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Roland Schinzinger

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Emeritus




Roland Schinzinger, professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer science, passed away at his home in Irvine on January 25, 2004 as the result of a heart attack. It was a tremendous loss to the University, where he was one of the founding faculty, a distinguished scholar, a dedicated and universally-liked teacher, and a diligent writer.

Professor Schinzinger was born on November 22, 1926 in Osaka, Japan three years after his German parents moved to Japan. After World War II, Roland decided to come to the United States. Upon his arrival in San Diego, he worked as a taxi driver and a ditch digger to support himself. He was soon awarded a scholarship to study at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned his B.S. in 1953 and M.S. in 1954, both in electrical engineering. Upon his graduation, Roland worked with Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and taught at Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey. He then returned to UC Berkeley to continue his studies toward a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering under the guidance of Professor Robert Saunders. In 1965, Roland followed his advisor Professor Saunders to the newly opened UC Irvine campus where he completed his Ph.D. research in 1966. The same year, he joined UCI as an assistant professor. Throughout the years, Professor Schinzinger served the School of Engineering as associate dean for undergraduate student affairs, associate dean for graduate affairs, and on occasion as acting dean. He also held a long-term joint appointment in the Graduate School of Management, where he was instrumental in developing a program in operations research. Roland became a professor emeritus on January 1, 1993, but remained active in teaching classes and mentoring students. He was the academic director of the Energy Scholars Program and a mentor to the students who participated in independent studies of the electric vehicle. During his career at UCI, he authored many articles and books in a broad spectrum of research areas covering engineering ethics, power systems, operations research, and education.

Professor Schinzinger was not only a great citizen of UCI, but also of Irvine, Orange County, and the world. Due to his experience in World War II Japan, the peace movement was a passion and a drive throughout his life. He participated in many peace rallies during his undergraduate years at Berkeley. He worked as a counselor at the Santa Ana Peace Center during the Vietnam War . Even recently, he would often stay up late writing and working on e-mails sent all over the world related to issues of peace. His influence reached far and near. Our neighborhoods were the immediate beneficiary. He and his family were members of the Society of Friends, the Quaker congregation in Costa Mesa. He served on the Irvine Planning Commission, as a member of the energy committees for the city and the county, and was the founder of the bicycle trails located throughout Irvine today.

Roland lived a virtuous and influential professional and political life, which he balanced with a strong caring for and focus on his wonderful family. He married Jane Harris in 1952, and together they had one son, Stefan, and two daughters, Annelise and Barbara. Roland was a loving father and husband, and together they traveled the world and left profound imprints on those they met. In 1993, Jane died of cancer. Later, Roland married Shirley Price and together they enjoyed life to the fullest. Their union brought their families even closer together and their joy touched all whom they knew. The world is a better place for Roland’s presence, and all who met him, worked with him, and loved him gained at least a thought, a viewpoint, or a gesture that made a difference in their lives.


Keyue and Greg Smedley

Jean-Luc Gaudiot