Posted January 19, 2000
E. Paul DeGarmo, a mechanical engineering professor who was a key figure in the development of Berkeley's department and curriculum in industrial engineering, died Jan. 5, three weeks short of his 93rd birthday.
DeGarmo began teaching at Berkeley in 1937, after earning his M.S. in mechanical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. He worked as a factory control engineer at Firestone Tire and Rubber Company while attending Caltech.
His early research at Berkeley focused on welding, including a two-and-a-half year project in the 1940s to study the failure of the Navy's all-welded cargo ships. In 1948, the American Welding Society awarded the Lincoln Gold Medal to DeGarmo for his paper presenting a solution to the problem.
DeGarmo was a founder of the Department of Industrial Engineering (now Industrial Engineering and Operations Research) and served as its chairman from 1956-60. He was also assistant dean of the College of Engineering for three years while continuing his teaching responsibilities.
During his later years at Berkeley, his work centered on manufacturing processes and engineering economy issues. He was author or co-author of three textbooks, widely used throughout the world.
At the time he retired from active teaching in 1971, DeGarmo held a joint appointment in the mechanical and industrial engineering departments, and he continued his research, writing, and consulting for many years. In 1996, at the age of 89, he received the Wellington Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers.
DeGarmo's wife, Mary, died in 1995; he is survived by his sons, David and Richard, and many grandchildren. The family prefers that memorial contributions be made to the American Red Cross.