MEITZLER, ALLEN HENRY, Ph.D. 1928-2020
written by Peter M. Meitzler
Dr. Allen Henry Meitzler, a retired applied physicist with the Ford Motor Company’s Systems Research Lab and former adjunct professor on the Dearborn campus of the University of Michigan, passed away peacefully Saturday, March 21, at his family residence in Ann Arbor after a brief illness. He was 91 and lived in Ann Arbor with his family since 1973.
Allen was born December 16, 1928, to parents Herbert Henry Meitzler and Estella Irene Wagner Meitzler in Allentown, PA. He obtained his B.S. in Physics in 1951 from Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA, where he was awarded a competitive scholarship for his entire undergraduate career. In June of 1953, he married Joan Catherine Egan in Allentown, PA. He then obtained both his Master’s in Physics (1953) and his Ph.D. in Physics (1955) from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA.
Very soon after graduating with his doctorate and prior to living in Ann Arbor, Allen joined the Solid State Device Development Laboratory of Bell Laboratories (“Bell Labs”) and worked in their Whippany and Murray Hill, NJ, offices focusing on ultrasonic delay lines, piezoelectric devices, and optical memory and display devices (including the “picture phone”).
In late 1972, Allen joined the Ford Motor Company, working as a project leader research scientist/engineer in the Electric Systems Department, Systems Research Laboratory at Ford’s Dearborn complex. And in a few months his family joined him in Ann Arbor. Allen’s work with Ford encompassed development of temperature-controlled sensors, sensor materials, catalytic converters and emission control systems, A/F sensors, and applications of digital microcomputers for engine controls. He later moved to the Advanced Components and Energy Systems Department, Long Range and Systems Research Laboratory of Ford where he explored fiber optic applications to process onboard vehicle data. Throughout his working life, Allen produced multiple journal articles, technical papers, and earned numerous U.S. patents.
Allen also was an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus from September 1979 until 2011, teaching classes on solid state electronics and electronics engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering.
Allen was a member and officer of several professional societies, including the IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers) Group on Sonics and Ultra-sonics, where he served in a number of capacities: as secretary/treasurer, then vice-chairman and chairman and finally on its Administration Committee. He was a member of the American Physical Society, the Acoustical Society of America, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the American Ceramic Society.
Allen took flying lessons in his earlier years (and soloed), was a licensed amateur radio operator and had a talent for drawing and illustration. In addition, he enjoyed playing tennis and golfing, and developed an interest in playing the banjo.
Allen is survived by his three sons: Thomas and his wife Carmelita of Troy and two granddaughters, Melanie of Ft. Worth, TX, and Angeline of New York City; Peter, also of New York City; and David, residing in Ann Arbor. Allen’s wife, Joan, and brothers, Richard of Kennett Square, PA, and Herbert of Bethlehem, PA, preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be held in Ann Arbor in the summertime. Allen was cremated at his direction and will be laid to rest in Forest Hills Cemetery. Online condolences may be left at www.meitzler.org/allen.
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We should all remember his good deeds and his contribution to the science. Condolences to his loved ones
I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. Meitzler. I thoroughly enjoyed our visits and our…
“If we meet again, then we’ll smile. If not, then this parting was well done.” -Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare