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Edward R. F. W. Crossman

Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Emeritus




Ted Crossman was born in Hambrooke, Bristol, England on September 16, 1925 and passed away February 5, 2001 at the age of 75. A man of many interests, he received his B.A. in natural sciences from Cambridge University, England and his Ph.D. in engineering production from Birmingham University, England. While a lecturer in general psychology at Oxford University, Crossman became a pioneer in the field of ergonomics, the design of human-friendly equipment. Interested in both safety and comfort, Ted conducted early research in joint pilot-aircraft dynamics and also worked to develop a special foam rubber to make body support systems more comfortable. His interest in airplanes stemmed from his service in the Royal Air Force during World War II.


In 1964, Crossman was invited to join the University of California, Berkeley faculty in the Department of Industrial Engineering to introduce a program in Applied Psychology and Human Factors in Engineering. His decision to leave England for California was accompanied by considerable consternation in the British Parliament, where at that time there was great concern about the "brain drain," the defection of England's best and brightest to American universities. His departure drew particular attention since his brother was an influential Member of Parliament.


At Berkeley, Crossman established both a Digital Simulation Laboratory and a Human Engineering Laboratory. His research programs became involved in a variety of projects ranging from fire risk and readiness of Berkeley households, to urban transit, to urban forestry, to machine-aided optometry, to job enrichment. Of particular interest to him was the automobile-driver interaction needed for steering control and the demand on human skills incurred under automation and other technological changes.


He became chairman of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in 1969, but after a year resigned that position in protest over the University's handling of student demonstrations.


Consistent with his professional concerns with issues in human-oriented design, Ted was always concerned with student interests. Thus, he freely gave his time and advice to any student who approached him, even after retirement from his office in Etcheverry Hall. He continued to meet with graduate students up until the time of his final illness.


Ted Crossman is survived by two sons and four grandchildren, and will be missed by all his colleagues.


Stuart E. Dreyfus

C. Roger Glassey

Shmuel S. Oren