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Memorial scholarship will honor NMSU Professor Jedlicka

Russell Paul Jedlicka, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at New Mexico State University, passed away Tuesday, March 11. Jedlicka's association with NMSU began in 1977 as a graduate student. Students, friends and colleagues from all over the world are deeply saddened by his death. He was laid to rest on Sunday in Las Cruces.

Jedlicka received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas in 1977. He earned a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1979 and a doctoral degree in 1995 from New Mexico State University.

While working on his master's degree, Jedlicka worked as a research intern at NMSU's Physical Science Laboratory. He was a member of the technical staff at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colo., from 1980 to 1982, and a project engineer at the Remote Sensing Laboratory at the University of Kansas from 1982 to 1983. He returned that year to the Physical Science Laboratory at NMSU. He was branch manager and senior engineer at PSL until 1999 and also was a college instructor in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering during that time. In 1999 he became a full-time assistant professor.

"I have known Russ since we were graduate students in the late 1970s. I have always thought of him as an engineer's engineer," said Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Head Stephen Horan. "He was great with both the practical side of antenna design and construction. He also knew the theoretical side of antennas. Most of all, he could effectively present concepts to the students. Russ was well-respected by his peers on the faculty."

"Dr. Russ Jedlicka exemplified the spirit and intent of the NMSU land-grant mission," said Steve Castillo, dean of the College of Engineering and Regent's professor. "He always made time for students and constantly pushed the frontiers of technology in antenna theory and design. He made a positive difference in the lives of the many students, colleagues and friends that he touched. I count him as a dear friend. We will all miss him greatly."

"It is with extreme sadness that we've lost a valued teacher and colleague with the untimely passing of Professor Russ Jedlicka," said NMSU President Michael Martin. "We extend our most sincere condolences to the Jedlicka family."

Jedlicka was nationally known for his work in antenna analysis and design as well as analysis of electromagnetic coupling in complex systems. He designed many antennas, including units on the Cassini spacecraft exploring the planet Saturn, and antennas for the Stardust, Genesis and many other space and terrestrial applications.

In January 2007, Jedlicka was awarded the Donald C. Roush Excellence in Teaching Award. Named for a former NMSU executive vice president in recognition of his 35 years of teaching improvement in New Mexico, the annual Roush award recognizes NMSU faculty for teaching excellence.

Jedlicka taught courses in circuits, electromagnetics, wireless systems, microwave engineering, antennas and radiation. He was consistently lauded on student evaluations.

Jedlicka is survived by his wife Susan Muir, and their children Bethany, Axel and Isabelle of the family home. He is also survived by his son Ethan of Albuquerque.

An avid runner, hiker and cyclist, Jedlicka completed the non-stop rim-to-rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon several times. He ran many races, including the Governor's 10K in Cloudcroft and the Baylor Pass Run. He hiked the Gila and the Organ Mountains year round. He lived his life with tremendous energy and he will be missed immensely.

Professor Jedlicka touched the lives of many students and colleagues and interest has been expressed in establishing a scholarship in the College of Engineering in his memory. Those interested in contributing to the Russell P. Jedlicka Memorial Scholarship should contact the College of Engineering at (575) 646-2913.

Condolences may be sent to Jedlicka's family through the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at ece.nmsu.edu.