Ferdinand Hamburger Jr., professor

February 10, 1994|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Sun Staff Writer

Ferdinand Hamburger Jr., a retired professor and chairman of the department of electrical engineering at Johns Hopkins University who established the university's archives that later were named for him, died Monday of Parkinson's disease at Church Home where he had been a resident since 1987.

Dr. Hamburger, who was 89, joined the faculty in 1931 and focused his research on radio transmission and reception. He also taught courses in the theory of radio, electron tubes, electricity and magnetism.

He was named chairman of the electrical engineering department in 1954 and directed the Carlyle Barton Radiation Laboratory on the Homewood campus that did research under contract to the Air Force from 1958 to 1971.

"He was a gentleman in every sense of the word and a scholar --a wonderful person. He brought members onto the faculty who were more distinguished than he was -- and he was a very successful and excellent engineer," said Robert H. Roy of Ruxton, a retired Hopkins dean who had known Dr. Hamburger since 1947.

Dr. Hamburger was born and reared in Baltimore and was a 1920 graduate of the Polytechnic Institute. He earned his bachelor's degree from Hopkins in 1924 and a doctorate in engineering in 1931, the year he joined the faculty.

He was made a full professor in 1947.

During World War II, he was chief test engineer at Bendix Radio in Towson and a consultant to the National Defense Research Committee. From 1945 to 1946, he worked in the Bureau of Ships of the Navy Department.

In 1970, the year he retired, he was appointed director of planning for Hopkins' centennial celebration in 1976.

"As a student, for both his bachelor's and doctoral degrees, and then as a teacher and academic administrator, Dr. Hamburger ** has been a loyal and effective member of the Johns Hopkins community for many years," Dr. Lincoln Gordon, president of Hopkins, said at the time of the appointment.

As a result of Dr. Hamburger's work during the centennial, the university archives were renamed the Ferdinand Hamburger Jr. Archives in 1977.

He was a member of many professional organizations, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Engineers Council for Professional Development. He was also a member of Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Phi, the Engineers Club of Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins Club, the American Society of Engineering Education, and the executive board of the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

He and his wife, the former Opal Leavitt of Indiana, made their home for many years on North Charles Street in Guilford. She died in 1987.

Survivors include a sister, Ronie H. Waldorf of Mount Washington; and several nephews and nieces.

Memorial donations may be made to the Ferdinand Hamburger Jr. Archives, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21218.

Services were held yesterday.

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