Logo: University of Southern California

'Gerry' Fleischer First Recipient of New Education Honor

Sonny Astani and Daniel Epstein recommend him for the National Engineering Economy Teaching Excellence Award
Eric Mankin
April 12, 2010 —

This year, the American Society for Engineering Education added a new honor to those it distributes at its annual conference - and the new one goes to the Viterbi School's Gerald "Gerry" Fleischer.

The author of Introduction to Engineering Economy (1994) and many other publications on the subject will receive the distinction, the National Engineering Economy Teaching Excellence Award, this summer.

"Anyone who has touched the arc of USC Professor Emeritus Gerry Fleischer's contribution to

"Gerry" Fleischer: "uncompromising commitment"
the field of industrial and systems engineering knows Gerry's passions for engineering economy, and for quality teaching," said James E. Moore, chair of the Daniel Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

"Over a span of 35 years, from 1964 until his retirement from USC in 1998, Gerry Fleischer's instruction on the fundamentals of rational, economic decision making has touched the lives of thousands of Viterbi students, and shaped their collective ability to identify and respond to opportunities.  His uncompromising commitment to the subject has colored the intellectual culture of the Epstein Department, the Viterbi School, and our field."

Two businessmen who gave their names to departments at the Viterbi School, including one former student, were among those recommending him for the prize.

“Gerry’s reputation in the professional community, for his accomplishments in advancing the principles and methodologies of engineering economy, both nationally and in Southern California in particular, deserve special mention," said Daniel Epstein. "Gerry is very well thought of by the hundreds, if not thousands of his students over more than three decades as an engineering economy educator.”

"He was (and remains) legendary," said Sonny Astani. "It is no exaggeration to say that he was the paramount personality in economic analysis and was (and remains) an inspiration to many.  I note the profound effect that Dr. Fleischer had upon me as I developed professionally in subsequent years.   Fueled in part by what I had learned in his class, I have been successful in business in Los Angeles. As I told a reporter for a 2008 USC Engineer magazine story, Gerald Fleischer’s Engineering Economics course introduced me to the world of finance and investments and  changed my life.”

ASEE member Don Newnan established the  National Engineering Economy Teaching Excellence Award. It "is emblematic of his desire to encourage and recognize good teaching with his long held interest in engineering economy," said the organization. The ASEE will give the new award during even numbered calendar years.

Fleischer will accept his award, which carries a $10,000 honorarium on June 23rd in Louisville, Kentucky, at the banquet that is the culminating event for the annual ASEE conference and exposition.

Fleischer received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1962 and joined the USC faculty two years later.  He is the author of more than 100 technical publications and five texts.