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WPI Newell Award Honors Outstanding ECE Alumnus

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. - H. Richard Freeman of Rockville, Md., chief engineering director, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has won WPI's 1997 Hobart Newell Award. The award, given by the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department faculty, honors an alumnus for outstanding contributions to the profession or to society. It was presented to Freeman on May 10 at the annual ECE faculty dinner.

Freeman received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from WPI in 1961. He earned a master's of engineering degree at Yale in 1962 and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the University of Maryland in 1970. He joined the NASA Goddard Space Fl ight Center in 1964 as a design engineer on the Nimbus weather satellite system and advanced through several positions with the space shuttle and other satellite systems. Between 1983 and 1989 he served with the Central Intelligence Agency, then returned to NASA. He has received numerous awards, including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and the Presidential Federal Design Achievement Award.

Freeman is the seventh recipient of the Newell Award, which honors the memory of the late Hobart H. Newell '18, who joined the WPI faculty in 1921 and introduced modern electronics to the electrical engineering curriculum during his 44 years as a professor. A pioneer in radio communication, Newell served as a consultant to several area radio stations and helped the city of Worcester develop its fire and police communicat ions systems. The main lecture hall of Atwater Kent Laboratories at WPI was renamed in his honor after it was renovated in the early 1980s. Freeman's name will be inscribed on a plaque in the Atwater Kent building, along with previous Newell Award winners Dean of Undergraduate Studies Emeritus William R. Grogan '46, Xerox Corp. Chairman and CEO Paul Allaire '60, General Motors Vice President and Group Executive Ronald L. Zarrella '71, University of Massachusetts Amherst Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Robert McIntosh '62, and John Lott Brown '46, who served as WPI's interim president from November 1993 to August 1995.