinac Final.

3.2 Jerry Raveling, 1976-1987

   In July 1976, I was hired by Clyde Allen, Director of Engineering Programs. His organization was principally responsible for maintaining and enhancing the support software suite that was used by the USN and our allies who used the AN/UYK-7 and AN/UYK-20 computers. By that time, I had almost 20 years' experience with two large software contractors working on military systems. I was familiar with most of the existing military standards and specifications applicable to hardware and software development and support and had prepared and implemented without the benefit of software based standards, Software Configuration Management (SCM) and Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Plans and Procedures for several large-scale U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force systems. Shortly before my job interview, the Department of Defense had issued DoD Directive 5000.29, Management of Computer Resources in Major Systems. Implementation of the directive would require that computer software would be managed as a Configuration Item (CI), and be subject to a disciplined development approach equal to that which was required for system hardware. Software was no longer going to be the forgotten step-child in the development of computer systems, but would be recognized as a critical element in the overall effectiveness of the system.
   In the next few years, there was a virtual explosion of computer systems initiatives. The USN and USAF published software development standards which establish format and content requirements for software requirements and design documentation, SCM and SQA Plans, and a new software development life cycle. Software language and computer architecture standards were proposed. Terminology for classification of military systems evolved from computer systems to “Mission Critical Computer Resources (MCCR)”. Computers and software were identified as crucial elements in developing military systems which would compensate for the perceived numerical superiority of our potential enemies by developing systems that would serve as “force multipliers”.
   New SCM and SQA standards were developed and published. The introduction of microprocessors to military systems created management visibility issues: Was the application hardware or software intensive? How would the software (aka firmware) be documented, tested, and controlled and by whom? The concept of conducting Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) or internal contractor V&V was adopted by various large system developments to improve quality and system reliability. A new DoD standard higher order language, i.e. Ada, was developed and proposed to replace existing service language standards. The Joint Logistics Commanders (JLC) became actively involved in defining requirements to ensure effective Post Deployment Software Support (PDSS). NASA began to move, for the first time, to establish computer software standards to support the International Space Station development. The DoD published their own Software Development Standard (DOD-STD-2167/2167A) and Software Quality Assurance Standard (DoD-STD-2168). Finally, commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software were making in-roads into military combat systems. The latter development posed a direct threat to our core business of producing ruggedized military computers and using standardized USAF and USN software.
   With the support of Clyde Allen, Dick Seaberg, Bill Geiger, Ed Decker, and my supervisors from 1979-1987: Jim Kiwus [Product Planning], Pat Casey [TSD], Neil Hahn [R&D Marketing], Bob Bro [System Design Engineering], Jim Olijinek [System Development], and Dick Johnson [Planning and Marketing Resources]; I was able to pursue an active role in industry/government relations. In this position I was able to establish personal contact with DoD, Services, and industry leaders. This allowed me to communicate to Sperry Univac, Sperry, and Unisys management and technical personnel the perceived impact of the DoD/Services computer resources initiatives on current and future system development, contract management, and the development of supporting technology. I was also able to distribute review and final copies of applicable directives and standards within the corporation and coordinate the submittal of review comments to the appropriate government agencies. Further, I worked to try influence, in a positive manner, the impact of the DoD/Service initiatives on our short- and long-term business plans.
   I was able to apply the knowledge I had gained in performing these activities to the day-to-day technical functions I performed. Examples: proposal preparation support, proposal Red Team reviews, briefings to Sperry Univac, Sperry, and Unisys management and technical personnel and to our current or potential customer base, preparation of project SCM and SQA plans, preparation of a brochure and technical briefings for Dick Seaberg in support of the benefits of USN computer hardware and software standardization, participation in corporate task forces including Future Systems Planning and Analysis, Technology Action Team, and Next Generation Embedded Computer Task Force, and preparation of an Industry/Government Network Plan to extend the corporation’s involvement in current government/industry actions and programs.
   My eleven year career with Sperry Univac, Sperry, and Unisys from 1976 to 1987 were wonderful years. I was given the opportunity to learn a great deal about the various aspects of the operations of a large computer hardware and software company, to interact with a talented group of upper and mid-level managers, and accomplished technical personnel working together to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing computer system development and support environment, to gain recognition as a corporate professional and leader within the government/ industry management and technical community, and to know that my contributions made Sperry Univac, Sperry, and Unisys better companies: companies which made a positive impact on the defense of the nation.

