Dr. Richard K. Moore, Ph.D. 1923 - 2012
Memorial services for Dr. Richard K. Moore, Ph.D. will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 21, 2012, at First Presbyterian Church, 215 Clinton Pkwy, followed by a reception. Burial will follow at Pioneer Cemetery. Professor Moore died on November 13, 2012.
Dr. Moore, one of the most noted scientists in his field, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 13, 1923, to Louis D. and Nina M. Moore. He lived in the family home in Kirkwood, through university graduation. His avid interest in ham radio led him to study Electrical Engineering at Washington University where he received his B.S. in 1943.
He worked for RCA in Camden, NJ as a radar engineer, where he met and married Wilma Schallau, also an engineer, in 1944. He joined the Navy in 1944 and served as an electronics and radar officer on the USS Rehoboth in the Pacific. In 1946, on separation from the Navy, he attended graduate school at Washington University, St Louis. His master’s thesis, in which he invented the VLF antenna for submarines, was judged to be of doctoral quality, and he moved to Cornell to complete that work, while also researching tropospheric and ionospheric propagation.
Upon receiving his PhD from Cornell in 1951, he moved his young family to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and worked at Sandia Corp. while lecturing at UNM. In 1955, he became Chairman of the Electrical Engineering Department at UNM, remaining until 1962. Offered the Black and Veatch distinguished professorship at KU, he moved to Lawrence. With his research interests in microwave remote sensing, he started the interdisciplinary Remote Sensing Laboratory where he worked until his retirement in 1994, doing seminal work in both theory and experiment for radar returns. He continued to run sponsored projects until 2004, and contributed to the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets until his death. His research interests included microwave remote sensing of atmosphere, ocean, land, ice and planetary surfaces; radar systems, and radio wave propagation.
Professor Moore’s accomplishments include the 1995 Australia Prize (for Science, Australia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize); Remote Sensing Award, Italian Center, 1995; Fellow of the AAAS; Life Fellow of IEEE, Member of the National Academy of Engineering; Irving Youngberg Award in the Applied Sciences, KU, 1989; Louise E. Byrd Graduate Educator Award, KU, 1984; Centennial Medal, IEEE 1984; Distinguished Achievement Award, IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, 1982; Outstanding Technical Achievement Award, IEEE Council on Oceanic Engineering, 1978; Alumni Achievement Award, Washington University, 1978. He and his brother were the only brothers ever in the National Academies.
He authored or co-authored 10 books and over 300 journal articles and conference publications.
His professional memberships and activities not mentioned above included the AAUP, American Society of Engineering Education, Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, Antennas and Propagation Society, Aerospace & Electronic Systems Society, Education Society, American Geophysical Union, International Union of Radio Science (URSI), Chairman, International Commission F.
Dr. Moore, in addition to serving his country in the Navy, performed classified research and served on classified government committees in the areas of defense and national intelligence throughout his career, including the CIA’s MEDEA committee and the NRC Advisory Committee on Undersea Warfare.
He was active in the community, regularly attending meetings of the Kiwanis Club, the Endacott Society (KU retirees association), and the Military Officers Association of America. His interest in Amateur Radio continued (W0GYS, now SK). He was an avid traveler, visiting every continent, either for science or personal interest. He was active in First Presbyterian Church, and gave generously to many charities.
He is survived by his sons: John Moore and wife Anne (Scottsdale, AZ), and Daniel Moore and wife Mieko (Las Vegas, NV), and his long time companion Barbara McCorkle. He leaves two grandchildren, Elizabeth Reye (Hillsboro, OR) and Alexander Moore (Iwata, Japan), and great grandchildren Colin and Brigit Reye (Hillsboro, OR).
His love, his decency, his support and advice was so very important to us, and we sorely miss him. He was a true gentleman, beloved not only by his family but his many friends and colleagues.
Memorials can be made to First Presbyterian Church of Lawrence or to the University of Kansas Endowment Association in care of the Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana, Lawrence, KS 66044.
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