synthesizers; a commercial version (OVE III) enjoyed wide use because of the quality of both its speech and its engineering. He also developed an improved vocoder that Ericsson built for military use.
Over a period of more than four decades, Gunnar attracted and worked with many colleagues and students on a variety of topics related to speech technology, speech disorders and acquisition, and other aspects of speech and language. His mode of interaction was informal, with coffee breaks and friendly discussion on many topics. Each year his laboratory produced progress reports that were referenced by researchers around the world.
In 1961 Gunnar received the Gold Medal of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). He was elected a member of IVA in 1963—one the youngest members—and became professor at KTH in 1966. He was elected a foreign associate of the National Academy of Engineering in 1982. Gunnar retired formally in 1987 but remained a leading scientist at KTH until his death in 2009.
Gunnar received many other honors during his over 50 years in the field. In 1980 he received the Silver Medal of the Acoustical Society of America. In 1985 he was jointly named with Jim Flanagan to share the L. M. Ericsson International Prize in Telecommunications. In 2004 Gunnar received jointly with Ken Stevens the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Signal Processing Society’s James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award.
Gunnar created a unique fellowship within his laboratory and with colleagues worldwide that was characterized by friendship, caring, respect, scientific freedom, and collaboration. For all of us who knew him and worked with him, he leaves deep loss, but with many fond memories, both technical and social. He is survived by his daughter, Maria Fant Laitanen, and his son, Anders Fant.