3.3 Al Reiter, 1954-1988

Al’s work history is part of two web pages which he created beginning in 2004, we've captured them here in pdf format. The first page is the UNIVAC I history from his viewpoint blue page {Ed note: Updated 3/28/2020}. The second page is his relationship and the relationship of others to the UNIVAC I, yellow page. 

A most interesting part of history is contained on this second page: “Univac II was built in St Paul, MN from a Univac I (serial #16) that was shipped from the factory in Philadelphia to St Paul in 1955. That prototype Univac II went into operation at Sperry Univac's Plant 5 located on Prior Ave in St Paul. I knew three of the people that programmed on that computer, Willis Unke, Bibsy Kinghorn and my late wife Mildred. I still see Willis and Bibsy every now and then. There is a picture of that Univac II in the Photo section of the blue page.”  

3.4 O. Wynn Roberts

Mr. Roberts' career summary is 6.5 pages, too long to fit on this page, therefore it is attached hereto as the OWRoberts file. Names of the people mentioned therein whom he worked with and for may be in the next index update.

3.5 Dick Roessler, 1956-1989.

   I am very grateful for having been associated with UNIVAC/Sperry/Unisys (The Company) organizations for over 33 years. It has been an absolute delight to have been deeply immersed in the transition from analog electronics to digital electronics by our customers and our company in this period of time. I’d like to summarize several personal development opportunities which had a rather significant impact on my personal growth and contributions to the company and the community:

Farwell Electric Company – Upon graduation from high school in 1947, I was employed by two brothers who had formed a small electrical business in a rural community near Madison, WI. In this post Word War II era, the United States had undertaken a mission and given a political and economic priority to the Rural Electrification of America (REA). This priority gave rural America an opportunity to recover from the depression and war economy and to upgrade their farms. It also provided me an opportunity to be involved in and develop skills supporting the electrical, consumer appliance and plumbing needs of the community. Lesson Learned – At an early age the importance of providing competent and cost effective customer service was demonstrated repeatedly by my employers. Not only was I learning the important elements of Ohms Law, but also that providing prompt and effective service to farmers and small town consumers, was giving their issues and malfunctions a high priority. Technical competence and giving priorities to customers was the daily mission. This two-year lesson in customer satisfaction was helpful in my future career at The Company especially in customer service and field engineering disciplines as a continued cultural theme.

   U.S. Navy – In 1949 it became more obvious that I needed to achieve some post secondary academic accomplishments. School year 1949/1950, found me trying to adjust to the University of Wisconsin-Madison by enrolling in their ILS (Integrated Liberal Studies) program. That turned out not to be a good academic fit for me. When the relationships between the U. S. and North Korean governments soured, my interest in enlisting in the U. S. Navy was heightened. Navy recruiters were anticipating military action and were trying to sell four year enlistments to eligible men. My entrance exams were good enough so my enlistment was as an Electronic Field Seaman Recruit. Boot Camp at Great Lakes in the spring of 1950, was followed by Electronic Technician Class A School. This was my welcome into the Navy. My first Navy billet was a two year one as a Ships Repair Technician in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba functioning as a shore-based logistic resource for Atlantic Fleet vessels. Upon successful completion of duty in Cuba, an assignment began as a lead Electronic Technician aboard the USS Stormes (DD-780) which was in a Destroyer squadron in DESLANT with home port in Norfolk. The fleet was still trying to determine the dimensions of responsibility of Electronic Techs relative to their responsibilities vs. that of Radio Communications, Sonar, Radar & IFF technical disciplines. Lessons Learned – This immersion in Fleet issues in the logistical support of military systems was of great value in my experience base. It also permitted me to become familiar with a new opportunity. Broadcast Engineering! While stationed at GTMO Bay, one of my duties was to be the chief engineer of a 250 watt AFRS AM station. The four years experience in the Navy, were invaluable in my future assignments.

