Slovenian American
Inventors and Innovators as
Contributors to Diversity

Dr. Edi Gobec

 

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Slovenian Australian Academic Association

Slovenski čudeži
Prof. dr. Edi Gobec

            Ko nas obremenjujejo politične in gospodarske težave, tajkunska korupcija, zavajajoči mediji, krivično razdeljeni pokojninski skladi, nizka slovenska rodnost v primeri z visoko neslovensko, itd., večkrat zlahka prezremo pravcate slovenske čudeže, ki upravičeno smemo biti ponosni nanje.
            Slozi leta smo največkrat slišali in brali o argentinskem slovenskem čudežu: o bujnem slovenskem založništvu in Slovenski kulturni akciji, o slovenskem šolstvu, gorništvu, razvejani umetnosti in slovenski verski in  prosvetni dejavnosti, itd., kar nas upravičeno navdaja z veseljem in ponosom.
            Ko sem po  prihodu v Ameriko razmišljal, kako premagovati negativne stereotipe in predsodke, sem najprej v visokošolskem glasilu Akademik, leta 1958 pa v knjigi  This Is Slovenia (Rudolf Čuješ & Vladimir Mauko, Toronto)  in pozneje v treh natisih naše  uspešnice  Slovenian Heritage  (1980) začel kot protiutež objavljati pozitivne izjave ne-Slovencev o Sloveniji in Slovencih. In tako sem zasledil besedo “čudež” (miracle) v zvezi s Slovenci pri angleškem  piscu  Bernardu Newmanu, v knjigi Unknown Yugoslavia (London, 1960).  Tam piše:  »Slovenci so res izreden narod. Nikdar niso poznali narodne neodvisnosti [z izjemo v zgodnji Karantaniji], a so vendar vedno ostali Slovenci.  Seveda je jasno, da kot majhen narod, obdan z močnejšimi  lakomnimi sosedi, niso uživali politične svobode. Osredotočili so se na kulturno, ne na politično prostost. In tu najdemo čudež preživetja, kot mu zlepa ni enakega v zgodovini. Slovenske meje niso slonele na fizičnih značilnostih, ampak na moralni moči slovenskega prebivalstva« (strani 198-199).
            In ta mali narod vkljub bolečim izgubam ni samo preživel pritiskov ponemčevanja, poitaljevanja in pomadžarjevanja ter muslimanske  turške roparske vpade, ampak je daroval številne vodilne osebnosti Avstriji in mnogim drugim deželam širom po svetu, od Švedske in Finske do Madagaskarja,  Avstralije in Tasmanije. Povsod naletimo na večje ali manjše slovenske čudeže, kar  skušam predstaviti in dokumentirati v svoji naslednji,  v glavnem že napisani knjigi, če mi jo bo v moji starosti in ob dozdevni brezbrižnosti merodajnih še mogoče izdati.
            Prispevali smo vodilne  verske, politične, kulturne, tehnološke in celo vojaške osebnosti številnim narodom in državam, česar se na žalost niti tujci, niti mi sami ne zavedamo.
            Pri  založbi Družina je leta 2015 izšla slovenska bibliofilska izdaja knjige Slovenski ameriški izumitelji in inovatorji, leto pozneje pa še isto malo obširnejše delo v angleščini pod naslovom Slovenian American Inventors and Innovators.  Tu najdemo nad sto naših tehnoloških ustvarjalcev, ki so nesluteno mnogo prispevali k blagostanju in napredku Amerike in večkrat vsega sveta. In  vendar obravnavamo le eno področje, ne da bi govorili o dvanajst slovenskih ameriških škofih in vrsti čudovitih misijonarjev, ali o naših vplivnih politikih, o šest admiralih in devet generalih, o pisateljih in pesnikih, o slovitih arhitektih, zdravnikih, glasbenikih, športnikih z vsaj  eajstimi olimpijskimi medaljami — in še bi lahko naštevali. »To je brez dvoma naš slovenski ameriški čudež,« je na cvetno nedeljo navdušeno izjavil eden najbolj zaslužnih  rojakov v Clevelandu. Vem, da blesti tudi slovenski kanadski čudež,  slovenski avstralski čudež, vsem znani slovenski argentinski čudež, pa tudi  Slovencem in tujcem neznani slovenski švedski čuđež,  poleg več drugih.
            Spoznavajmo svojo slovensko dediščino in ponosni bomo nanjo.
Z zdravim ponosom in samozavestjo, z idealizmom in z modrim vztrajnim delom ter polnoštevilnimi pametnimi volitvami pa bomo premagali tudi hibe in napake, ki našemu narodu žal niso v čast. Kot nas je spodbujal papež Janez Pavel II, “Korajža velja!”
             Avtor, sociolog in socialni psiholog,  je zaslužni profesor Kentske državne univerze in ustanovni ravnatelj Slovenskega ameriškega raziskovalnega središča, Cleveland, Ohio.

ASEF 4 th Annual Gala

A nation of 2 million people can have a great impact on the lives of people all over the world.
Slovenians are a living proof of that.

Edi Gobec's Swan Song
at the Gala

drEdiGobec2017
Author of Slovenian American Inventors and Innovators, the extraordinary 90 years old professor Edi Gobec was the key personality at the ASEF Gala. To discover what he called "probably my swan song," a speech about "people, that changed the world in better" 

To discover what he called "probably my swan song," a speech about "people, that changed the world in better" please see here. Below you can watch the video about Dr. Gobec, produced by Haritude Ventures.

