George Friedman

Professor Emeritus, Astronautical Engineering

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Dr. Friedman received his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley in 1949. He received his MS and PhD degrees from UCLA in 1956 and 1967 in the fields of Controls, Computer Science and Applied Mathematics.
Dr. Friedman has 45 years of non-repetitive experience in the aerospace industry in the areas of stealth bombers, missiles, terminally guided submunitions, spacecraft, electro-optical and acoustic sensors, avionics integration and stellar-aided inertial navigation systems. He retired as chief technical officer of Northrop Corporation in 1993 where he was responsible for the development of all engineering processes -- including systems engineering -- as well as the allocation of research and development investments to the operating divisions. He served in the US Army in 1946 and 1950-2 and was part of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency.
Work History
  • Pre-1949: grader for mechanical engineering courses at UCLA and UC Berkeley
  • 1949- 1956: Los Angeles Dept of Water and Power: Mech Engr Associate
  • 1956 -1960: Servomechanisms Inc, Development Engineer
  • 1960- 1993: Northrop Corp, starting as Engineering Specialist, retiring as
  • Corporate vice president of engineering and technology.
  • 1994: International Council on System Engineering, President
  • 1995-present: USC; presently Professor of the Practice
Research Interests
Systems Engineering.Cognitive foundations of decisions and mathematical models.Management of complexity.
  • International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE): Fellow, Founder's Award.
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers(IEEE): Fellow, Baker Prize for best paper.
  • Institute for the Advancement of Engineering(IAE): Fellow.
  • American Institute of Aeronautics, Astronautics (AIAA): Associate Fellow, Outstanding member.
Participation on Panels, Workshops and Committees
  • NATO Industrial Advisory Group: on international development of air-to-air missiles.
  • US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board: on special operations forces, unmanned vehicles.
  • National Science Foundation: on decision-based design and robotics for space solar power.
  • NASA/DOE/USAF: Planetary Defense Workshop on the threat from asteroids and comets.
Recent Publications
23 peer-reviewed papers published. Significant examples (Friedman sole author):
  1. "Constraint Theory", IEEE Trans on Systems Science and Cybernetics, Vol SSC-5, 1969. (This paper won the IEEE's Baker prize for the best paper that year).
  2. "Selective Feedback Computers", Evolutionary Computation, IEEE Press, 1998 (This paper, originally written in 1956, was identified as the first published in this new field).
  3. "The Effective Use of Advanced Technology," Journal of Defense Research, Spring 1982 (This paper defined new research directions, foreshadowing the Gulf War technologies).
  4. "Risk Management Applied to Planetary Defense," IEEE Trans, Vol AES-33, No. 2, 1997 (Applied decision theory for the response to the asteroid/comet threat to earth).

Published on May 1st, 2017

Last updated on November 12th, 2019