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OBITUARY

Paul S. Ruggera

August 30, 1944May 19, 2021

Paul Rugerra, born in Rock Springs, Wyoming on August 30, 1944, passed away May 19th, 2021 at INOVA Fairfax hospital, Fairfax, VA. Paul was predeceased by his parents, David & Anna Ruggera and his brothers James and Dave Ruggera. He is survived by his beloved wife, Doris, his sister-in-law, Teresa Ruggera, niece: Jamie Davison, sister-in-law Joanne Ruggera, nieces: Annette Combs, Bernadette Schoenfelder (God daughter), Charlotte Markam and Donnette Kelley. Brother-in-law Charles Hankins, nieces: Allison Roberts, Melissa Cottrell, Emily Cylc & Rebecca Rynders, Daughter of predeceased brother-in-law - Harry Hankins, niece, Wanda Dotson.

In the March 11, 2020 article Paul was presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Paul Ruggera celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

For 44 years, Mr. Ruggera has excelled in the field of engineering. In 1968, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS). He was assigned to the newly created Bureau of Radiological Health (BRH) as a result of the passage of the Radiation Control for Health and Safety Act of 1968. His work involved the measurement of ionizing radiation from color television sets and it contributed to a federal standard limiting the radiation to 0.5 milliroentgen per hour.

In 1970, he was assigned to investigate leakage from a newly emerging product, the microwave oven. The oven uses non-ionizing radiation (in the radio frequency (rf) band) in a sealed cavity to heat food. If the seal has a gap, unintentional exposure to a user could result. This is most likely to occur around the door, through debris buildup on, or other damage to the oven door's gasket. The primary concern of the BRH was limiting human exposure to safe levels of radiation (not causing tissue heating). The BRH wrote a performance standard that limits the oven's radiation level to 5 milliwatts (mW) of microwave radiation per square centimeter at approximately 2 inches from the oven surface. However, a report of an implanted pacemaker being inhibited near a microwave oven raised concern in the BRH and he was assigned to investigate. Through cooperation of both the pacemaker manufacturers and the microwave oven companies, studies were undertaken that showed that the level of radiation necessary to cause an implanted pacemaker to inhibit was well below the exposure standard. The electromagnetic characteristics of a signal between a radio frequency emitter, intentional or non-intentional, and a potentially susceptible medical device, implanted or external, defined the remainder of his career. Some of the other devices, and possible interference sources were: apnea monitors from FM radio transmitters; motorized wheel chairs from walkie-talkies; implanted pacemakers, defibrillators, and spinal cord stimulators from cellular phones, airport surveillance systems, and RFID tracking systems.

In a career filled with highlights, Mr. Ruggera is especially proud of obtaining a patent, along with co-inventor, Gideon Kantor, PhD, Helical Coil for Diathermy Apparatus. He later obtained another patent for a diathermy coil. As a consultant to the American Red Cross, he conducted research on the rapid warming of vitrified rabbit kidneys for transplant. He served 30 years as an officer in the USPHS, retiring with the rank of Captain from the Center of Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) of the Food and Drug Administration. He then continued this employment part time as a civil servant retiring after eight years. He then consulted with them periodically for the next six years. He is now an independent consultant on RF interference to medical devices. Current implanted medical devices have incorporated RF shielded cases and input filters to maintain their electromagnetic compatibility with the ever-changing ambient environment.

A registered professional engineer, Mr. Ruggera has earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and a Master of Science in bioengineering from the University of Wyoming. In order to remain aware of changes in the field, he is a life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and member of their Electromagnetic Compatibility Society. Utilizing his considerable knowledge, Mr. Ruggera has authored myriad articles published in the BRH Reports, the International Journal of Hyperthermia, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and the IEEE EMC Society Proceedings.

Due to his professional excellence, Mr. Ruggera has been presented with two Commendation Medals from the U.S. Public Health Service, as well as a U.S. Food and Drug Administration Group Award on numerous occasions. Likewise, he has been selected for inclusion in multiple editions of Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who in the East and Who's Who in the World. Paul’s life has touched many people, both personally and professionally. He will be truly missed.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, June 12th at 2 PM at St. John the Beloved Catholic Church,6420 Linway Terrace, McLean, VA 22101 In lieu of flowers and in honor of his wife, Doris, please give to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America 322 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10001

Services

  • Memorial Mass

    Saturday, June 12, 2021

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Memories

Paul S. Ruggera

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CHARLES HANKINS

June 12, 2021

Paul was the best brother-in-law and husband to our sister Doris (who joined him today in death) and uncle to all our nieces and nephews that we could ask for.
We will always be indebted to him for his care for Doris this last difficult years.

Malalai Mohammed

June 11, 2021

I will remember Paul as a educated, caring, helpful, and honest man. He was always willing to help out anyone without question. Being a caregiver of Dorris, Paul wife he had always been there for her. He was a great husband for Dorris. Paul will be missed, may he Rest In Peace.

Gene Allen

May 28, 2021

Paul is remembered as being with his wife at Church. His support and assistance to Doris was an example for all.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY