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Arthur S. Westneat Jr.

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Arthur S. Westneat Jr.

DOVER - Arthur S. Westneat Jr. died May 19, 2014, at the age of 92 in Dover.

A leading engineer and a public servant, he moved to New Hampshire in 1978 and consulted (1977–97) on ocean system engineering and intelligent computer systems for the University of New Hampshire's Marine System Engineering Laboratory, in Durham. During this period, he was a consultant to the Naval Underseas Warfare Center in New London, Conn. In both assignments, he adapted functions found in cognitive neuroscience to help develop intelligent, autonomous robotic systems. From 1989 to 1994 he also helped to shape U.S. national policy as a science and technology expert for the Global Games exercise at the Naval War College, Newport, R.I.

His engineering career began during World War II, developing U.S. sonar capabilities at Columbia University's Underwater Sound Laboratory, New London, Conn., and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Radiation Laboratory, Cambridge, Mass. For 20 years after the war, he worked as an electronic research engineer for multiple industrial concerns, staying on the cutting edge of electronics technology as it evolved from radio tubes to microchips. Before joining UNH, for 12 years he was principal engineer at Raytheon Company's Submarine Signal Division, Portsmouth, R.I., working to modernize shipboard and submarine sonar systems.

Mr. Westneat was a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and recipient of the IEEE Centennial Medal in 2001. He was a founding member of the IEEE's Oceanic Engineering Society; president of the society's predecessor organization, the Council on Oceanic Engineering; and a leader in creating the highly respected Journal of Oceanic Engineering. He was a fellow of the Marine Technology Society, which he served as its director and, later, its vice-president.

An active radio amateur since 1936 (W1AM), he was a life member of the American Radio Relay League and is listed on the DX Century Club Honor Roll. He contacted virtually every country in the world via ham radio and taught himself Spanish to better converse with radio friends in the Spanish-speaking world.

He maintained a wide-ranging interest in stamp collecting: he was a life member of the American Philatelic Society (U.S. stamps, international covers); a life member of the Elmhurst Philatelic Society (Mexican postal history); and a member of the American Air Mail Society (U.S. contract airmail and commercial aviation development).

A long-time resident of Franklin Township, Somerset County, N.J., he was an elected member (1955–63) of the township Board of Education, serving as its president for five years at a time of major expansion in the community's K–12 education program and leading the successful effort to build Franklin's first high school. He later served two years as councilman-at-large on the town council.

Mr. Westneat was born in Oradell, N.J. on June 28, 1921, to Alice French Westneat (b. Haverhill, N.H.) and the Rev. Arthur S. Westneat (b. Melbourne, Australia), a Baptist minister (Bayonne and Westwood, N.J.; Hudson, N.H.). He graduated from Bayonne High School in 1939 and received his BSEE (1943) and MSEE (1946) in electrical engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. He was married to Uzahne (Colglazier) Westneat for 46 years and is survived by her and their four children: Dr. Cynthia Westneat Merrill, Dr. Arthur S. Westneat III, Clark R. Westneat, and Elizabeth Westneat Hoffman; his brother Dr. David F. Westneat; his partner of many years, Olive Robinson; and her daughter, Ann Robinson. He was preceded in death by his brother Dr. Francis W. Westneat. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

His ashes will be interred at the Durham Cemetery, Durham, N.H., and at the Westview Cemetery in Hudson, N.H. A memorial gathering will be at the Friends Meetinghouse, 141 Central Ave., Dover, N.H. at 1 p.m. on Tues. May 27, 2014.

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Published in Fosters from May 23 to May 26, 2014
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