Herman Van De Vaart, 83, passed away peacefully at home in Plymouth, Massachusetts, surrounded by family on January 15, 2018. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Tania Skrinnikov; daughter Carolena McCauley, son-in-law Robert McCauley and grandson Kevin of Harvard, MA; son Rolf Van De Vaart, daughter-in-law Charlene Eckl, and granddaughters Elly and Sarah also of Harvard, MA; brother Hans Van De Vaart and sister-in-law Magriet Van De Vaart, sister Elly de Groot and brother-in-law Hugo de Groot, all of The Netherlands, plus nieces and nephews in The Netherlands and England. He was a long-time resident of Harvard, Massachusetts where his children grew up and now reside.
Herman was born in Arnhem, The Netherlands. He received the Ingenieurs Degree in Applied Physics in 1958 and the Ph.D. Degree in Technical Sciences in 1969, both from the Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands. From 1958 to 1960 he served in the Dutch Army Signal Corps as a Radar Officer.
In 1960 Herman immigrated to the United States and joined Transitron Electronic Corporation in Wakefield, Massachusetts, where he worked on diffusion processes in silicon. In 1962 he joined the Sperry Research Center in Sudbury, Massachusetts for a 22 year career. Here he worked on magneto-elastic and magnetostatic waves and non-linear effects in ferrites and later on surface acoustic wave devices. In 1973 he became Manager of the Signal Processing Department and, from 1980 until the Research Center was closed in 1983, he was Director of the Applied Physics Laboratory. In 1984 he became Director of Research at SAWTEK in Orlando, Florida. From 1985 to 1996, Herman was Manager of the Solid State Devices Program at the Corporate Research and Technology Center at AlliedSignal Inc. (now Honeywell) in Morristown, New Jersey.
Dr. Van De Vaart was very active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and its Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society (UFFC). He was elected a Fellow of the Institute in 1988, received the IEEE Centennial Medal in 1984, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal for Outstanding Achievements and Contributions in 2000 and was a member of the Technical Activities Board Finance Committee (1986-1989). He was very active in the UFFC Society. He was President (1984-1985), Secretary-Treasurer (1980-1983), Awards Committee Chair (1973-1980) and locally the Secretary/Treasurer and Chair of the Boston Chapter (1970-1972). From 1986 to 2013 he was Chair of the Society’s Finance and Operations Committee and later Vice President Finance, a position he held on the UFFC Administrative Committee until he retired in from the Society 2013. Over the years he acted as Treasurer of several annual International Ultrasonics Symposia. UFFC presented him with the Distinguished Service Award in 1998 for three decades of leadership in the Society. He was elected AdCom Emeritus in the UFFC Society.
During his retirement in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Herman spent his free time managing his investments, playing duplicate bridge, keeping up with IEEE-UFFC AdCom activities, enjoying his family, rooting for the New England Patriots and travelling with his wife all over the world. He particularly enjoyed the many cruises that they took.
Funeral arrangements were private. Donations in Herman’s memory may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (www.pancan.org) or the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org).