Dr. Kurt Metzger, Associate Research Scientist Emeritus, was recognized with a special award by the department in recognition of his outstanding contributions to student understanding and appreciation of applied signal processing, and in particular, of extraordinary contributions to the major design course EECS 452: Digital Signal Processing Laboratory.
Dr. Metzger devoted the latter years of his career to the labor-intensive course EECS 452: Digital Signal Processing Laboratory. It is a very popular course with students, yet requires many hours of preparation and attention by the faculty member teaching the course. Kurt brought his own special brand of quiet enthusiasm to the course, instilling in the students an appreciation for the subject matter while they worked diligently and even enthusiastically on their final design projects. A highlight for both the students and Dr. Metzger was always the final project presentations – where students presented their automatic guitar tuners, earth horizon sensors, wireless EKG monitors, motion controlled robots, and many other varied projects that incorporated digital signal processing.
Dr. Metzger entered the field of digital signal processing during its infancy and played a significant role in many of the key ocean acoustic propagation measurements made during his time at Michigan. In 1978 he worked with fellow researcher John L. Spiesberger to conduct propagation measurements that set the stage for Walter Munk’s pioneering ocean acoustic tomography experiment in 1981. In recognition of his contributions, he was included in the dedication of the first book published on ocean acoustic tomography.
In 1991, he was responsible for signal generation and processing of the first receptions for the Heard Island Feasibility Test (HIFT), in which ship-based acoustic transmissions were received simultaneously on both U.S. coasts as well as many other receiving sites around the globe. Following HIFT, he was one of the principal investigators for the multi-year, ocean-basin spanning Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate measurement.
Dr. Metzger retired from the University in 2004 after a 38 year career and an even longer tenure at Michigan, having received his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering all from Michigan.