This spring, the College said goodbye to four beloved professors. Charles Bray and Carl Halford, both electrical and computer engineering professors, retired after decades of service;
and Michael Daley, electrical and computer engineering professor, and Steven Slack, biomedical engineering professor, passed away. Below are tributes to each of these
faculty members. The College is most grateful for their years of service and dedication.
They will be deeply missed by their colleagues, students and the engineering community.
If you would like to make a gift in one or more of these faculty’s memory or honor,
please go to https://www.memphis.edu/development/give.php. Be sure to indicate who your gift is in honor or memory of.
Dr. Bray began his career with the University of Memphis on February 1, 1969 as an assistant
professor in the Electrical Engineering Department. Over the next 41 years, he served
as interim chair of the Electrical Engineering Department (1988 – 1991), lead the
College’s student recruitment efforts as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
(1995 – 2010) and headed up numerous committees including the College’s Scholarship
Committee. He is also one of the lead organizers and head chef for the annual Engineering
College’s Back to School Cookout.
Grill Master Dr. Charlie Bray at the annual Back to School Engineering Cook Out. Photo
courtesy of John Beene (BSEE ’04).
Dr. Bray’s former students often comment on what a profound impact Dr. Bray had on
their lives. From nudging those “underachieving” students in the right direction to
career guidance to working diligently to ensure worthy students with limited financial
means are considered for scholarships, Dr. Bray truly dedicated his life to teaching
and to his students. The College wishes Dr. Bray all the best in this new chapter
in his life. Let us know when you catch the big one!
Dr. Daley, Ballard Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, died on
February 8th. Dr. Daley joined the Herff College of Engineering in 1988. Throughout his 22-year
career with the College, Dr. Daley was actively engaged in research to advance healthcare
and improve people’s lives. His most recent work focused on modeling blood flow through
the brain and alterations caused by traumatic stroke. His goal was to develop a method
to continuously assess cerebrovascular pressure regulation from pressure recordings
obtained from brain-injured patients in the intensive care setting. This knowledge
would be critical to adapting clinical care individually to the patient, hopefully
greatly improving the outcome of procedures employed.
In addition to research, Dr. Daley was passionate about sparking young people’s interest
in engineering. He directed the high school regional Science Olympiad, a summer enrichment
program for rising ninth graders, he was the faculty advisor for the College’s IEEE
chapter, and he advised numerous graduate students. Dr. Daley is remembered by colleagues
and alumni as a tremendous mentor and gifted researcher.
Dr. Halford, Eugene Smith Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and
Director of the Center for Advanced Sensors, joined the Herff College of Engineering
in 1970. He served as chair of the Electrical Engineering Department for ten years
and received numerous awards during his tenure including the Alumni Association’s
award in 2007 for Distinguished Research, Excellence in Engaged Scholarship, and Creative
Achievement for the sciences, engineering, and math.
Dr. Carl Halford
Dr. Halford is a prolific researcher who brought national recognition to the U of
M in the field of electro-optical and infrared imaging sensor systems, and he is world-renowned
in imaging sensor system performance modeling. His reputation combined with his skills
as a mentor attracted many graduate students to the electrical and computer engineering
department. These former students, who refer to themselves as the Memphis Mafia, attribute
much of their success to Dr. Halford’s tutelage. The College thanks Dr. Halford for
building an acclaimed research program in the area of sensors and wishes him all the
best in his retirement!
To thank Dr. Halford for his dedication to building a research-intensive graduate
program, alumni established the Carl E. Halford Fellowship. This fellowship will provide funding to an outstanding electrical and computer engineering
graduate student. To make a gift to this fellowship, click here (https://www.memphis.edu/development/give.php)
or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Slack, professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Associate Dean of Graduate
Studies in the Herff College of Engineering, died on April 29th. Dr. Slack joined the University of Memphis in 1990. During his tenure with the College,
he advised countless graduate students and conducted research in biomaterials and
tissue engineering. Dr. Slack was particularly interested in the dynamics of platelet
interactions, which is important for wound healing and the treatment of thrombosis.
Dr. Steve Slack with his Family
What stands out most about Dr. Slack’s legacy is his superb abilities in the classroom.
Dr. Slack had a unique ability to boil down complex concepts into manageable pieces,
and his sense of humor, clarity in instruction, and enthusiasm for the material being
taught made him a favorite professor.
To celebrate Dr. Slack’s life and dedication to his students, family and friends established
the Steven Slack Fellowship. This Fellowship will provide funding to an outstanding biomedical engineering graduate
student. To make a gift to this fellowship, click here (https://www.memphis.edu/development/give.php)
or contact email@example.com.
To see photos from Dr. Bray and Halford’s retirement reception, click here.