Distinguished Guests, Clergy, Diplomats,
Inventors and Innovators,
 Sisters and Brothers,

Invited speech given by Dr. Edward Gobetz at Slovenian American Education Foundation Gala in Cleveland, Ohio, SND, March 25, 2017.

            My sincere thank you — iskrena hvala — to the leaders of the Slovenian American Education Foundation for inviting me tonight as their guest and speaker. Since I am over 90, this will probably be my swan song, although I promise I will not sing, and as a professor who is used to speak until the bell rings, I nevertheless promise to be as short as possible, not more than one half of the usual class time, whether in grade school or in college, and I hope I will during this short time share with you  more wonderful facts about the amazing Slovenian contributions to America and the world than you have ever heard in any speech before.  Is this OK?
                In his invitation on behalf of the Foundation, Fr. Peter Rožič, Rector of Jesuit College Magis in Maribor, suggested that I summarize at the Gala some amazing facts about the Slovenian American Inventors and Innovators, who are included in the Slovenian and English editions of my 17th book.  Allow me, therefore, to salute them and underscore how very proud we are of them, as they have so richly contributed to prosperity and progress of America and often of the entire world.
                 Let me start at the beginning of life, since American population growth, too, is very closely connected with Mary Ann Celestina-Krevh’s birthing beds in thousands of American hospitals on which millions of infants are being born, and later they are protected with her car safety seats  or baskets for babies. In America and many other countries Dr. Fred Billerbeck’s patented Gerber Baby Foods are being fed to millions of babies, and Jack Frank Beuk’s meat preservation technology has enriched our meat supplies. All inventors whom I mention are, of course, completely or at least partly Slovenian. And how often we all profit from their genius!
                Most of us would very much miss Dr. Robert Pucel’s microwaves and Dr. Stephen Malaker’s refrigeration and cryogenic technology here on Earth, while Dr. Dusan Petrac so impressively represents Slovenian cryogenic achievements in space. And who would not be proud of our legendary inventor Dr. France Rode’s first pocket calculators, then described as “a prime example of advanced American technology” and his many other inventions, including electronic card keys used in so many hotels and several patented GPS improvements. Who would not be proud of Dr. Daniel Siewiorek’s most advanced computers, which brings us to the amazing uses of computers everywhere and also in the fields of medicine and medical record keeping, developed  by IBM vice president and “one of 50 most powerful women in American business,” Dr. Carol Kovac;  and to Prof. Jure Leskovec’s brilliant use of computers also in the field of social networking where he is so far, in the words of our inventors’ “starešina” Prof. Zvonko Fazarinc, the world’s only expert, therefore a true trailblazer in an immensely important field!
                The panorama of Slovenian American inventive genius brightly shines from John Bucik’s cars of the future and Edward Stokel’s design and mass production of General Motors city and inter-city busses used by millions of American, Canadian and other commuters; and Dr. Hilary Rolih’s New York City ferries and some of his largest transatlantic cargo ships. They shine from Max Stupar’s early planes and his first efforts at mass production in aviation and Dr. August Raspet’s spectacular light model planes to Joseph Sutter’s Boeing 747 jumbo jets that have forever changed long distance travel and have also been adopted by American presidents as Air Force One; while Sutter’s relative Paul Kosir, a brilliant refugee, established two PAKO factories producing award-winning precision aircraft parts and much more.
                 Let us proudly add Franklin Puhek’s intercontinental and space missiles, including Mercury space capsules that enabled John Glenn and the six subsequent American pioneer astronauts to start conquering space — a fantastic breakthrough memorialized in U.S. Mercury postage stamp. And let us salute the role of Cleveland natives Ed Repic and Albert Volk in the exploration of the Moon.
                We gratefully remember other leading award-winning space scientists: Cleveland’s John Hrastar, in charge of some 150 brightest minds at Goddard Space Flight Center; Dr. Anton Mavretic at MIT and Boston University; and Dr. Anthony  Strazisar, William Ivancic, Dr. Mark Celestina, Miro Anzic, Drago Androjna, and others  at NASA Lewis and John Glenn Research Center. John Repar from Barberton was a Jet Propulsion Laboratory chemist and award-winning developer of astro rubber for the rigors of space flight, and subsequently adopted uses also in automobile tires and even in the chewing gum.
                In 1990, Dr. Arthur Bergles was elected president of American Society of Mechanical Engineers with 120.000 members, a field in which Marion Kosem was exceptionally inventive and productive; while Gene Nemanich was Chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Hydrogen Association, an area in which Dr. Max Gorensek excels as researcher, innovator, editor and professor; and in 1972, internationally applauded Frank Zwanut was elected national president of the American Ceramic Society.
                Frank Ziherl’s Press-O-Jet inoculators saved hundreds of thousands of lives all over the world, and inventive research of incomparable Dr. Gordon Vehar, twice elected as American Inventor of the Year, again saved countless thousands of lives of hemophiliacs and of heart infarct and cancer patients. The Newsweek Extra 2000 edition listed his Factor VIII as “one of the wonders produced during the last 100 years.” Dr. Robert Suhadolnik has gained international reputation for treatment of AIDS, while Dr. Primož Strojnik is a leading authority in medical use of electrical stimulators, followed by Cleveland’s own talented Joe Mrva. Let us also salute the very important contributions in construction design of Computer Tomography or CT-scanners by Anton Zupancic and Peter Kozelj
                 Dr. Milos Krofta shines in the field of public health, having built water-treatment installations in 77 countries, and Verna Grahek Mize, known as Lady of Lake Superior, has, according to National Geographic magazine and other respectable sources “saved from the ravages of taconite tailing degradation Lake Superior and the Great Lakes for us and posterity,” while also drastically reducing the number of cancer cases in American and Canadian adjacent territories.
                 We proudly salute Verna, as well as such remarkable women inventors as Dr. Sasa Bajt, an internationally recognized leader in multilayer and x-ray optics and a researcher of stardust; Dr. Melissa Starovasnik, a specialist in structural biology who oversees scientific and operational activities of 1.300-member Genentech Company; and Dr. Mary Ellen Krecic Shepard, Cleveland’s own inventor, consultant, medical writer and editor.
                We must pay tribute to Dr. Anton Peterlin, the internationally prominent macromolecular physicist, director of Camille Dreyfus Laboratory; Franc Grum, Eastman Kodak’s top color science expert; John Larish, a pioneer of digital photography; Joseph Vodenik, inventor of polyester production processes; Henry Stalzer, inventor of postal meters and of widely licensed laser printers; Dr. Erwin Horiak, top expert on Diesel engines; Frank Kerze, an authority on nuclear reactors; Dr. Aleš Strojnik, builder of the most powerful electronic microscopes, and Rudy Ivancic, now working as chief engineer on the world’s most powerful telescope; Stan Knez, President of Technip Stone & Webster, whose financial, business and industrial technology supervisory duties  have taken him  to 75 countries; and Martin Hozjan whose tensor presses print newspapers and magazines in 67 countries. 
                Dr. Dusan Prevorsek shines as American Inventor of the Year, 1989. He is co-inventor of plastic material that is ten times stronger than steel and yet so light it swims on water and he was inducted into New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame,  where he is in company of such giants as Thomas Edison, Nicolas Tesla and Albert Einstein. 
                And let us not forget the importance of GPS (Global Positioning Systems) brought from space down to Earth by Prof. Zvonko Fazarinc and patented improvements of GPS by Dr. France Rode.  Martin Zugel’s cyclo-index devices speed American and Canadian production, while Victor Zugel designed the fastest book binding machines. Dr. Frederic Stare was the founder and chairman of the Nutrition Department at Harvard University and was hailed as the world’s top nutrition expert, while Dr. Donald Jerina was one of 50 most frequently quoted scientific authors, ranking 33rd among a million of reviewed scientists of the entire world, and, yes, he was a nominee for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
                I would like to complete this short survey with three of our youngest achievers: Andrew Zupan, Dr. Jernej Barbič, and Dr. Anže Šlosar.  In 1979, Zupan, at age 16, was the grand prize winner of the International Science and Engineering Fair competition and won the Glenn T. Seaborg Nobel Prize Visit Award and, yes, he was congratulated in Stockholm by the Queen of Sweden, while his innovative brother Dr. Mark was, in 2016, selected president of Alfred University.  Dr. Jernej Barbič was recognized in 2011 by MIT Technology as “one of 35 innovators under 35 whose work promises to change the world,” while another young Slovenian immigrant, Dr. Anže Šlosar was listed in Popular Science magazine in 2012 as “one of the Brilliant Ten.” They cited Anže’s research on the oldest part of the universe, more than ten billion light years away. Isn’t this mind-boggling?
                Because of limited time, I cannot possibly include scores of others which I truly regret and for which I apologize. Yet, while it was not always easy for my wife and myself and the rest of our family, there is so much to be grateful for. Today, I am grateful to my 1951 fellow-construction laborer tormentors without whose ignorant and unjust belittling of Slovenians, allegedly incapable of ever contributing a single baseball star, prominent architect or inventor, I would probably never get involved in this type of research and publication activities; and I am also grateful to my fellow-Slovenians,  bricklayer Tony Lavriša and carpenters Jacob Mejač and Jože Bizjak who were always very kind to me and helped me to survive those  — and subsequent — difficult times. I am also very, very grateful to all inventors and innovators who have cooperated in this research, whether enthusiastically or reluctantly — in each case their cooperation was precious.
                I am more grateful than I could ever express in words to all who have helped me in any way with this research, especially to my wonderful wife and number one coworker Milena who, without any question, is my better half; to our Slovenian American Times editors Breda Loncar and Martina Jakomin, Slovenian section editor Mara Cerar Hull, and production manager Tom Percic; to radio personalities Edi Mejac, Tony Ovsenik and Tony Petkovsek.
                 It goes without saying that such a bibliophile edition is now available only thanks to Družina publishers, especially editor Msgr. Franci Petrič, director Tone Rode and translator Tina Logar.
                Special thanks to the very helpful diplomats Ambassador Dr. Božo Cerar, Deputy Vladimir Kolmanic, Counselor Borut Žunič, and our good Cleveland Consul General Andrej Rode, and former Honorary Consul General in Australia Alfred Breznik.
Our deep gratitude goes to Cardinal Franc Rode, to SAZU president Dr. Tadej Bajd, to prolific Trieste writer Prof. Boris Pahor, to Theology Dean Dr. Robert Petkovsek, and others who have so strongly morally supported both editions of our Inventors book. 

