Elected in 1977
“For contribution to the theory and application of microwave propagation in complex media and for leadership in engineering education.”
BY THEODOR TAMIR
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
LEOPOLD B. FELSEN, an internationally renowned authority on wave electrodynamics with applications to electrical engineering, optics, acoustics, and geophysics, died on September 24, 2005, at the age of 81.
Leo, as his close colleagues and friends generally knew him, was born in Munich, Germany, on May 7, 1924, to Jewish parents. Upon witnessing anti-Semitic persecutions that were initiated by the Nazis before World War II, his parents sent him in 1939 to England, after which he managed to reach New York in 1940. As a new American, he served in the Army for three years. He thereafter married his wife Sima in 1944 and they had two children, Michael and Judy.
Prompted by an early but keen mathematical insight and interest in science and engineering, Leo studied at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now Polytechnic Institute of New York University), where he received the degrees of B.E.E., M.E.E., and D.E.E. in 1948, 1949, and 1952, respectively. He then joined the faculty of that institute, where he became