Arnold Ruskin, a professional engineer, manager, consultant and educator for more than 40 years, who served as professor of engineering at Harvey Mudd College from 1963 to 1973, passed away on Dec. 28.
Arnie was one of the early pioneers who was instrumental in developing HMC into what it is today.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21 in the Green Room at Harvey Mudd College, 310 Platt Blvd., Claremont.
He graduated from the University of Michigan with BSE, MSE, and PhD degrees in materials engineering. In 1963, he joined HMC, which was a fledging new college of engineering, science, and mathematics. He made many significant contributions to this new venture. He developed the basis for the materials engineering course, which is now part of the core program for all engineering students, and he also initiated courses in engineering economics and engineering management.
He was a very important early contributor to the innovative engineering clinic program which proved to be a landmark in experiential engineering and has now been emulated by hundreds of colleges and universities in the US and abroad.
At HMC he rose through the ranks, achieving tenure and becoming a full professor of engineering and the Union Oil Fellow in engineering. When Arnie arrived, the department was actively involved in planning its future. While at HMC, he also earned a master of business economics degree at the Claremont Graduate University and was also a professor of economics and business there. This is an example of one of Arnie's strengths, namely his boundless energy and tremendous hard work. At the time, Arnie wanted to expand his broad interests into areas that engineers and scientists were just beginning to appreciate, that the success of technical projects often relied heavily on economics, costs and project management. This set the pattern for the rest of his professional career.
He left HMC to accept a position as engineering manager at Everett/Charles Inc. He then became the vice president and program manager of the Claremont Engineering Company. This company was focused on helping Occidental Petroleum Company attempt to commercialize a novel approach to extracting oil from oil shale. He was involved in many facets of the project including the environmental impact studies. He then co-founded the Claremont Consulting Group, which has become a highly acclaimed organization in training, coaching, and consulting for Fortune 500 companies as well as small entrepreneurial enterprises, government agencies and national research and development laboratories.
Arnie provided training short training courses in project management, system engineering and technical management to over 10,000 engineers, scientists, managers, and executives in the U.S. and abroad. He consulted or provided training courses to over 150 organizations. For many years, he also presented short courses at UCLA and Caltech.
He held several management positions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, including deputy manager of the System Engineering Resource Center where he developed tools and provided consulting in project management and system engineering. He had also been an adjunct professor of engineering and director of the engineering executive program at UCLA.
He was a registered professional engineer in California and Colorado, certified project management professional, certified management consultant, and also a chartered engineer in Great Britain. He received the Dean's Distinguished Instructor Award from UCLA for his outstanding contributions to their short course programs in engineering management. He has been profiled in Who's Who in Technology Today, Who's Who in Finance and Industry, American Men and Women of Science, Who's Who in the West, and Who's Who in California.
He was the author of two books, "What Every Engineer Should Know About Project Management," coauthored with W.E. Estes, now in its third edition; and "Materials Considerations in Design." He also published over 35 papers on engineering, project management and technical management. He held one patent. He was a member of the editorial board and book review editor of Engineering Management International and a member of the editorial board of Engineering Management Journal.
In addition to his many professional contributions, he was in the marching band while a student at the University of Michigan. Later in life he continued to play the trumpet as well as becoming an avid collector of hundreds of trumpets, cornets, flugelhorns, and other musical instruments.
He will be deeply missed by many professionals and friends around the world. He is survived by his wife Nancy; daughter and son-in-law Sandra and James Reilly, M.D.; grandson Timothy Maxwell and a sister, Rae Ruskin.