                We  all  owe lasting gratitude to Peter Osenar, Paul Kosir, Rudi Kolaric, John Dejak, AMLA President Tim Percic and KSKJ leaders Tony Mravle and Rudy Krasovec for their steadfast moral support and for financial contributions to the publisher which made possible the English edition.  And our very special thanks to the talented filmmaker David Sipoš from Slovenia who is now working on a film documentary about our amazing inventors and innovators and is here with us today.
                Most of all, I am grateful to God for survival, for a wonderful wife and family and many good friends, for ability to work over eight hours a day even at my age of over 90, and for all other blessings.
                Last but certainly not least, I would also like to thank the Slovenian American Education Foundation, especially President Thomas Brandy and Drs. Rozic and Leskovec,  and to AMLA president Tim Percic for organizing this GALA event;  the wonderful singers Mi smo mi and MCs Marjanca Vogel, president emerita of Slovenska Pristava, and Tony Petkovsek, our Polka Ambassador; and, of course, Bog lonaj to all cooks and servers for a very good supper.
                To conclude, we Slovenian Americans are immensely grateful to America for freedom and opportunities which have made possible such amazing achievements of our inventors and innovators. We hope that America and the world will in turn increasingly know, acknowledge, appreciate and respect the contributions of Slovenian Americans — the ancestry group that, according to American Census represents about one-tenth of one percent of American population, yet recently gave America three percent of her federal senators, as well as about three percent of active American astronauts, yet it also has the smallest percentage of members of any ancestry group living in poverty or depending on government support; and according to all research it has always had extremely little crime and juvenile delinquency. What a wonderful record!
                May I, in conclusion, repeat the words that were the title of my lecture given in 1971 in Washington, D.C.:  “Know your Slovenian heritage and you will be proud of it!”
                Thank you for your attention, patience and support, especially for helping us put as many English-language books as possible into American and other libraries. Bog Vas živi!        
                 God bless Slovenia, our mother, and God bless America, our bride!

