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Engineering Technician Dold Retires

By Dr. Robert E. Burke

George M. Dold, engineering technician with the Laboratory of Neural Control (LNLC), NINDS, is retiring after 32 years of federal service. He will be sorely missed by his many friends at NIH who have depended on his ingenuity and skill.

Dold is known as the wizard who can build virtually anything electrical, mechanical, electromechanical, electronic, photographic, automotive -- you name it. For years, scientists in LNLC and in many other laboratories inside and outside NIH have come to him with technical problems. The scenario usually goes like this. He listens for a while, sometimes muttering that there is no solution for this one, and then says "Well, we'll see when I can get to it." After a day or two, he delivers a beautifully constructed device that exactly fits the need. If, after presenting your situation, Dold laughs and says, "You know that can't be done, don't you?" you can be quite sure that a solution will be forthcoming. He has received several awards for his innovative designs. Dold has an encylopedic knowledge of machine tools, esoteric parts, construction techniques, all manner of glues, gaskets, gewgaws and gadgets. He usually has a strong opinion about everything -- and sometimes it doesn't pay to ask. Most useful of all, he seems able to get hold of whatever part or material that is needed in the most effective way -- now.

Dold grew up in Chicago and began his career in the U. S. Navy, where he became an electronics technician dealing with sonar, radar and radio equipment on submarines. After leaving the Navy, he took courses at the Illinois Institute of Technology and in 1959 went to work at the University of Chicago as an electronics technician. Dold joined what was then NINCDS by taking a position as an electronics engineer in the Laboratory of Perinatal Physiology, headed by Dr. Ronald Myers. This was particularly attractive to Dold and his wife Graciela, both of whom are of Hispanic heritage, because that laboratory was located near San Juan, Puerto Rico. When it closed in 1972, he moved his family to Bethesda and became the engineering technician for LNLC. The rest is history.

George and Graciela plan to relocate to a warmer climate in the Southwest, closer to Mexico where they both have family. The landscapes and towns there will be well recorded -- Dold is an avid photographer who loves documenting the landscapes, towns, and churches of Mexico and the Southwest. He leaves a legacy of grateful scientists who still use the devices he made for them. He leaves another legacy as well -- his son, George Dold, Jr., who is carrying on the great tradition as an engineer in the Research Services Branch, NIMH. All is not lost!

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