News

SDL and USU Say Goodbye to Deputy Director and Professor

USURF
December 4, 2003

LOGAN –The Utah State University Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) mourns at the passing of Frank Redd, Ph.D. former deputy director for SDL, professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering, mentor and friend. Redd passed away Wednesday, Dec. 3, after a long battle with cancer.

In past interviews Redd expressed his gratitude for his relationships at the Space Dynamics Laboratory and Utah State.

“What a blessing it has been to be associated with such really wonderful people, both at the university and the Space Dynamics Laboratory – students, faculty and staff,” Redd said. “I feel privileged to have been a part of the growth of the aerospace program at SDL and Utah State.”

“Frank has had a tremendous, positive impact on my life as he has so many others,” said Allan Steed, former director of SDL. “He had a quiet, calming, wise, insightful manner that made him easy to trust, and he never betrayed that trust. To say that I will miss him sounds very trite. He was indeed one of my heroes and mentors,”

One of Redd’s most notable contributions to Utah State and SDL was the establishment of the Annual Conference on Small Satellites in Logan. The conference, which began 17 years ago, is now known as the premier small satellite conference throughout the world.

“I am really proud of the growth of the Small Satellite Conference,” Redd stated. “It started with merely 100 people and has grown tremendously.”

During the 2002 Small Satellite Conference the student competition was officially named the Dr. Frank J. Redd Student Scholarship Competition to express appreciation to Redd and leave a lasting tribute to the impact he had made on the conference. The award came as a surprise to Redd.

“I am speechless. I didn’t anticipate an honor of this magnitude,” he said after the award banquet. “I could never have imagined a more prestigious award to bear my name.”

During his acceptance speech at the banquet, Redd went on to say that he would not have been able to accomplish the things that he had with out the tremendous support from his family, his loving wife Myrna and their God.

Redd’s passion was for teaching and mentoring. One of the reasons he joined Utah State after receiving other offers was for the opportunity to make an impact and to teach. He said one of the greatest rewards was seeing graduates of the mechanical and aerospace engineering program in prominent positions throughout the space industry.

“Frank Redd was one of the lights of Utah State’s ascendancy into space research,” said Utah State University President Kermit L. Hall. “He will be missed. We extend condolences to his wife and family. We take comfort in having had the benefit of his extraordinary leadership.”

Redd taught many space engineering classes during his tenure at Utah State. He received a nine-year NASA grant to teach space system design. Several of the students’ designs from that class were implemented into actual NASA programs.

“He has enriched our lives with effective leadership and teaching as well as his friendship,” said Steed. “I cannot adequately express in words the thanks we owe him for the truly significant contributions that he has made to SDL, the university and the state in the 20 years that he worked here.”

Redd retired from SDL and Utah State in the fall of 2002. He and his wife recently returned from a mission to Chicago for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A funeral will be held Monday, Dec. 8. The family has requested in lieu of flowers, that donations can be made to the Frank J. Redd Student Scholarship Competition Fund. They can be sent to the Space Dynamics Laboratory, Attn: Jaimie Kandler, 1695 North Research Park Way, North Logan, Utah 84341.