Speaker, Dr. Edward Gobetz (in Slovenian, Edi Gobec), is Professor Emeritus of Sociology, KSU; founding director of Slovenian Research Center of America; an Outstanding Educator of America, 1971; and a member of New York Academy of Sciences, 1984.

Gala: ASEF and Cleveland Slovenians Together


Cleveland, March 25
. On our 4th birthday, we celebrated Slovenian successes in the world and established stronger ties between the Cleveland community, the young generation of successful Slovenians in the world, and homeland Slovenia. Press release and photos here.

 

Profesor dr. Edi Gobec
90-letnik!

drEdiGobec_90
Mnogim avstralskim  Slovencem dobro poznani ameriški rojak profesor dr. Edi Gobec je 25. julija t.l. praznoval svoj 90. rojstn dan. Prijatelji, ki jih ima tukaj doli pod južnim križem kar dosti, mu za njegov visoki življenski praznik čestitamo in mu želimo veliko zdravih in plodovitih ter ustvarjalnih let!
Edi, rojen v Celju, je do svojega 17. leta živel v Tržišču pri Rogaški Slatini in v Mariboru. S 17-timi leti je moral najprej na prisilno delo, potem pa v  okupatorsko vojsko – proti kater je ves čas vodil sabotaže. Pozneje je vstopil v Britansko CMF, dokler leta 1950 ni immigriral v Ameriko. Ob delu v tovarnah je študiral jezike in filozofijo ter 1962 doktoriral (PhD) iz sociologije in antropologije na Ohio State University. Poučeval je na univerzah OSU, University of Maryland in Kent State University.
Je avtor sedemnajstih  knjig, več sto znanstvenih in poljudnih člankov. Bil je tudi so-urednik mnogih visokošolskih zbornikov, znanstvenih revij, in še bi lahko našteval.
Leta 1971 je bil izbran kot  “Outstanding Educator of America”, leta 1984 je postal član Newyorške akademije znanosti; vpisan je v Narodni seznam prominentnih Amerikancev in bil izvoljen za podpredsednika Delta Tau Kappa – Mednarodne častne organizacije socialnih znanstvenikov. Leta 2007 pa mu je Slovenska škofovska konferenca podelila odličje sv. Cirila in Metoda “v zahvalo in priznanje za izredne zasluge na področju delovanja med Slovenci po svetu”.
Kot ustanovitelj in ravnatelj Slovenskega ameriškega raziskovalnega središča že nad šestdeset let raziskuje in objavla dosežke Slovencev v Ameriki in po svetu. Ena izmed knjig iz tega področaja je Slovenian Heritage I. Na to temo je profesor Edi Gobec predaval in razstavljal po vsej Ameriki (ZDA), Kanadi, Islandiji in tudi pri nas v Avstraliji - leta 1998. Predaval je v Sydney-u, na Macquarie univerzi, Canberri in Melbournu. Je pa Edi nam  avstralskim Slovencem najbolj poznan, posebno še drugi generaciji, ki se je v svojih sobotnih šolah učila slovenščine iz  knjig – Slovenian language manula I in Slovenian language manual II, katerih avtorja sta skupaj ženo Mileno – profesorico jezikov.
Knjigi, Slovensko ameriški Izumitelji in Inovatorji (Njihove sledi na Zemlji in v vesolju) v slovenščini,  ki je izšla pri založbi Družina lani – 2015 in Slovenian American Inventors and Innovators (Their contributions to America and the World) v angleščini, ki je izšla tik pred avtorjevim visokim jubilejem letos,  …”dokazujeta kako sposoben narod smo Slovenci”(kot pravi Boris Pahor, slovenski tržaški pisatel).
Slovenci, ne glede kje živimo, v domovini ali v svetu, smo profesorju Ediju Gobcu neskončno hvaležni za vse kar je v svojem življenju postoril za ugled našega naroda in njegovo razpoznavnost v svetu!
Želimo mu, kakor tudi njegovi družini: gospej profesorici Mileni, vsem trem hčeram ter vnukom še mnogo let skupnega in srečnega življenja. Bog Vas živi!

