I started as an Assistant Professor in 1964 and retired forty years later in 2004, after serving as department chairman and Associate Dean for Instruction in the School of Engineering. In 1963, I was reviewing my options after completing my Master's degree in the bay area at San Jose State. My roommate Ray Halfaker and I were scanning through the ASEE journal or the American Society for Engineering in Education and we saw that Long Beach State had been accredited by the ECPD. So the two of us called Rod Lewis, the Department Chair for the Electrical Engineering department, and expressed interest. Rod interviewed both Ray and myself at the San Francisco Airport. In those days the Electrical Engineering (EE) Department did not have much funding so Rod Lewis interviewed us at the Airport as he happened to be traveling. We were both accepted and began our tenure at LBSC.
I have been able to prognosticate fairly well over the years. I knew that Long Beach was a place with opportunity. At the time, I realized that Long Beach was situated in a great location both geographically and professionally. The aerospace industry was booming during those years with firms throughout Los Angeles County and Orange County. LBSC is situated so well between both counties. I knew that these companies would need talent. Our engineering graduates were very successful in being placed into industry immediately upon graduation. I am proud of the contributions our graduates have made to the research and development efforts and scientific accomplishments of our country. My prediction was on the dot, as these companies provided much of our equipment and continued to offer scholarships to the university. Furthermore, I knew that the State was committed to higher education and it was exciting starting and expanding a young EE Department. I was also given the opportunity to begin the Control Systems area in the EE department as I had industrial experience in Control Systems.
In 1976, after receiving my PhD from UCI the year prior, I was promoted to Full Professor. Two years later, I was elected as the Department Chairman. It was an honor for me to be chosen as chairman especially at a young age; I was only in my early forties. The EE department was growing in leaps and bounds and reflected in that growth was the construction of the VEC building and eventually the new ECS building. Within the Control Systems area, I began some courses in robotics and communication satellite systems. In 1990, I directed an Advanced Study Institute (ASI) funded by NATO titled Expert Systems and Robotics. There were over 100 participants from around Europe, US, and Canada.
Yes. I occasionally get together with former colleagues and not just in my field. Last Christmas the current chairman Dr. Chassiakos hosted a party for faculty and staff, new and older, from the EE department. Dean Golshani invites me to many campus events where I interface with old friends.
I have two children: my son is a physician in Newport Beach and my daughter has a p PH.D. in physical chemistry from UC Berkeley and teaches chemistry in Southern California. I spend much of my free time with my family. We see each other often and enjoy each other’s company. In addition, I participate and offer my time and resources to the non-profit organization Olive Crest Foundation. They are an organization that houses and feeds students that come from abusive family backgrounds. In addition I have my own non-profit organization that provides assistance to students and children with a similar background. It is on a small scale, and we do not solicit funds. In addition to that work, I do some writing, reading, traveling, and spend quality time with my two grandchildren.
Growing! Dynamic! Full of enthusiasm!