Alfred M. Feiler; Engineer on Spruce Goose, UCLA Professor
Alfred M. Feiler, engineer, inventor, educator and project management expert who worked with Howard Hughes on the Spruce Goose, has died. He was 77.
Feiler, who spent most of his life and career in Los Angeles, died of a heart attack July 7 at his home in New York City, his daughter, Carol Feiler, said this week.
The engineer worked extensively with government transportation and military organizations beginning in World War II, when he designed improvements on submarine propellers. As an Army lieutenant, he also helped build the Alcan Highway.
Feiler joined Hughes Aircraft Co. after teaching briefly at Syracuse University, where he built its hydrodynamics laboratory.
Meeting with the reclusive Hughes to go over blueprints, Feiler designed hydraulic systems for the ailerons of the huge wooden plane that Hughes piloted aloft a single time.
As a UCLA professor of engineering from 1962 to 1978, Feiler led research into advanced management principles and developed software for advanced project management for the departments of Navy, Commerce, Transportation and Defense.
In 1973, he founded Log/An Inc. and served as its president until his death. The company develops advanced project management systems for transportation, airways, defense, energy, health care and aerospace for the federal government and private clients worldwide.
Feiler was under contract to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the time of the bombing of the New York World Trade Center, and helped plan and direct rehabilitation of the complex and restoration of Port Authority service to tenants.
A native of New York, Feiler earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering at Carnegie Tech, where he was a 1938 all-American goalie in ice hockey.
Feiler is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, Lea, and two daughters, Carol of Los Angeles and Jo of New York City.