Fredi Brežnik AM

Odlomek iz dnevnika
patra Cirila a. Božiča OFM OAM EV
in praznovanje 90-letnice
dr. Edija Gobca

ediGobec
Z leve na desno: Monika Rode in njen mož - generalni konzul RS v Clevelandu g. Andrej Rode, dr. Edi Gobec, p. Ciril, Marija Anžič, Cleveland, 11. julija 2016

Na vsak način sem si želel srečati z znamenitima Slovencema, ki sem ju poznal po njunih ustvarjalnih delih, prof. dr. Edija Gobca in njegovo ženo Mileno. Vse naše slovenske šole v Avstraliji so uporabljale in še uporabljajo dragocene učbenike, ki jih je sestavila gospa Milena skupaj z gospo Bredo Lončar. V Mislih, februar 1977, je na strani 44 zapisano: »… Gotovo pa ni slučaj, da so naši učitelji med kar lepim številom slovenskih učnih knjig kot najboljšo za učence izbrali ravno SLOVENIAN LANGUAGE MANUAL. Že bežno listanje po straneh pokaže praktično vrednost – ne čudimo se, da je bila knjiga v Ameriki sprejeta z odobravanjem in jo bodo uporabljale celo univerze…«
Še danes jih s pridom uporabljajo učiteljice v naši Slomškovi šoli. Slovenski Ameriški Inštitut, Slovenian Research Center of America, Inc. je poosebljen v delu in prizadevnosti zakoncev dr. Edija in Milene Gobec. Po njuni dobroti je tudi naša Slomškova šola in Baragova knjižnica v Kew prejela kot dar učbenike in knjige. Tudi zato sem ju hotel obiskati, da se jima osebno zahvalim.


Gospod konzul nas je popeljal na Eddy Road, na Edijevo pot, v lepem delu Clevelanda, ki se imenuje Willoughby Hills, kjer živita in delata za slovensko skupnost zakonca Gobec. Gospe ni bilo doma, ker je šla na obisk k hčerki, gospod dr. Edi pa je bil izredno vesel našega obiska. Pokazal nam je svojo obsežno knjižnico in arhiv, ki ga z ženo še vedno dopolnjujeta. Tam je zbranega ogromno materiala o delu in življenju ameriških Slovencev. Lani je izšla njegova obsežna knjiga Slovenski ameriški izumitelji in inovatorjipri založbi Družina v Ljubljani, letos pa še ista knjiga v angleškem jeziku. Knjigo smo predstavili v Mislih, julij – avgust 2015, stran 24. Zakonca dr. Edi in Milena Gobec sta neutrudna zbiralca in zapisovalca slovenske ustvarjalnosti v Ameriki in tudi drugod po svetu. Izumi in doprinosi, ki jih predstavljata, so postali že last vsega sveta, a širijo glas o ustvarjalnosti ljudi, ki so izšli iz dežele pod Triglavom ali nosijo v sebi slovenske gene po očetu ali materi. Vsega tega se domača Slovenija še vedno premalo zaveda.


Gospod Edi je bil gostoljuben in nazdravili smo njegovemu bližajočemu se 90. rojstnemu dnevu, ki ga je obhajal 25. julija. Že iz Melbourna sem mu na njegov praznični dan poslal čestitko:


Spoštovani in dragi g. profesor dr. Edi Gobec,


v živem spominu ohranjava milostno srečanje z Vami pred dvema tednoma.
Za Vaš današnji praznik, 90. rojstni dan, pa kličeva na Vas polnost Božjega žegna za še veliko zdravih in ustvarjalnih let.

Bogu hvala za Vas in naj Vas Vsemogočni ohranja še naprej v svojo čast in naše veselje.


Bog Vas živi!

pater Ciril A. Božič in Marija Anžič iz Melbourna – Vaša gosta pred dvema tednoma


Slovenian American Inventors and Innovators as Contributors to Diversity

By Edward Gobetz, Ph.D.

 

 This article "Highlights on Slovenian American Inventors", was first published in Slovenian American Times (June 2011, Willoughby Hills, Ohio). 

                Avtor dr. Edi Gobec je zaslužni profesor Kentske državne univerze v Ohio, ravnatelj Slovenskega ameriškega raziskovalnega središča v Clevelandu, »Outstanding Educator of America« (Odličen vzgojitelj Amerike), 1971 in član znanstvene akademije »The New York Academy of Sciences,« 1984.


ediGobec
Dr Edi Gobec je leta 1998 ob peti obletnici Glasa Slovenije, v dvorani v Merrylandsu, ter drugih krajih po Avstraliji, predstavil avstralskim Slovencem dosežke ameriških Slovencev v inovatorstvu in njihovem doprinosu za svet.

Pri založbi Družina je izšla knjiga
Izumitelji in inovatorji
na 368 straneh
avtorja dr. Edija Gobca

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Številni izumi, ki se nam zdijo samoumevni, so delo Slovencev, ki so zapustili domovino in njihovih potomcev, ki so se izkazali v novem svetu. Pomembno vlogo pri razvoju satelitov za vremenske napovedi je imel Hrastar, mikrovalovnih pecic Pucel, cistilnih naprav Krofta, tiskarskih strojev Hozjan ... Sodelovali so ob zacetku množicne proizvodnje letal – Stupar, ob lunarnem vozilu – Volk, pri boeingu 747 – Sutter, pri razvoju poliestra – Vodonik – in plastike, ki je desetkrat mocnejša od jekla – Prevoršek. Avtomobil prihodnosti je izum Bucika, prvi žepni racunalnik pa Rodeta. Kovaceva pa je povezala medicino s (super)racunalniki. V knjigi so prikazane mnoge življenjske zgodbe, ki pricajo, kako slovenska inovativnost, delavnost, vztrajnost in pogum prispevajo k splošnemu cloveškemu napredku. 

