Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.

In Memory Of

Dr. Joe D. Spradlin

Dr. Joe D. SpradlinJoe D. Spradlin, 94, passed away September 11, 2011. After leaving UT Austin in 1943 with a B.S.E.E., he entered the U.S. Armed Forces and was awarded five combat stars and a Bronze Star Medal. At the end of the war, he began a sixteen-year experience as a professional engineer in the private sector; at one point, he led a team of engineers on the development of the first color television camera for RCA.

Professor Emeritus Spradlin joined Arlington State College in 1962 to begin a highly productive twenty-one years with the Department of Electrical Engineering. Dr. Jonathan Bredow, professor and chair, said, “He was an important part of getting the department on solid footing.” After retiring, Professor Spradlin was a member of the Arlington Men’s Garden club, UT Arlington Retirees club, Arlington Retired Teachers, and a member of Lamar Baptist Church for many years. A daughter, Susan Spradlin Neggo, and parents, Annie and Lon Spradlin, predeceased him.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Kathleen Spradlin; son, Bill Spradlin and wife, Linda; and grandchildren, Jennifer Wiese and husband, Richard, Melissa Calhoun and husband, Ryan, and Steven Spradlin.

Dr. Nikolai Stelmakh

Dr. Nikolai StelmakhSenior Lecturer Nikolai Stelmakh died suddenly at his home on December 8th 2010 of a heart attack. He was 49 years old.

Dr. Stelmakh was recognized as a leading research authority of short-pulse semiconductor lasers, having set the records for ultra-short pulse duration and highest pulse energy in mode-locker and Q-switched diode lasers, and as a pioneer in the development of ultrafast, saturable absorbers. In 2000, he was a recipient of the Blondel Medal from the Société des Electriciens et des Radioelectriciens. Dr. Stelmakh became a faculty member at UT Arlington in 2003. His most recent work concentrated on the investigation and manipulation of the spatial modes of broad-area laser diodes and optical parametric amplifiers as well as on nanoscale single-photon sources.

To students, Dr. Stelmakh was known for his energetic and inspirational teaching style, with extensive hands-on demonstrations and numerous examples drawn from the history of science and engineering. He received the Lockheed Martin Outstanding Teaching Award in 2005.Dr. Stelmakh was an avid alpine skier who won numerous masters’ competitions in the slalom and giant slalom. He was also a soccer enthusiast who played in UT Arlington’s faculty-student soccer league for the Arlington United team. Dr. Stelmakh is survived by his wife, daughter, and mother.

Mr. Bernard Svihel

Bernard SvihelBernard Svihel, 88, passed away at his home on May 1, 2008 due to a sudden heart attack.  In 1999 at the age of 77 Mr. Svihel joined the department of Electrical Engineering at UTA as a senior lecturer.  He was very enthusiastic about his involvement with students, and remained active up until his sudden death – a remarkable achievement considering Mr. Svihel was 88 years old.  Retirement was not in his vocabulary.

Mr. Svihel obtained his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering in 1942 from the University of Minnesota and his master's degree in electrical engineering from MIT in 1963.

Mr. Svihel's professional career spanned 66 years.  He spent 6 years with MIT performing research that supported the war efforts during WWII; 4 years with the Franklin Institute Laboratory for Research and Development helping develop classified air-to-air gunnery sights; 10 years with Naval Air Development designing underwater acoustic sensors; a length of time with the Kuljian Corporation working on power plant designs; and a length of time with RCA working on radar and communication systems.  Prior to moving to Texas in 1993 he taught electrical engineering courses at Drexel University Evening College for over 40 years.
Mr. Svihel was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, and is survived by his son, William Svihel.