It is with great sadness to let you know that our distinguished colleague Irving (Irv) Engelson passed away on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.
Irv joined IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society (SMCS) almost 40 years ago. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he often participated as an ex-officio Board of Governors (BoG) member and since then provided advice to SMCS Presidents. Irv served as a Chair of the SMCS Strategic Planning Task Force (2004–2005), SMCS BoG member (2008–2009), SMCS Vice President Long Range Planning and Finance member (2010–2013), and SMCS Vice President Organization and Planning (2014–2015). Irv was an expert on IEEE governance issues. Many of us worked closely with Irv over many years and very much respected his knowledge, help, and guidance.
Irv received his B.S. (EE) with great distinction (Polytechnic Institute, Brooklyn), M.S. (Rutgers University), and Ph.D. (EE) (Worcester Polytechnic Institute). He was an NSF Faculty Research Fellow at the Princeton Neuropsychiatric Institute, held executive positions in industry (RCA), academe (University of Nebraska and New Jersey Institute of Technology), and the IEEE. He served on the IEEE Board of Directors as Division and Region Director as well as an officer of several Societies and Councils. Irv also served as IEEE Parliamentarian and IEEE Presidential Advisor.
Irv gave numerous lectures and testimonies, spoke seven languages, and held positions in academic and scientific organizations. He was the recipient of numerous recognitions. He was very proud to be the second non-Russian to be named an Honorary Member of the Russia Popov Society. Eta Kappa Nu honored him for “exemplary leadership,” IEEE Technical Activities Board for “innovative leadership,” and the IEEE Board of Directors for “management leadership.” The IEEE Engineering Management Society named him “Engineering Manager of the Year” and the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors recognized him for “Grateful Service to Societies.” Irv was the recipient of the 2006 and 2019 IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society Outstanding Contribution Awards. He was also a Life Fellow of IEEE.
Irv will be greatly missed. We will miss his wit, dry humor, and his New Year’s missives.
Board of Governors IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society