   Technical College – With an honorable discharge and the GI Bill of Rights in my pocket, 1954 found me enrolled at DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago, IL. My goal was to graduate in two years from DeVry with an Electronic Design Diploma and our FCC Broadcast Engineer License added to my portfolio of experience. Spring of 1956 found graduation from DeVry had been accomplished and our FCC issued First Class Radio/Telephone with Radar Endorsement was a reality. Opportunities for career moves into the electronics field, was a seller’s market. Pursuit of a career in broadcasting was my goal. An NBC affiliate in Chicago offered me a position assisting them in transitioning from Black & White to Color broadcasting.

Lesson Learned – The curricula for the Electronic Design was presented in a very structured manner. We had classes every day year round except for a few days of no classes on some holidays such as Christmas. This academic pursuit was an excellent method for a graduate to enter and exit their Institute with a diploma in just over two years. Each morning we had lectures on the curricula and the afternoon was dedicated to associated Lab projects. Further, their approach was very systematic. On each assigned project the following steps were followed: 1. Design criteria was established and design completed; 2. Selection of Components and Product build of project was achieved; 3. Product testing to design criteria was achieved; and 4. Documentation of the product with diagrams, test tables, etc. was criteria for instructor evaluation & grading as project closure is achieved. Design of a B/W 21 inch TV was our final lab project. We followed the 4 step process outlined above. This left me with a good feeling for the value of good technical colleges and institutes in society!

  Why The Company – My offer from NBC for a career in broadcasting was turned down by me after some agonizing hours of evaluation. Interviews in Chicago by Convair’s; Martin Aircraft; Westinghouse; FM stations in Illinois & Minnesota, General Electric; etc. were often followed by job offers. But an interview by Roy Jampsa of The Company in St. Paul was a turning point in my life. He offered a position as a Product Test Technician for the Model 0 File Computer being built in St. Paul. Lesson Learned --- The opportunity to become involved in the digitizing of electronics was too good an opportunity to pass up. The trade-off between Color TV Broadcasting and the new field of Computers was a tough decision. But off to St. Paul we went (Norma, and infant son Jeff).

   Career Growth– My first day at The Company, found Mr. Jampsa had enrolled me in a Model 0 File Computer class which had started that day. It was held in Plant Four which was in the Griggs Midway building on University Ave. This commercial computer was intended to be an entry level computer possessing business capabilities. Our instructor was “Stretch” Renecker who was a former submariner skipper and filled us with his interesting WW II combat highlights. We were studying the programming and maintenance of a computer which had not satisfied sign-off criteria on its design! But my classmates in class were techs assigned to field engineering and to production testing. So because the design schematics and drawings were changing constantly, it provided us an opportunity to review and understand the impact for the changes! Good experience in electronic design analysis.

   The Company Career Opportunities – Not enough good things can be said about the career opportunities provided to me in my 33 years with The Company. My company Professional Staff Data Sheet lists 32 changes in “Title and Principal Duties” during that career. This probably happened because of the rapid growth within the computer main frame products and systems industries and the personal experiences brought to the table. It would be boring for the reader for me to even attempt to list them but I would like walk the reader through some of opportunities and changes made: Programming & Maintenance Instructor; Reliability Engineering; Field Engineering; Customer Services; Operations Planning; Sales in Civilian Agencies; Systems Engineering; Reliability Assurance; Field Operations; Product & Systems Assurance; and a variety of Administrative, short term special assignments.

