Dr. Dean Freitag was one of the early founders of the ISTVS, a group dedicated to the advancement in science and technology for the design of wheeled and tracked vehicles. Dr. Freitag pressured the U.S. Corps of Engineers to establish strong ties with the ISTVS in early 1960s, as an effort to transfer technology and advance the science of mobility in the United States. His technical publications embodying work in numerical similitude of wheeled and tracked vehicles based on the laboratories he helped to design at Auburn and Waterways Experiment Station. There is an old saying that when someone dies, a library burns to the ground. It is our hope that ISTVS will continue to serve Freitag allowing him to live on through his many publications. Dr. Freitag will be missed by the ISTVS community.
—Dr. George Mason
Professor Dean Freitag led the ISTVS as president from the 5th International Conference in Detroit, USA, in 1975 to the 6th International Conference in Vienna, Austria, in 1978. We are sad to report his passing at the beginning of September and celebrate his long professional career. From his obituary:
In Dean Freitag’s professional career, he held many prestigious positions. Early in his career he worked at Boeing Aerospace and the California Department of Highways. At the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, MS from 1953 until 1972 he was the Chief of the Mobility Research Branch and then the Assistant Technical Director. He was the Technical Director at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research Lab in Hanover, NH from 1972 until 1981. The later became a Professor of Civil Engineering at the Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN from 1981 until the mid-90’s. He was very proud of his work on the design of the wheels for the Lunar Rovers that went to the moon on the Apollo missions. He authored numerous papers and books on Off-road Mobility and Cold Regions Engineering.
Many of our members will have memories of working with Dean Freitag in his ISTVS years. We invite you to use the comments section below to share a story or two.