Slovenian American Inventors and Innovators as Contributors to Diversity


Readers of SAT (Slovenian American Times) are the first ones in the world who can read the overview of amazing and undeniable Slovenian American inventions and innovations, including the first sophisticated pocket calculator taken by U.S. President’s party to China as prime example of modern U.S. technology, or see how an Ely, MN, Slovenian American rocket scientist helped put the first American astronaut John Glenn into orbit, or how a Cleveland Slovenian helped American astronauts land on the Moon, or “meet” a Chicago immigrant who designed America’s most advanced car for N.Y. World Fair, or the son of a Slovenian immigrant who designed the family of planes that have forever changed long-distance travel and include Air Force One, the plane of American Presidents…       
          


Before we continue with new articles, let us first briefly review the highlights of published materials, starting with the question, How have Slovenian Americans contributed to America on the move — on the ground (cars and buses), on the sea (ships and ferries), in aviation and in space?
           


At the New York World Fair (1964-1965), the $250,000 “car of the future,” designed and manufactured by Slovenian immigrant John Bucik, was one of America’s major attractions and sources of pride. Many other magnificent cars designed by Bucik received awards and were featured in American automobile and sports magazines, not to mention his mini submarine and his architectural and artistic achievements.
           


Edward Stokel, head of General Motors Truck and Coach Division (1974-1986) and widely known as “Mr. Bus,” was in charge of design and production of a staggering number of 18,851 G.M. buses, used by countless millions of commuters and travelers throughout the United States and Canada.
           


Dr. Hilary Rolih, chairman of the Board of George G. Sharp, a leading marine systems and design corporation, was as designer, supervisor and executive responsible for design of ferries, such as Staten Island Ferry, of SS Austral Entente (the largest U.S. flag deep freeze container ship), of tankers, fireboats and of more than 1,500 new Sharp designs, about 300 ship conversion designs, and innumerable ship modifications.
           
Among the many magnificent contributors to American aviation, we introduced three great names: Stupar, Raspet and Sutter.
           


Max Stupar, an immigrant from Metlika, Slovenia, was an aviation pioneer, who was already as early as 1910 involved in serial production of standardized interchangeable airplane parts. He built many of the earliest American exhibition and travel planes, mail planes, a patented hydroplane, and several models of commercial and military planes.  Stupar concluded his career by planning and directing mass production of B-29 flying fortresses at the Bell Aircraft Corporation in its Marietta bomber plant in Atlanta, Georgia. He was described by The Atlanta Journal of Nov. 28, 1944, as “father of mass aviation production.”
           


Dr. August Raspet, an internationally prominent aerophysicist, was researcher, inventor and designer of spectacular modern lightweight aircraft in whose honor the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory at the University of Mississippi and the Raspet Memorial Awards have been named.  As stated by Dr. Bruce H. Carmichael in Soaring (August, 1960), “the influence of Dr. Raspet on airplane design is felt all over the world.”
           


And the great modern aviation giant and the preeminent designer of Boeing 747 Joseph Sutter is son of Slovenian immigrant father Frank Suhadolc  (whose name was changed to Sutter). According to astronaut Neil Armstrong, Sutter’s plane “forever changed long distance travel.” The U.S. Presidents’ Air Force One, perhaps the most prestigious plane in the world, is also a modified 747. In addition, half of the world’s goods shipped by air are transported by 747 freighters. The 747 R Domestic, redesigned short-range shuttles, “connect major cities of Japan, transporting daily masses of passengers and cargo. Without them, Japan’s economic growth would have been stifled.”          
           


From among scores of Slovenian Americans who left their mark on American space exploration, let us first mention Franklin R. Puhek, an outstanding General Dynamics designer and design team manager in charge of missile guidance programs. It was Puhek who designed the gyro-guidance systems for Mercury Space Capsule and explained their operation to John Glenn, the first astronaut sent by America into orbit in 1962. He also worked with six other prominent Mercury space pioneers and designed the rocket guidance systems for Tomahawk Cruise Missiles, Advanced Cruise Missiles and the Thirsty Saber Program in 1988 — making invaluable contributions to space exploration, as well as to America’s offensive and defensive military power.
           


Ed Repic, as chief engineer in Rockwell’s Grand Tour Program worked on unmanned satellites.  He became the leader of the Rockwell’s Space Exploration Team and made vital contributions to the design of Apollo 11, the space ship which in July 1969 accomplished what many consider the greatest feat in human space history, the landing of American astronauts on the Moon.  Nothing could summarize his contribution to the lunar landing success better than the inscribed photo of the astronaut Buzz Aldrin, standing on the Moon and thanking Ed Repic for helping him get there. Aldrin and Repic have later  been  engaged in research on the best way of landing on Mars.
           


Dr. Sasa Bajt, the Slovenian woman award-winning researcher, inventor, and internationally recognized leader in multi-layer x-ray optics, was also one of space scientists selected to examine the stardust after the return capsule safely made it back to Earth with dust particles in tow, in 2006. Your Portal to Space, dated Feb. 12, 2003, reports on the practical value of her research findings that “will lead to microprocessors that are tens of times faster than today’s most powerful chips.”
           


