By: E&P Staff
ECRM and its extended family of employees and associates sadly note the passing of its co-founder, director, mentor, and friend, Dr. Donald E. Troxel, 76, on January 18th. Dr. Troxel co-founded ECRM in 1969 along with fellow Professors Samuel J. Mason and William Schreiber (all PhDs from Massachusetts Institute of Technology), as well as Melvin Fennell from The Associated Press, to develop the first commercially successful optical character recognition (OCR) machine for use by newspapers. Dr. Troxel was instrumental in the development of many ECRM products, including the highly successful Autokon laser-based camera, scanners, film setters and plate setters. Dr. Troxel is survived by his wife Eileen, and his three children, Gregory and Andrea Troxel and Jocelyn Milton.
A Career of Educational Excellence
Dr. Troxel received a BS degree in electrical engineering from Rutgers University in 1956. He followed with studies in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology earning the SM and PhD degrees in 1960 and 1962 respectively. He remained at MIT, first as a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and then joined the EECS Department as Assistant Professor in 1964, reaching full professor in the Department in 1985. He retired as Professor Emeritus in July, 2004.
Dr Troxel’s early research interests were concerned with tactile communications and sensory aids for the blind. Since 1968 his principal research interests focused on digital systems design and image processing, including bandwidth compression, enhancement and graphic arts applications. He was principal investigator with both the Research Laboratory of Electronics and with the Microsystems Technology Laboratories. His teaching activities centered on electronics and digital systems laboratories and he was noted for teaching 6.111, Introductory Digital Systems Laboratory, for nearly 20 years.
A Legacy of Design Leadership
“Don was proud of his involvement with ECRM and was an integral part of creative thinking and innovative design at the Company”, expressed Rick Black, President and CEO of ECRM. “He was an outstanding mentor for our engineering staff, always challenging us to create the best, the most efficient, and most useful and valuable products. He was equally comfortable working with engineers, technicians, management, marketing and sales people, as well as his fellow directors. He made an indelible stamp on our Company, and will be greatly missed”.