Alan Jay Simmons SM '48, who worked at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory for more than 15 years, died peacefully on Monday, Feb. 9, of complications from Parkinson's disease. He was 84.
Simmons began his connection with MIT in the late 1940s, when he received his SM in electrical engineering and computer science. In 1971, Simmons began working at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, eventually becoming one of the lab's group leaders. Besides working as a manager and administrator, he continued his work solving engineering problems related to satellite antenna systems for defense communications.
In 1976, two satellites that Simmons worked on at Lincoln Lab, LES 8 and 9, were launched into geosynchronous orbit, where they remain today still functioning.
In 1987, Simmons retired from full-time work at Lincoln Lab and began consulting. In 1991, he was named a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Throughout his career, he also published more than a dozen scientific papers and was a frequent speaker at professional meetings here and abroad.
A memorial was held on Saturday, Feb. 14, in Sandwich, Mass.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 25, 2009 (download PDF).