   Memorable Specific Assignments
1. Teaching my first Computer Programming and Maintenance Class. Being able to communicate the fundamentals of a mainframe computer to students permitting them to understand the Boolean Algebra and Logic was a very challenging first.
2. Assignment as Proficiency Test Engineer on Athena Computer. This project was funded by the Air Force Ballistic Missile Command to develop a proficiency exercising program for testing the pro’s and con’s of using operational deployed weapons systems for training purposes. Athena passed with flying colors because of its high reliability. Other Titan contractors didn’t fare so well. Exercising operational, deployed weapons systems was discontinued because of potential for serious degradation of system performance.
3. Role in a leadership role in Field Engineering & Customer Service departments. It was very gratifying over the years to observe the competence and diligence of the many men and women that performed their various customer support roles so effectively. In this I am not limiting it to our St. Paul based pursuit of technical manuals; provisioning documents; spare parts; installation design; technical support; test software; integrated logistic support; technical training; etc. Gratitude is extended to those personnel on-site at customer sites successfully integrating and supporting sites around the world. Some very difficult tasks were performed during some troubling Cold War years. Hats off to each one of you…

   Management Encouraged Volunteer Positions – Beginning when R. E. McDonald was VP & GM, our company management encouraged becoming involved in community activities. Feelings of management seemed to be that even though our company did not have the local image of a 3M, we could have an impact on community forums to bring about social change. Frequently I felt as though my access by Jack Nichols on community activities was part of the dual badge system! So again I could bore the reader with a long listing of volunteer activities during my 33 years. But I’ll send verbal accolades to the Bob McDonald’s, Dick Gehring’s, Dick Seaberg’s, and Bill Geiger’s who were avid promoters of the rewards to individual volunteers, to the company and to the community for contributions that time, talent and treasure made. And I’ll close by saying The Company continues to support community activities by its continuing involvement of employees but also the magnitude of contributions made by our retired colleagues.

   Post The Company Career – When leaving The Company, I realized that at 60 years of age, there were many technical and management opportunities left. Exploring teaching opportunities at metro colleges and university found me being graded with + for subject skill credentials but a – for Academic credentials at each of the schools. Dr. James Bensen, of Dunwoody, learned of my interest then recruited me to join him at Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis. My career with them began as a volunteer in November of 1990 concentrating on developing a five year plan and our operating plan for them. It was his vision to apply successful business management skills to an academic institution. From that time until my resignation from Dunwoody in 1997, I had performed as an Interim Dean of Continuing Education and Corporate Training; then as an Interim V.P. of Administration; followed by Interim Dean of Instruction; and lastly as a Special Assistant to the President. So you might wonder why Dunwoody? It is a Private, Endowed Technical College with curricula patterned very much like DeVry’s. Lecture in the morning and applicable in the afternoon. The experience as a student at DeVry paid off but also the technical and business skills of The Company.

3.6 Tom Rougier,

Lowell: I programmed the 1830 and 1830A at NADC and Pax River. The 1830 computer had 32K 30 bit memory that employed Brundy packs in its design. I agree with Rapp that we had many failures attributed to Brundy packs. I believe the successor 1830A (CP-901) did not employ Brundy packs and was much more reliable. It had 64K 30-bit core memory. I was not involved the hardware design or maintenance. So I'm only relating what I was told about the computers physical memory. Both computers employed the 1206 instruction set. The 1832A employed a more exotic addressing scheme.


In this Chapter

  1. Topical Article Contributors
  2. 'P' Summaries: 2.1 Robert 'Bob' Pagac, 2.2 Larye Parkins, 2.3 Dick Petschauer, 2.4 Dr. Peter Patton, 2.5 Jane Pejsa, 2.6 Phil Phipps, 2.7 Gerald Pickering, 2.8 Mark Plait, and 2.9 Richard Prokop.
  3. 'Q' Summaries: 5.1 David Quiggle
  4. 'R' Summaries: 3.1 Jim Rapinac, 3.2 Jerry Raveling, 3.3 Al Reiter, 3.4 O. Wynn Roberts, 3.5 Dick Roessler, and 3.6 Tom Rougier.

Chapter 16xx edited 4/30/2022.