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David W. Oliver, 79, a GE physicist and manager died on Friday, August 12, 2011 in Sun City Center, Florida after a lengthy and brave battle with cancer. Dr. Oliver's career with General Electric's Research and Development Center spanned 33 years. Oliver started with General Electric in June 1961 after earning a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Oliver started his career at the research center studying material sciences and process development with a focus on identifying materials which could be used in the production of semiconductors. He also conducted research into microwave acoustic materials which were developed for radar jamming and used to develop microwave ovens. He also developed new high temperature crystal growing techniques and control systems for crystal growing and evaluated new crystal types for the ultrasonic propagation characteristics. He holds over 20 patents, published 22 papers on systems engineering, and authored a book entitled Engineering Complex Systems with Models and Objects, McGraw Hill 1997. The programs he contributed to and managed, led to the development of unprecedented materials, factory automation systems and products, as well as the deployment of a number of significant new technologies. His work resulted in the development of medical ultrasonic imaging systems for real-time cardiac imaging, the development of an ultrasonic microscopy system for the inspection of powder metallurgy alloys for turbine disks, and the development of a computer tomographic X-ray inspection system for turbine blade inspection for GE aircraft engine division. Some of his research directly made possible materials used for microwave ovens, stealth fighter technology, radar jamming equipment, stealth submarine technology, and non-destructive testing equipment that lead to safer more reliable jet engines. Dr. Oliver retired from GE in June 1994, but continued to consult and write extensively on systems engineering. Oliver provided consulting and training in the model based development of complex systems - products, processes, and organizations. He was the INCOSE liaison to the ISO/SC4 AP233 standards body, generating an international standard information model for the automated exchange of systems engineering information among tools. He was acting liaison from INCOSE to the object management group that develops UML as a standard for software engineering. In 2001 International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) named Dr. Oliver a fellow for his contributions to the art and practice of Systems Engineering. Outside of the Lab, Oliver loved the outdoors and loved camping, hiking, and canoeing in the Adirondacks with his family and friends. One of Oliver's grandsons, William Oliver, said his grandfather instilled in him a love and respect for the outdoors and for the need to protect the ecosystems which comprise our planet. Dr. Oliver was passionate and outspoken about the effects of global warming on the planet, gave numerous lectures on the topic, and worked on a local political level to encourage the adoption of planet friendly policies. He loved poetry and belonged to a number of poetry groups. Dr. Oliver was also very involved in Interfaith Power and Light in both RI and FL. He spoke most recently on the topics of global climate change and on divisions in the Islamic world and approaches to Islam. Oliver was born in the kitchen of his grandparents home in Falls Church, VA in 1932, and lived in a small log cabin built by his father during the great depression. He attended Roanoke College in Salem, VA and then attended the United States Naval Academy. He served as a midshipman on the USS Weeks, Aircraft Carrier Ticonderoga, and the Battleship Missouri. He received a masters degree in physics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1956 and his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961. Dave and his second wife, Diane lived for many years in Ballston Lake, NY and relocated to Wakefield, RI and Sun City, FL. He is survived by his wife Diane and her two sons, Corey and Jason Lexell, four grandchildren; Ava Lexell, John Lexell, Ethan Lexell, Chase Lexell. In addition, Oliver is survived by his first wife, Anne Oliver Webb and his children; David Oliver, James Oliver, Barbara Oliver Forth, and Carol Oliver; seven grandchildren; Laura Forth, Andrew Forth, William Oliver, Grace Oliver, Michael Oliver, Elizabeth Oliver, Margaret Oliver. There will be two memorial services to honor David's memory. The first service will be held on August 27th at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Creason Hall, 1210 Del Webb Blvd.W, Sun City, Center FL. 33573. The second service will be held on September 10th at 11 a.m. at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, East Beach Rd., Charlestown, RI 02813. Donations in Dave's name may be made to either of these churches or to Sunshine State Interfaith Power and Light, attention: Andy Bell, 5995 Dr. Martin Luther King South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705. The Interfaith Power and Light's mission is to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy. This campaign intends to protect the earths ecosystems, safeguard the health of a creation, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all

Published in The Daily Gazette on Aug. 23, 2011
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