Chicago, served as a faculty member at the Institute of Design from 1966 to 2011, faculty emeritus, and director of ID from 1982 to 1986. Early in his career he was product designer for Unimark International and then co-founded the Chicago design firms Source, Inc. and Design Planning Group, contributing products to Knoll International and Steelcase, among other firms. The recipient of numerous design awards, Fahnstrom has some of his early work in packaging design as part of the permanent collection of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. In 2017 the Dale Fahnstrom Endowed Teaching Fellowship was established at ID by co-founders of the design consultancy Gravity Tank, who were also Fahnstrom’s former students.
Robert “Bob” Filler
St. Paul, Minn., beginning in the 1950s, served as a professor of chemistry, chair of the Department of Chemistry, and dean of then-Lewis College of Sciences and Letters. He is remembered as being a passionate researcher and scholar who received numerous grants, published more than 180 papers, and advised many graduate students. Filler was an active member of the American Chemical Society from 1947 until his death, and in 1976 chaired the fluorine division. He lectured widely, serving as a visiting professor at universities in England, Israel, and Germany, as well as giving papers in Russia, Poland, and Japan. Filler also co-founded a research and development startup, working into his 90s.
Charles “Chuck” Harrison
M.S. DSGN ’63, Canyon Country, Calif., is credited with being one of the first African-American industrial designers of his era and the first to lead a design department at a major corporation. Initially rejected for a job at Sears, Roebuck and Company in the mid-1950s because of his race, Harrison became its first African-American executive five years later. A prolific designer who overcame struggles with dyslexia, he executed more than 700 designs, including many popular household products such as the plastic trash can; the redesigned, iconic View-Master handheld image-reel viewer; the portable hairdryer; and the riding lawnmower. Among Harrison’s many notable awards is the 2008 National Design Awards Lifetime Achievement honor from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. He was the first African American to receive this honor.
Driggs, Idaho, who shared in the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988, served as Pritzker Professor of Physics at Illinois Tech, where he was on the faculty from 1992 until his retirement in 2011. Lederman’s idea for a United States national accelerator laboratory became Fermilab, where he was director from 1978 to 1989; he led the team that discovered the bottom quark subatomic particle. Under his directorship, the Tevatron superconducting accelerator opened, which helped place Fermilab into a global leadership position in accelerator and neutrino research. Lederman also worked to promote general public science literacy and enkindle a passion for science among youth. In 1985 he established the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.
Daniel G. Martin
LAW ’84, Chicago, was a United States magistrate judge who taught trial advocacy to more than 1,000 students during his 30 years as an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law; he also coached several of the law school’s most successful competitive trial teams. Before becoming a federal judge, Martin served as a staff attorney with the Federal Defender Program for the Northern District of Illinois and in 2002, he created and administered the Federal Defender Program’s Summer Trial Skills Institute. He received the Chicago-Kent Alumni Association’s Professional Achievement Award in 2015.
ME ’44, Chicago, an Illinois Institute of Technology Life Trustee and a member of the Institute of Design Board of Advisors, was founder and retired chairman of RTC Industries, a global retail-oriented business. Through RTC, Nathan built a company culture around in-store merchandising and researching. He was a longtime national leader of the American Jewish Committee, on the board of the Chicago Lighthouse, and a supporter of the Leo Baeck Institute. He served in the United States Navy during World War II and worked to memorialize his family’s history, which dates back to Nazi-occupied Germany. Nathan was an important supporter of Illinois Tech’s Voices of the Holocaust online project.
M.S. ARCH ’64, Tokyo, was president of Sasaki, Inc., Architects & Engineers. He established his architecture talents in his master’s thesis under faculty member Myron Goldsmith (B.ARCH ’39, M.S. ’53) as the first architect to explore steel-framed diagonal-bracing systems for tall buildings. He developed a prototype for Chicago’s John Hancock Center, which became the systems’ first commercial application. Sasaki founded the IIT Japanese Alumni Association in 1966, serving as its president from 1977 to 2000. He completed a number of major architecture projects in Japan, where he was a member of the Japan Institute of Architects.