In Memoriam: Andrew P. Sage, Jr., an SMC Pioneer
It is with great sadness that IEEE SMC Society announces the passing of Andrew P. Sage
Jr. on Oct. 31, 2014. Dr. Sage was a pioneering founding father of the Society, who served as
Past President from 1984 to 1985. He served on the seminal committee that created the
IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society. Among his accomplishments is being Editor
in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics for 27 years, from1972
through 1998. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Dr. Sage received B.A. in 1955 in
Electrical Engineering at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, M. A. in 1956 in
Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and PhD in Electrical
Engineering in 1960 at the Purdue University.
He was an Editor of the IFAC Journal Automatica for 16 years, from 1981 to 1996. He was
instrumental in creating the INCOSE Wiley Journal of Systems Engineering, and the Journal
of Information, Knowledge, and Systems Management. He wrote or edited more than 20
books and was Editor of the John Wiley textbook series on Systems Engineering and
He received honorary Doctor of Engineering degrees from the University of Waterloo in 1987
and from Dalhousie University in 1997. He was elected an Honorary Professor at the
Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 1995.
In 1976, Dr. Sage was elected IEEE Fellow "For contributions to engineering education, and
to the theory of systems, identification, estimation, and control." He received the first Norbert
Wiener Award as well as the first Joseph G. Wohl Outstanding Career Award from the IEEE
Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society. In 1994, he received the IEEE Donald G. Fink
He was an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
(AAAS) and the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). He received the
Outstanding Service Award from the International Federation of Automatic Control, the
Frederick Emmonds Terman Award from the American Society for Engineering Education, an
Outstanding Service Award from the International Federation of Automatic Control, and a
Superior Public Service Award for his service on the CNA Corporation Board of Trustees from
the US Secretary of the Navy. In 2000, he received the prestigious IEEE Simon Ramo Medal
in recognition of his contributions to systems engineering and the IEEE Third Millennium
Medal. In 2002, he received the Eta Kappa Nu Eminent Membership Award and the INCOSE
Pioneer Award, with the citation "Professor Sage has made continued and substantial
contributions to the field of Systems Engineering for more than 35 years." In 2007, he was
elected as a charter member of the Omega Alpha systems engineering honor society. He
was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004 for contributions to the theory
and practice of systems engineering and systems management.
Centennial medals were awarded to Dr. Sage by the Case Western Reserve University in
1981, the IEEE in 1984, and the ASEE in 1993. He received the Washington Society of
Engineers Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the National Capital Area Council
of the IEEE in 1996. He was Chair of Section M (engineering) of the AAAS in 1990 and has
participated in a numerous other professional service activities.
In 1984, he was appointed the First American Bank Professor of Information Technology and
Engineering at George Mason University and the first Dean of the School of Information
Technology and Engineering. In May 1996, he was elected as Founding Dean Emeritus of the
Volgenau School and also became a University Professor. At George Mason, he launched a
vision of an engineering school that would be multidisciplinary, and established the first Ph.D.
degree in information technology in the nation.
Dr. Sage began his academic career in early 1960's as Associate Professor at the University
of Arizona, where he conducted research on the electronic simulation of biological clocks and
bistable circuits. From 1964 to 1967, he was Professor of Electrical Engineering at the
University of Florida, Gainesville. From 1967 to 1974, he was Chair of the Information and
Control Sciences Center at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas and Chair of the
Electrical Engineering Department. From 1974 to 1984, he held a named professorship and
was the first chair of the Systems Engineering Department at the University of Virginia.
Dr. Sage is survived by his wife LaVerne, daughters Theresa and Karen, son Philip, their
spouses, and two grandchildren.
Photo Credit: The Sage Family and the George Mason University.
James D. Palmer, Andrew P. Sage, Thomas B. Sheridan, Michael H. Smith, and James M.
Tien, "The IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society: Historical Development, Current
Status, and Future Perspectives," IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics,
Part C: Applications and Reviews, volume, 33, no 1, pp. 13 - 23, Feb. 2003.
George Mason University:
Good Reads: Books by A. P. Sage
IEEE Global History Network:
INCOSE Web site:
IEEE Fellows Directory: