Leo Young, IEEE President, 1980, was an expert on microwave technology, and he held 20 patents.
Young was the 1980 IEEE president and also an IEEE Fellow. He was an expert on microwave technology and held twenty patents; published numerous scholarly papers; and was the author, co-author, or editor of fourteen books, including Microwave Filters, Impedance-Matching Networks, and Coupling Structures (Artech House Publishers, 1964). Considered "the bible" by those in the field, the reference book has been translated into Russian and Japanese, and it still sells well decades after its initial publication.He is also known outside of the engineering field for his work on pensions for technical professionals. He co-authored a book, with his wife, Fay Young, Everything You Should Know About Pension Plans (1976), and in 1976 he was named Honorary Presdient of Pensions for technical Professionals, Inc.
Young was born in Austria to a prominent Jewish family—his father was a physician—and moved to England in 1938 to escape the Nazis. After graduating from Cambridge University there in 1949, he moved to the United States.
As an engineer at Westinghouse from 1953 to 1960, Young worked on military radar research and development, including microwave components and antennas. From 1960 to 1973, he was a fellow at Stanford Research Institute, in Menlo Park, Calif., where he worked on microwave filter design. He also taught at Stanford University and consulted for industry. He taught at the Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa--during a sabbatical in 1970 and 1971. He then joined the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, where he was associate superintendent of the electronics division for ten years.
He joined the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense in 1981 as director of research. His principal assignment was to oversee basic research, but he also played a key role in implementing a number of programs, including the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative and the Small Business Innovation Research Program. He retired in 1994 but continued working as a consultant for several years. In retirement, he wrote his memoirs and enjoyed studying Hebrew. He also served on the board of Filtronic, a microwave-component manufacturer in Salisbury, Md.
Young was IEEE president in 1980.