Memorial This Saturday for Professor Thomas Kincaid (ECE)


By Mark Dwortzan

Emeritus Professor Thomas Kincaid (ECE)
Emeritus Professor Thomas Kincaid (ECE)

Emeritus Professor Thomas G. Kincaid, a longtime faculty member and former chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, died on January 18 at the age of 77.

He joined the Boston University faculty in 1983 and served as ECE chair from 1983 to 1994. He retired in 2006.

Kinkaid’s research at BU focused on signal and image processing, photonics, dynamic neural networks and nondestructive testing. He taught courses in engineering and in logic design, signals and systems, and advised graduate students pursuing degrees in electrical engineering.  Previously, he worked as a researcher for General Electric. A member of the IEEE and its Signal Processing Society, he received his PhD from MIT in 1965.

Throughout his career, Kincaid viewed the cultivation of character and relationships as the foundation of success.

“Tom was a terrific mentor and gentleman and supporter,” said Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen in a message to the ENG faculty. “He had such a calming and gentle yet authoritative demeanor. Boston University benefited greatly from his presence and his leadership.”

As ECE chair, Kincaid increased the size of the department by more than 50 percent, hiring faculty that included three future ECE chairs—ECE Professors Bahaa Saleh (Emeritus), David Castañón (SE) and W. Clem Karl (BME, SE). He also increased the size of the graduate program and focused it on doctoral education.

“Tom was a long, dedicated and impactful member of the ECE department and the College of Engineering,” said Karl. “He was a calm and sure administrator and an able and caring educator.”

A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Kincaid is survived by his wife Elizabeth (Betsy); their three children—Thomas John, Colin and Elizabeth (Mimi)—and their spouses; and nine grandchildren.

A celebration of Kincaid’s life is scheduled for Saturday, January 24 at 11 a.m. at Grace Chapel, 59 Worthen Road, Lexington, Mass; a reception will follow. The family has planned a private burial ceremony. Memorial donations may be made in his name, in lieu of flowers, to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research or to World Vision, Inc.