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Dr. Herman Schwan, Bioengineering

H. Schwan

Dr. Herman P. Schwan, professor emeritus and pioneer in biophysics and bioengineering, died on March 17, at the age of 89.

Born in Aachen, Germany in 1915, Dr. Schwan displayed an aptitude for physics and mathematics early, and graduated from the Gottingen gymnasium with excellence in 1934. He then obtained a tuition scholarship and earned his doctorate in physics from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Biophysics at the University of Frankfurt in 1940.

In 1947, Dr. Schwan moved to the U.S. to accept a position at the Aeromedical Equipment Laboratory of the U.S. Naval Base in Philadelphia. In 1950, he joined the School of Medicine faculty. The next year, he joined the faculty of the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at Penn. In 1973, he helped establish Penn’s department of bioengineering, where he served as department chair until 1974 and subsequently spent the rest of his career. He retired as Alfred Fitler Moore Professor Emeritus in 1983, but continued lecturing for more than 15 years.

Dr. Schwan has been credited with, among other accomplishments, being one of the first in the field to warn against the dangers of electromagnetic fields; developing practical applications for post-World War II technology, including the microwave; and devising experimental means to obtain accurate data in the difficult low-frequency region below several megahertz.

Dr. Schwan was the recipient of several academic awards including the Otto Schmidt Award for exceptional contributions to the field of medicine and bioengineering in 2000. He also received the Bioelectromagnetics Society’s d’Arsonval Award in 1985, which heralded him as a “consummate architect of the scientific fundamentals on which stands the specialty of bioelectromagnetics.”   

Dr. Schwan published 250 scientific papers and presented more than 300 lectures. He supervised the Ph.D. theses of 18 students, including the School of Electrical Engineering’s first bioengineering doctoral student in 1953. 

Dr. Schwan is survived by his wife of 55 years, Anne Marie Del Borello Schwan; four daughters: Carolyn, Barbara, Margaret and Catherine; his son Steven; and six grandchildren.

Mr. Jerry Condon,  Development

Andrew “Jerry” Condon, former director of annual giving, who earlier in his career was director of student life, died of cancer on March 21 at the age of 64. A memorial service will be held today at 1:30 p.m. at Ardmore Presbyterian Church, 5 W. Montgomery Avenue in Ardmore. An obit will appear in next week’s issue.

Dr. David Kozart, Ophthalmology

Dr. David M. Kozart, associate professor of ophthalmology and vice chair of the department of ophthalmology, died on March 16 at the age of 66. Dr. Kozart had been a member of the Penn faculty for 35 years. An obituary from his colleagues will appear in the next issue.

Memorial for Mr. Michael Murray

A memorial service for Michael Murray, assistant director of classes and reunions in Development and Alumni Relations, who died on February 9 at the age of 29 (Almanac February 15, 2005), will be held on April 11 at 4 p.m. in Sweeten Alumni House. The service celebrating his life will be conducted by Chaplain William Gipson. Members of the University community are invited to share their favorite memories of Mr. Murray. For details, contact Jason Strohl at (215) 898-6421.

Memorial for Dr. Edward Shils

The management department at the Wharton School has planned a memorial service for Dr. Ed Shils, founder of the Wharton Entrepreneurial Center (now the Sol C. Snider Center) and the George W. Taylor Professor Emeritus of Entrepreneurial Management at the Wharton School,  who died on November 14, 2004 at the age of 89 (Almanac November 23, 2004). The memorial service will be held in the Main Hall of Irvine Auditorium on Tuesday, April 26, from 1-2 p.m., with a reception to follow.

To Report A Death

Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students, and other members of the University community.

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 545, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136  or e-mail record@ben.dev.upenn.edu.



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 26, March 29, 2005


March 29, 2005
Volume 51 Number 26


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