Lawrence L. Rauch

1972 | Interim Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Lawrence L. Rauch Enlarge
Lawrence L. Rauch.

Lawrence L. Rauch served as Interim Chair of the department in 1972, though his primary activities were in other departments and programs.

Rauch received his bachelor’s degrees in math and physics from the University of Southern California in 1941. While enrolled as a graduate student at Princeton University, he worked for the War Research Board until he graduated with is PhD in 1949.

An expert in radio telemetry and communications theory, Rauch had his hands on many exciting developments in the fields of radio, flight, and space travel. While at Princeton, he supervised a major aircraft telemeter project for which he received the Army and Navy award for outstanding contributions to the work of the Office of Scientific Research and Development during World War II.

As part of that research, Rauch supervised the development of radio telemetering for the first jet aircraft, and pressure telemetering for atomic bomb testing at the Bikini Atoll. He was involved in the design and testing of America’s first large space rockets.

In 1949, Rauch joined Michigan as an assistant professor of aeronautical engineering. During his early career at Michigan he organized a number of new graduate courses in nonlinear systems, radio telemetry, instrumentation, and control systems. He was the first chairman of the Nuclear Engineering Program and in 1952 initiated and became the first chairman of Instrumentation Engineering.

Professor Rauch continued to chair this program all the through its transformation into CICE, and he remained in the position from 1971 to 1976. He served as Interim Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 1972, putting him in the unique position of leading the two programs simultaneously that would go on to combine in 1984. He officially retired from U-M in 1979, though he had already begun his new career as chief technologist and senior research engineer at the NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Lab, a position he held until 1985.

Rauch wrote the first book on radio telemetry and received major awards at international telemetering conferences in London in 1960 and in the U.S. in 1985. In 1960 he was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Radio Engineers for his contributions to the theory and practice of radio telemetry.

Prof. Rauch passed away in December of 2007.

References and Further Reading

Lawrence Rauch on University of Michigan Faculty History Project
Princeton Alumni Record: Lawrence Rauch Memorial