Physicist John C. Szczepanski SM '80, PhD '93, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and technical staff member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory for the past 15 years, died Feb. 11 in Huntsville, Ala., after a brief illness. He was 58.
Szczepanski was born in 1949 and grew up in Bethlehem, Pa. He received his BS in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, his MS in computer science from New York Polytechnic Institute, and his SM and PhD in physics from MIT.
Szczepanski retired from active duty in the Army in 1993, having served for 22 years. He joined MIT Lincoln Laboratory in June 1993 as a staff member in the Ballistic Missile Defense Systems Engineering and Analysis Group. He worked in the early risk-reduction phase of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and Ground-Based Radar programs until his assignment to the Reagan Test Site at U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll in 1999. Upon his return, he served as group leader of the Missile Defense Elements Group.
Szczepanski is survived by his wife, Christina; two sons, John and Mike; a daughter, Kristina Marie MacPherson; and five grandchildren.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 5, 2008 (download PDF).