Dr. Dusan Petrac, the NASA scientist and Jet Propulsion Laboratory physicist, is an authority on cryogenics (extremely low temperatures) in space programs.  The International Cryogenic Engineering Committee selected him to receive its prestigious Mendelssohn 1990 Award “in recognition for his scientific and engineering contributions to the development of the first spaceborne superfluid helium cooling system designed for the infrared telescope IRAS.”
           


John Repar was an award-winning inventor and innovator in space rubber research and technology who worked for California Institute of Technology at Pasadena, for Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and headed his own research and consulting company Astro Rubber. He started his involvement with JPL by making a butyl bladder for the hydrazine tank on Mariner 69 and Vikings which flew to Mars, followed by the Voyagers, launched in 1977.
           


John A. Hrastar was a leading designer of space satellites and Director of Systems, Technology and Advanced Concepts at Goddard Space Flight Center, the oldest and still the major NASA space research laboratory, located in Greenbelt, Maryland.  A trouble shooter on a large variety of programs where his knowhow was needed, he was project manager for “GRO, weighing 35,000 pounds and then the heaviest NASA scientific satellite to be deployed by a space shuttle. According to Dr. Don Kniffen, the study was to yield unprecedented answers about the structure and dynamics of the Milky Way“ (Goddard News, March 3rd, 1991). Hrastar also worked on Synchronous Meteorological Satellite (SMS), a precursor of GOES series of satellites that provide the weather images now seen worldwide on television weather forecasts.
           
Slovenian American inventors and innovators have also helpedkeep American progress on the go in many other important areas. Can we today imagine progress in science, technology, medicine, banking, commerce and other areas without calculators and computers?
           


Dr. Zvonko Fazarinc on his arrival to the United States in 1960 was first employed by Stanford Radioastronomy Institute where he was actively involved in the design and construction of an S-band interferometer, with specific responsibility for the receiver. In 1965, he joined the Hewlett-Packard Company.  As a laboratory director, he managed research in areas of measurements, computation systems and data communication. He promoted and later managed one of the major efforts to “marry” the analogue measurements hardware with the microcomputer for a new generation of instruments.      
In 1977, he initiated the development of the first non-military navigation receiver based on the Global Positioning (GPS), using satellites as triangulation sources. The prototype was demonstrated in a vehicle and has proven to be capable of serving the highway navigation needs. Since 1972 he was also teaching courses in physics and semiconductor devices at Stanford University. Visiting over 100 universities internationally as lecturer and adviser, he was the organizer of a consortium of universities in a project named CoLos (Conceptual Learning of Science). Associated with both the HP topnotch industry and the excellent Stanford University during the birth of Silicon Valley, Dr. Fazarinc has gained a good understanding of the intricacies of the interaction between the two partners, which he has tried to transplant to other countries.
           


Dr. France Rode (namesake and distant relative of Cardinal Franc Rode) and a close friend of Dr. Fazarinc, was lead inventor of the first sophisticated pocket-size HP-35 calculator which, as reported in Measure magazine of June 1972, was taken by President Richard Nixon’s party to China as “the prime example of modern U.S. technology.” He was also project leader and first co-inventor of the HP-80 pocketsize computer/calculators, designed especially for financial and business uses, which have replaced various cumbersome and time-consuming earlier approaches. In addition to numerous other remarkable patented contributions to Hewlett-Packard Company, he also has several Global Positioning Systems (GPS) patents to his credit.
           


Dr. Daniel P.  Siewiorek, the son of a Slovenian mother and a Polish father, is the Buhl University Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie University in Pittsburgh, Pa. As stated by Dan60! Symposium,  “Dan exemplifies true innovation, creativity, and leadership, making a significant impact on the present and future computer systems and human computer interaction. He has made seminal, pioneering contributions to several areas that shaped the evolution of computer systems over the last four decades: microprocessors, reliable and fault-tolerant computer systems, human-centered design encompassing wearable computers and context aware computing, and rapid prototyping of thirty generations of wearable computers. Dan’s research contributions have created new products, applications and industries. In the process of his research he has trained hundreds of students in design and established new academic research industries.” He is author of influential textbooks, some translated into Russian and Chinese and of over 400 scientific papers.
           


Henry Stalzer, after earning a New York University’s M.S. in Electrical Engineering, was employed as an electrical engineer and Project Group Manager in Copier Division of Pitney Bowes, Inc. He has nine patented inventions to his credit, including electronic postage meters and xerographic electronic printers. The Hewlett Packard laser printers incorporated Stalzer’s licensed technology, as did other licensees in Florida, England and Germany. His contribution has been popularized by Hewlett Packard as resolution enhanced technology or ReT.  Its significance is in the fact that it represents the first implementation of a concept of a dot matrix printer to make the text or graphic’s composition of dots imperceptible, even at comparatively low and inexpensive levels of resolution.
           


