David Calvin White, Ford Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at MIT and Founding Director of the Energy Laboratory (1972-1988), passed away Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, at home with his family in Scottsdale AZ. He was 89.
David White retired from MIT in 1992, after having run the MIT Energy Laboratory since its inauguration in November 1972. Prof. White was involved in the growth of the Energy Laboratory which covered a broad range of energy-related research including supply and utilization technology, environmental and health sciences, economic analysis and regulation, R&D planning and policy analysis. Prof. White's own fields of research were energy system planning analysis, electric power systems, and R&D planning for energy technology and policy.
Prof. White attended Stanford University, where he received the BS, MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering in the years 1946, 1947 and 1949, respectively. He joined the faculty of the University of Florida as Associate Professor in 1949, and was appointed an Assistant Professor at MIT in 1952. David White became Ford Professor of Electrical Engineering in 1962.
David C. white was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (Fellow), the American Society for Engineering Education, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Fellow), and the Honorary Societies Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu.
In addition to his research and teaching in the EECS Department and directorship of the Energy Lab, Prof. White was also Housemaster of Burton-Conner from 1963-1968, followed in 1968-70, by a Visiting Professorship and Senior Advisor appointment at the Birla Institute of Technology in Rajasthan, India.
David White served in a number of professional capacities including Trustee for the Lowell Technological Institute (1972-74), Member of the Corporation of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (1977-86), Member of the Research Coordination Panel for the Gas Research Institute (1977-1986) and Chairman of the Panel (1981-83), Member of the Energy Research Center Visiting Committee at Lehigh University (1979-82), Member of the Advisory Council of the Electric Power Research Institute (1980-87) and Chairman of that council (1984-86), Member of the Electrical Power Peer Search Committee of the National Academy of Engineering (1980-84), Member of the Liaison Subcommittee on Energy Systems of the Advisory Committee on the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (1977-82) and member of the Energy Engineering Board, NRC (1985-90). Prof. White was honored with the George Westinghouse Award, American Society for Engineering Education in 1961, and conferred with Honorary Professor from the Instituto Politecnico National, Mexico in 1961.
David White leaves his wife of 45 years, Margot Fuller White, daughter Constance Anne White and the late Julie Ann Coman, and grand daughter Heather Glorianna Coman. He is also survived by his sister Eloise W. Johnson, sons-in-law Steven J. Schettler and William L. Coman, and grandson-in-law Jiri I. Herrmann.
On behalf of David White's wife Margot, daughter Connie and son-in-law Steven Schettler, friends and members of the MIT community are invited to the Memorial Service to be held this coming Friday, Jan 20, 2012 at 1:30p at the MIT Chapel, followed by a reception in the Religious Activities Center (Bldg. W11-190). Following the reception there will be a procession to Mount Auburn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in care of David C. White may be made to David C. White Memorial Fund at MIT and sent to: Att'n: Bonny Kellermann, MIT Memorial Gift Office (W98-500), 600 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139-5822.