When I was in sixth grade and discovered that a long pendulum I made took the same time to swing when I pulled it back an inch as it did for a ten-inch swing—so what if Galileo beat me—I knew I wanted to be a ‘fizisist,’ even if I couldn’t spell it. After I got my Ph.D. in Physics from Carnegie-Mellon, followed by two post-doctoral appointments at Case-Western Reserve and Fermilab, with no prospects for a permanent job or a regular ration of hamburger for my wife, Kay Carpenter DiBianca, or son, Arthur Nicholas, I thought a career change might be timely.
While perusing science and engineering magazines in the library, I came across a picture of the new CT scanner General Electric was developing in Schenectady and Milwaukee, and I mused, “Just the thing for me!” Following my new career in biomedical engineering, and the development and marketing of three successful models of GE scanners, the last of which (GE 9800) I had the honor and pleasure of doing the system design for, I mused once more, “I don’t like corporate politics; maybe I will work at a university where there is no politics.” 🙂
After eight years at UNC-Chapel Hill and twenty-two as head (chair, director and dean) of biomedical engineering at the U of Tenn., Memphis, including a bunch of pubs, some patents, serving as adviser to thirty-six grad students, and several million dollars of federal research contracts, I hung up my slide rule—oops, computer—and entered the world of sailplanes, Senior Olympics, and novel writing.
I am blessed by having Kay and Arthur, many relatives and friends, and no enemies —at least, none who are blessing me. I think writing is hard work, but also a lot of fun.