Hall of Fellows

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Fellow Joseph Traub

Joseph E. Traub

Mark Bresler submitted this rememberance:

I worked under Joe Traub from September 1976 until December 1977. He was director of the U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare office that funded rehabilitation engineering research including the Rehabilitation Engineering Centers. Along with Dick LeClair and Gladys, the secretary, we managed quite a variety of domestic and international projects. Prior to my arrival, many countries would pay for grain imports in their local currency. These funds were used by the United States to help maintain their embassies, with a surplus sometimes accruing. Countries could apply to use these funds for research and indeed many countries took advantage of this opportunity, conducting rehabilitation related activities. Joe visited many of these overseas research projects in such places as India, Ceylon, Israel, Pakistan, and Egypt (this is in no means a full list). His work in Egypt made him friendly with Mrs. Sadat, who visited him on several occasions when she was in the United States.

Being a prosthetist, he was very aware of people's gait. One day he observed me carrying my briefcase and suggested I change hands so that I was not carrying it in my dominant hand, a practice I have continued to this day.

I need to elaborate on my timeline. I was started out on a 700 hour temporary appointment. This was not renewed fast enough, so Joe and Ben Wilson arranged a temporary transfer and I spent Christmas at Moss Rehab Hospital, living in the nurse's quarters for several weeks working on electronic communication devices. Once I returned to HEW, I realized I wanted to do engineering rather than the paperwork behind engineering so Joe arranged with Colin McLaurin for me to come to the University of Virginia REC.

I realize this is very sketchy, if I knew I would be asked to recall my time with Joe so many years later, I could have taken more notes and saved some papers. I am very thankful to Joe and Dick for giving me the opportunity to meet many of the movers and shakers in assistive technology and helping give my career such a great start.