Click here to login if you're an NAE Member
Recover Your Account Information
This is the third volume in the series of Memorial Tributes compiled by the National Academy of Engineering as a personal remembrance of the lives and outstanding achievements of its members and international members. These volumes are intended to stand as an enduring record of the many contributions of engineers and engineering to the benefit of humankind. In most cases, the authors of the tributes are contemporaries or colleagues who had personal knowledge of the interests and the engineering accomplishments of the deceased.
BY DONALD C. BURNHAM
Albert G. Holzman, professor and chairman of the Department of Industrial Engineering, Engineering Management, and Operations Research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering, died of a heart attack at the age of sixty-three on May 1, 1985, while attending a professional society meeting in Boston. Dr. Holzman spent his entire career—his education, his industrial experience, and his academic teaching and management years—in the field of industrial engineering.
Dr. Holzman was born in 1921 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Pittsburgh from which he received both a B.S. and an M.S. in industrial engineering and a Ph.D. in economics. After two years of experience as an industrial analyst with the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Holzman joined the staff of the University of Pittsburgh as an assistant professor.
He moved rapidly up the academic ladder and in 1958 became a full professor in the School of Industrial Engineering. Albert Holzman retained this professorship while concurrently serving as chairman of the Industrial Engineering Department in 1965. He also served as the director of engineering operations of the NASA Technology Transfer Center from 1965 to 1972.
During the twenty years that Dr. Holzman was chairman of the Industrial Engineering Department of the University of Pittsburgh, he organized and managed his department so well that the university became one of the outstanding industrial engineering schools in the country. Dr. Holzman not only advocated the use of traditional industrial engineering techniques and procedures, but he also brought this entire field into the new computer age at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to promoting the use of computers in industrial engineering, he was active on a national basis in the use of operations research.
Although he was located in the heart of an industrial city, the scope of his vision extended beyond those confines, and he advocated the use of industrial engineering not only in manufacturing but also in the services area. Indeed, many of the graduates of his school went to work in hospitals and service-related industries. He believed that industrial engineering and operations research could be applied successfully in nearly every field of endeavor.
Dr. Holzman authored a number of books and scores of articles on industrial engineering and operations research. He contributed to society by marshaling the talents of engineers and scientists throughout the world in the development of the sixteen-volume Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology (New York: Marcel Dekker, 1975). Other important books he wrote were Operations Research Support Methodology (New York: Marcel Dekker, 1979) and Mathematical Programming for Operations Researchers and Computer Scientists (New York: Marcel Dekker, 1981). He also contributed to many encyclopedias on subjects such as industrial engineering, linear programming, game theory, decision making, critical path methods, nonlinear programming, and information retrieval systems design.
Dr. Holzman was a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania and served as a consultant to numerous companies, including Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Climax Molybdenum Company, and H. B. Maynard and Company. He was a member of the board of directors of On Line Systems, Inc.
Dr. Holzman was a fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and a member of the Operations Research Society of America, the Institute of Management Sciences, and the American Society for Engineering Education. He served in many high-level positions within each of these societies. He also received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1982 from the University of Pittsburgh Engineering Alumni Association. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1984.
Although Dr. Holzman's great achievements in the fields of industrial engineering and operations research required much devotion, he did not neglect his personal life. He placed the importance of his family and his religion above everything else. In 1945 he married Joan Michalowski, who had been a high school classmate. They had five children: three sons, Thomas G. of Atlanta, Georgia; Richard G. of Baltimore, Maryland; and David of Glenshaw, Pennsylvania; and two daughters, Judith Bajgier of Cherry Hill, New Jersey; and Jacqueline Fincher of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Joan frequently accompanied him on professional trips to South America and Europe.
Dr. Holzman was active in his church and in his local PTA. In addition to all of his personal and professional activities, he found time to play tennis weekly year-round and enjoyed playing with his dog, a Great Dane.
Together with his technical and educational achievements, Dr. Holzman made many friends among his colleagues and students. His contributions to society will continue through those who have been influenced by his work.