Edmund  Sullivan

Services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations

Save the Children by visiting www.savethechildren.org

Obituary of Edmund Sullivan

Edmund J. Sullivan, 83, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 15, 2018.  

Ed was the son of Edmund and Catherine (Shea) Sullivan. He grew up in Newport and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor’s in Science in Electrical Engineering in 1965. He then received a master's degree in Electrical Engineering in 1967 followed by a Ph.D. in Physics in 1970, both also from the University of Rhode Island.

Ed was a dedicated and inquisitive scientist who devoted his life to physics.  He served on the Naval Underwater Systems Center (NUSC), was appointed head of the Signal Processing Group at the SACLANT Undersea Research Centre in La Spezia Italy until 1988. For the two years previous to the SACLANT appointment, he was the Acoustic Signal Processing editor for the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. He was an associate editor for the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering for nine years. He was reappointed as the Acoustic Signal Processing editor for the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America in 2003. Previous to his retirement, he was a staff scientist for the Physics and Technology Division at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC).

Ed had several patents approved in the areas of underwater acoustics and array processing. He was a fellow of both The Acoustical Society of America and the IEEE and was a member of Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Pi Sigma. 

Ed had published numerous journal articles, 1 book, 2 encyclopedia articles, 6 book chapters, and several NATO and Government reports covering the subjects of Underwater Acoustics, Signal Processing, Nuclear Physics, and Electromagnetics.

Among the many awards he has received are the IEEE OCEANS 94/OSATES Distinguished Technical Achievement Award, The Acoustical Society of America Silver Medal in Signal Processing in 2010, and the NUWC Excellence in Science Award, both in 1978 and 1991.

The amazing body of work that was accomplished in his lifetime was a significant contribution to his field that few can understand or appreciate the magnitude of.

In addition to his love of physics, Ed enjoyed travel, music, old movies and TV shows, art, history, and languages, of which he spoke 4.  His curious mind and impeccable memory led him to be quite the scholar on a multitude of interests and he loved discussing these interests with anyone who would listen, always while injecting his witty and unique sense of humor.  


Ed was predeceased by his sister Catherine Davis and is survived by his two children: Sean Sullivan and Erin Kirk; their mother: Dale Wallace; three grandchildren: Holden Sullivan, Eva Sullivan, and Maisie Kirk; five nieces and nephews: Arlene Davis, James Davis, Andrew Davis, Elizabeth Orchard, and Tara Davis; and two grand nieces.  Ed was a true friend of Bill’s for 17 years.

Services will be private. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to a charity that was close to Ed’s heart, Save the Children, by visiting www.savethechildren.org.

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