[ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 10/10/02 ]

Carl Verber, patent holder, Tech professor

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff Writer

Family photo
Georgia Tech professor Dr. Carl Verber canoes with wife Nancy Verber (right) and Mary Ann Sussman of Ellijay.

In his Georgia Tech colleagues' eyes, Dr. Carl Verber was a gifted intellectual, a brilliant researcher and an exceptional teacher and mentor.

In 14 years on the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty, he played a leading role in the creation on campus of the Ultrafast Optical Communications Laboratory and the Fiber Optics Instructional Laboratory -- not to mention his work as a professor, doctoral candidate adviser and researcher. He offered valuable advice to Tech's Research Institute on new directions in technological development.

The memorial service for Dr. Verber, 67, of Atlanta is 3 p.m. today at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. He died Monday of heart failure at Select Specialty Hospital. The body was cremated. Jewish Funeral Care is in charge of arrangements.

Before coming to Tech, Dr. Verber was senior research leader at Battelle Columbus Laboratory in Ohio, where he did groundbreaking work in accelerating fiber optic communications, accumulating 18 patents during his career.

"Coming from industry, Carl was disturbed that his students weren't getting real-world experience in the classroom," said Tech professor Dr. John Uyemura of Smyrna.

"So we managed to get donated equipment from AT&T, BellSouth, Nortel and others to set up a state-of-the-art instructional lab at Tech. He and I team-taught there for four years, and he would push students to the limit. The lab is still evolving, but the instructors continue to incorporate his notes," Dr. Uyemura said.

He brimmed with ideas for optical transmission of data, one of which he conceived drawing on a napkin at lunch, said Tech professor Dr. John Buck of Marietta. That concept, for an optical demultiplexer, led to the development of the Ultrafast Optical Communications Laboratory, a joint project of Tech and cooperating companies, Dr. Buck said.

In establishing this lab, "Carl created multidisciplinary teams of faculty and industrial engineers who have advanced the understanding of the scientific and engineering aspects of optical communications," said Dr. Stephen Ralph of Atlanta, a colleague in the project.

In his off time, Dr. Verber made a beeline for the outdoors. "Carl would look for any excuse to get outside -- hiking, skiing, canoeing," said his wife, Nancy Verber.

"As a boy, he was fascinated by birds. He wanted to fly the way they did, and he became a good amateur birder," she said. "We also have quite a collection of bird sculptures at our house."

Survivors include a daughter, Marilyn Verber of Columbus, Ohio; a son, Mark Verber of Mountain View, Calif.; a sister, Carolyn Falk of Morristown, N.J.; and three grandchildren.