Dr. Stephen F.  Malaker is an internationally prominent nuclear physicist and one of the world’s greatest names in cryogenics — the physics and technology of cooling to very low temperatures. By 1998, he had more than 125 U.S. and foreign patents, especially for helium refrigerators, referring to Modified Sterling Cycle, commonly known as Malaker Cycle, which reach temperatures as low as 16 K (-430 F). He designed the first units (miniature coolers with average weight of three pounds) used in space and military reconnaissance systems. His inventions and products have been used in about thirty highly diversified applications, including residential, industrial, and vehicle refrigeration and air conditioning; food processing, cryogenic probes and instruments, rapid freezing of blood for blood transfusions, super cooling of liquid natural gas for use as fuel in helicopters, trucks and buses, underwater liquid oxygen breathing apparatus, etc. He furnished reactor control for “Atoms for Peace Reactor” at the United Nations Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, and received three IR-100 awards: in 1965, 1966, and 1969, meaning that he was recognized three times for having developed “one of the first 100 most significant new technical products of the year in the United States.”
           


Dr. Robert A. Pucel, a Slovenian miner’s son from Ely, Minnesota, with a 1955 doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developed one of the first microwave semiconductor devices in the world. Recognized by peers as “one of the eight most important microwave pioneers in the world,” whose research encompassed both theoretical and experimental studies and design of most microwave semiconductor devices, owner of over 20 patents, author of over 90 papers on microwave devices and technology and a worldwide lecturer, he also has to his credit a definitive book on the subject, titled Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (IEEE Press, 1985).
           


Having read Breda Loncar’s beautiful editorial “Water is life!” in the May issue of SAT, the readers may even more fully appreciate the importance of Milos Krofta, the world-wide leader in water treatment, with more than 3,250 installations in 77 countries; founder of Krofta Engineering Corporation, Krofta Waters, Inc., and of degree-granting Lenox Institute for Water Technology; inventor with over 90 U.S. and foreign patents, and over 400 published technical reports and papers to his credit; and of Verna Grahek Mize, known as “First Lady of Lake Superior” who led the successful fight to save its waters from massive pollution by industrial waste and was deservedly hailed on American national television and in numerous papers and magazines, including the National Geographic Magazine, as a shining example of what a humble secretary and housewife can accomplish for the common good.
           


While clean water is essential for human health, Frank A. Ziherl, with over 50 patents to his credit, including the Western Reserve portable resuscitator, oxygen inhalator and anesthesia machine, was also the Inventor of Press-O-Jet inoculators, which greatly contributed to worldwide prevention of epidemics. In May, 1957, issue of GP, Dr. Robert A. Hingston, M.D., with three other colleagues from Western Reserve School of Medicine, discussed the usefulness of the Press-O-Jet high pressure needle-less injection units, reporting on one million mass immunizations [till then] and the role they played in reduction of leprosy, polio, cholera, etc., the world over. They were widely used also in control of 1976 swine flu epidemic in America.
           


Dr. Fred Billerbeck, grandson of Maria, nee Jurjevcic and Matija Fink from Slovenia, in 1963 accepted the position of Product Development Manager at Gerber Products Company and developed and patented a variety of Gerber Baby Foods, consumed by millions of babies.
           


This brings us to the last Slovenian American inventor so far covered whom we can present in this brief overview, Dr. Dusan Prevorsek (1922-2004), an outstanding Slovenian immigrant scientist in polymer and fiber technology, a prolific researcher, author, lecturer and inventor with over 100 patents to his credit. In 1989, he was, together with his colleague Dr. Sheldon Kavesh (not Slovenian) selected Inventor of the Year, for having developed the revolutionary high-strengths SPECTRA polyethylene plastic. Spectra is the strongest man-made fiber on earth, ten times stronger than steel, yet so light it floats on water. It is used for cut-resistant gloves for surgeons, bullet-proof vests and helmets for law enforcement agencies and the military; sports equipment such as kayaks, canoes, boats, sails, bicycles and skis; artificial tendons, ligaments and joint prostheses; and composites of all types, such as ropes, nets, aviation components, etc.  He developed a brilliant career started in 1958 as Research Chemist at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio, continued in 1961 as Principal Scientist at the Textile Research Institute in Princeton, N.J.  and in 1965 at Allied Chemical Corporation in Morristown, N.J., whence  he retired as Leader of Polymer Physics Group in 1994. As his colleague Dr. Kavesh wrote to this writer in 2006, “Dusan was an exceptionally gracious and personable individual and an excellent scientist. He managed by leading and encouraging. He was widely known in the polymer and fiber physics and attracted many distinguished guest lecturers to Allied, now Honeywell International.”
           


Slovenian American inventors and innovators have contributed to American and international progress much more than anyone would have ever dared to dream. God bless Slovenia, the beautiful Central European land that gave them to us and God bless America, the land of freedom and unequalled opportunities where their talents could be fully developed! 

          

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Joseph Sutter (Suhadolc), Father of 747, including Air Force One

Joseph Sutter (Suhadolc), Father of 747, including Air Force One

John Bucik in his “car of the future,” at New York World Fair, 1964.

 

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Inscribed photo showing Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, thanking Ed Repic who helped him get there


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Dr. France Rode, lead inventor of the first pocket-size calculator, the HP-35, then “prime example of modern U.S. technology”

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Dr. Dusan Prevorsek, 1989 Inventor of the Year, doing research on viscosity of tires.


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The Mercury program, the earliest U.S. project to put an astronaut (John Glenn in 1962) into space, was commemorated by a U.S. postal stamp. The Slovenian American rocket scientist and engineer Franklin R. Puhek designed the gyro-guidance systems for Mercury Space Capsule and taught the pioneer American astronauts how to use it.

 

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Dr. August Raspet’s, designer of spectacular light-weight planes


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Dr Edija Gobca in soprogo sem na poti okoli sveta, obiskal leta 2008 v Clevelandu.
/op.ur. Florjan Auser/