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Graham Bell
Graham Bell
Graham is VP of Marketing at Real Intent. He has over 20 years experience in the design automation industry. He has founded startups, brought Nassda to an IPO and previously was Sales and Marketing Director at Internet Business Systems, a web portal company. Graham has a Bachelor of Computer … More »

In Memory of Dr. Miles Copeland: Innovator and Mentor

 
June 30th, 2016 by Graham Bell

miles-copelandI had just learned this week that my mentor into the world of EDA, Dr. Miles Copeland had passed away recently.

At Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, Copeland was the former chair of the Department of Electronics and Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Engineering and Design. He was an IEEE Fellow and was known for his passion for teaching and research innovation.

In addition to educating two and a half generations of electrical engineers, Copeland had established Carleton’s research capacity in the area of analog and radio frequency integrated circuit design, including the development of computing techniques to enable and reinforce research and learning.

The focus on computing techniques was how I came to work with Copeland.

As a recent graduate of the Department of Computer Science with a focus on computer hardware, I was hired by Dr. Copeland, as a research engineer, to port SPICE, a 14,000 line Fortran program, into a 16-bit microcomputer (Corvus Concept) that was based on the Motorola 68000 micro-processor. This allowed students to simulate their circuits before fabricating them in-house on the University’s 2-inch wafer line. Later on, I worked with Copeland on extending a mixed-analog digital simulator, SPLICE, to handle mixed sampled data circuits, specifically switched-capacitor filters.  We published the research in an IEEE journal that led me to be hired to work on the PSPICE simulator in California.  I owe my entire career in high-tech to Miles Copeland.

Copeland was actively involved in consultation and research collaboration with industry, notably at Nortel, Bell Northern Research and General Electric. His widely used research innovations include groundbreaking work that enabled the design of fully integrated radios. His research was also key to the design of modern telecommunications circuits that are used in today’s personal communications devices and wireless data communication

Over his distinguished teaching career, Copeland supervised nearly 50 masters and PhD students.

In recognition of his achievements, Copeland recently received the 2016 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Donald O. Pederson Award in Solid-State Circuits. For nearly a century, the IEEE has paid tribute to technical professionals whose exceptional achievements and outstanding efforts have made a lasting impact on technology and society. He was named a Fellow of the IEEE in 1989.

Copeland was presented with the prestigious award on February 1, 2016 at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco. While accepting the award, he reflected back on his time in the Faculty of Engineering and Design.

“This award recognizes Carleton’s leadership in engineering research and innovation,” noted Copeland. “I appreciate the acknowledgement of my hard work and that of Carleton graduate students, whose research helped Nortel establish itself early on as a dominant company in the telecommunications market.”

Dr. Copeland is missed by me and the many colleagues and friends in the Faculty of Engineering and Design at Carleton as well as hundreds of former students. A scholarship was recently established in Dr. Copeland’s name to support outstanding Electronics students. To make a contribution to the fund, please visit futurefunder.ca or contact Corrie Hobin, Assistant Director of Faculty Advancement, Engineering and Design at corrie.hobin@carleton.ca for more information.

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One Response to “In Memory of Dr. Miles Copeland: Innovator and Mentor”

  1. Mike Demler says:

    Graham – this is sad news, but thanks for sharing it with the EDA community. I’m surprised that Miles’ passing wasn’t been reported earlier in the technical media. I got to see him receive his award at ISSCC in February, but he was so mobbed by well-wishers afterward I unfortunately didn’t get to speak with him. I did get to have lunch with some of his former students, including a former colleague from GE. As you know, I was on the GE/Schenectady side of the work Miles did on SPLICE, and I always looked forward to his visits to our Lab. It was great to work with such a renowned professor who could also connect with the practical side of design issues. I recall pouring through the Fortran code with him in my office. Never could get that program to work very well! He was a great man.

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