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Week of January 21, 2013


Design professor Shaun Jackson dies following Florida plane crash

By Rick Fitzgerald
Public Affairs

Shaun Jackson, a professor of art and design who has received international acclaim for his work, died Jan. 15 from injuries sustained in a Florida plane crash.

Jackson, 63, of Ann Arbor, was a passenger in a single-engine airplane that crashed while taking off Saturday from an airport near Sarasota, Fla. The pilot was killed in the crash. Jackson was airlifted to a hospital in Tampa for treatment of extensive burns.

In a message to the faculty and staff of the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, Dean Gunalan Nadarajan said he was “deeply saddened to share the news that our friend Shaun Jackson has passed away.”
Nadarajan said that for more than two decades, Jackson had been a “dedicated and beloved member of our community, mentoring generations of designers and sharing his optimism and love of life with all of us.

“He was the model of the interdisciplinary design educator, teaching across units and holding faculty appointments in art and design, architecture, and business. The entire university has lost a true friend and citizen.”

Monica Ponce de Leon, dean of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, said Jackson created an extraordinary legacy and his work will provide inspiration for years to come.

“His passion as an educator and his unwavering commitment to the power of design will remain with us. He was a beautiful person whose mission was to make the world a more beautiful place,” she said. “We are indebted to his generosity of spirit.”

In addition to his appointments at U-M, Jackson was an inventor, designer and entrepreneur. He founded his first company, Eclipse Inc., while still an undergraduate student at U-M, where he studied architecture.

As president and design director at Eclipse, he guided the company’s growth from a small venture to a multimillion-dollar corporation with a global distribution network. Because of Jackson’s commitment to design-driven excellence, Eclipse was selected as a case study for a National Endowment for the Arts research project titled “The Competitive Edge: The Role of Design in American Business.”

Jackson’s current firm, Shaun Jackson Design Inc., serves clients including Apple, Dell, Toshiba, General Electric Medical Systems, Herman Miller, Nike, L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer, Harley Davidson and Patagonia.

A respected member of North America’s industrial design community, Jackson holds more than 50 patents and has received national and international honors.

Jackson is survived by his wife, Catherine Banish-Jackson, sons Taylor and Ryan, and stepdaughters Sydney and Rachel Tuchman. Memorial arrangements are pending.


AOSS researcher and lecturer Jason Daida dies

By the Record staff

Jason Daida, an associate research scientist and lecturer in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences and the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, died Jan. 9 after battling with cancer. He was 53.

“Jason was a beloved teacher of many of our first-year students and made a real difference in their lives,” said James P. Holloway, associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Engineering.

In addition to his work on the Ann Arbor campus, Daida was a frequent visiting faculty member at the UM-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute in Shanghai.

Holloway said Daida was well known as an “innovative, friendly and compelling teacher” who taught introductory classes for first-year engineering students. In recognition of his work, Daida earned the college’s Teaching Excellence Award.

In a message to colleagues in the departments of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences and Industrial and Operations Engineering, department chairs James Slavin and Mark Daskin said Daida would be missed by his colleagues and also by the many students who took his introductory classes.

“We are especially grieved to think of the students who will now never be able to learn from this extraordinary teacher and mentor,” they wrote.

Daida’s research was in the theory and application of computational intelligence supporting open-ended problem solving, discovery and innovation. His work had applications across disciplines, including earth and space sciences and genetic programming. He was a founding editorial board member of the Journal in Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines.

Daida is survived by his wife, Sandy Daida, and three children, Kaily, Matt and Jeannie.


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