Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

George Leitmann: Engineering Science, Risk, and Relationships at UC Berkeley and Beyond

Interviewee(s):
Leitmann, George
Interviewer(s):
Burnett, Paul
Title:
George Leitmann: Engineering Science, Risk, and Relationships at UC Berkeley and Beyond
Abstract:
George Leitmann is Professor Emeritus of Engineering Science at UC Berkeley. Born in Vienna, Leitmann’s family immigrated to the United States in 1940. Dr. Leitmann subsequently fought with distinction in World War II for the US Army’s combat engineers. After the war, he worked for the Counter Intelligence Corps where, among other duties, he was an interrogator for the Nuremberg Trials. After studying physics at Columbia University, Dr. Leitmann worked at the Naval Ordnance Test Station – China Lake, where he rose to become the head of aeroballistics. He completed his PhD in 1956 in engineering science and was hired immediately as a professor at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering until his retirement in 1991. Dr. Leitmann helped found the field of control theory, which then branched into seminal contributions to ballistics, game theory, ecological systems, economics, seismic research, wind shear, and counterterrorism, among other subjects. His 60-year career at UC Berkeley was also marked by academic service, including as the university’s first ombudsman during the unrest around campus in 1969, service on the budget committee, numerous associate deanships for the College of Engineering, and as the head of multiple campus-wide programs.
Subject area(s):
Education, University of California
Interview date(s):
2018, 2019
Project:
Education and University of California - Individual Interviews
Rights:
George Leitmann, “George Leitmann: Engineering Science, Risk, and Relationships at UC Berkeley and Beyond” conducted by Paul Burnett in 2018 and 2019, Oral History Center of the Bancroft Library, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2019.