Applying science

Dov Hazony

October 28, 1926 to June 20, 2020

Professor Dov Hazony was just what Case and an industrious city needed

If you were a manufacturer in Cleveland’s industrial heyday in the latter half of the 20th century, chances are you knew of Professor Dov Hazony, the handy scientist from Case Institute of Technology.


Hazony, who passed away June 20 at the age of 93, excelled in an era when applied science helped propel the economy. He took the Case name from NASA to Cleveland Clinic to Gould Ocean Systems as a problem-solving consultant. For years, he was as likely to be seen on a factory floor as in a lecture hall.


The same could be said of many of his colleagues. Case faculty possessed engineering expertise that helped advanced manufacturers and research centers operate at the cutting edge. But the soft-spoken engineer from the Holy Land was often busier than most.


“Of the faculty at that time, he was probably the most practical, doing science that was very applied,” said Frank Merat, ’72, MS ’75,  PhD ’78, who worked with Hazony in the department of electrical engineering for 25 years. “He was the epitome of the old school academic who would really research and think things through.” 


And find answers.


“He had a laboratory in his basement, supposedly it was better than the one at Case,” Merat recalled.


Hazony, who taught physics and engineering at Case for 45 years, specialized in networks and ultrasonics, the harnessing of sound waves to make possible medical imaging, underwater navigation, sensing devices and fault analysis of pylons, steel beams and foundations. The applications were immense in a city that built things.

He was also an important contributor to Case, which awarded him the title of Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science upon his retirement in 2004 at age 78.


“Being a professor was such an integral part of who he was,” wrote his daughter, Orly Rumberg, a lawyer in Cincinnati. She shared the campus with her father for seven years while earning her bachelors and law degrees from CWRU. It’s where she met her husband, Steve Rumberg ’93.


Hazony, who taught a popular class in ultrasonics, wrote more than 70 scholarly articles and earned nine patents relating to ultrasound transducers. His 1963 textbook, Elements of Network Synthesis, contained a dedication that spoke to the historical tragedy to which he felt a lifelong connection: “To my parents and the 6 million who lost their lives.” 


Hazony was born in British occupied Palestine in 1926 to Ukrainian immigrants. He came to the U.S. after World War II and earned his PhD in electrical engineering from UCLA. In 1959, Professor Samuel Seely recruited him to CIT.


Hazony particularly enjoyed working with graduate students and formed lifelong friendships with many of them, his family wrote in his obituary. He taught himself to play the flute and mandolin, spoke Hebrew at home, and stayed in close touch with friends and family in Israel. He was especially devoted to Rina, his wife of 55 years, with whom he travelled the country.


As a consulting scientist, he worked with research centers, factories and hospitals that had an idea to try or a problem to solve.


“He was constantly thinking and would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with the solution,” his family wrote. 


The eureka moments, often in his basement lab, had many a company thanking the stars—and Dov Hazony.


“Of the faculty at that time, he was probably the most practical, doing science that was very applied. He was the epitome of the old school academic who would really research and think things through.” 

— Frank Merat, '72, MS '75,  PhD '78


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