Bequest From Former Professor Benefits UB High-Power Electronics Research

Release Date: June 18, 1997 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y.-- Research in the development of reliable, compact, high-power electronics for applications on land and in the exploration of space will continue at the High Power Electronics Institute in the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences with a $200,000 bequest from the late Richard E. Dollinger.

"Richard was a true teacher and educator, as well as an internationally regarded researcher in high power electronics," said W.J. Sarjeant, Ph.D., James Clerk Maxwell/ Primex Professor of Power Technology.

Respected for his achievements in both research and teaching, Dollinger was an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and had been a faculty member since 1977 when he passed away in 1996. He had been an advisor for more than 90 master's and doctoral students.

In addition to being a dedicated teacher, he devoted much time and effort to student organizations. In 1995, he received an award from the Mu Alpha chapter of the National Order of Omega for his work with student organizations, in particular, for his role as an advisor for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Known as "Dr. D" to his students, Dollinger was renowned for his challenging classroom presentations, wonderful sense of humor and honest, even blunt approach to learning. His unique teaching style was rewarded by the UB Student Association's 1986 Milton Plesur Teaching Excellence Award. With a sharp and ready wit, Dollinger engaged his students to an extraordinary degree, teaching with passion and zeal.

"Everything I am, personally and professionally, is due to ŒDr. D's' training and belief in me," said Jennifer Zirnheld, a UB doctoral student in electrical engineering.

Dollinger Œs efforts to help aspiring engineers and scientists extended to secondary education. Working with graduate and undergraduate engineering students, he developed many exhibits and demonstrations for UB's annual Science Exploration Day, which attracts high school students from around the region.

In addition, he encouraged minorities to enter engineering, hosting minority youths in his laboratories during the summer. In 1995, the Buffalo-area Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM) recognized Dollinger for his contributions to their activities.

Dollinger's research interests concentrated on pulse power technology and power electronics. Deputy director of the UB Space Power Insulation Institute, he authored or co-authored more than 75 papers and articles, and was an invited speaker at workshops and seminars throughout the United States.

His professional memberships included the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, American Society of Engineering Education, American Physical Society, American Institute of Physics, Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and the Tesla Memorial Society. He was listed in Who's Who in the East and Who's Who in the World. He received bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Texas Tech University.

He was a resident of Amherst.