Remembering Professor Carl Friehe
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Professor Carl A. Friehe. He died on September 1st, 2011 after a long illness. Professor Friehe battled his illness valiantly and stayed active until the very end.
Professor Friehe is enormously respected as a scholar, teacher, colleague, and person. He made profound contributions to his research fields focusing on geophysical turbulence, micrometeorology, and instrumentation. He was a pillar of his research community with deep involvement in ONR, NOAA, NCAR, and NSF. His contributions to our School and university are innumerable. Professor Friehe was an exemplary teacher and devoted mentor who educated countless students and researchers. He served the Department (Mechanical Engineering, later Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering), School, and University with dedication and distinction. Professor Friehes academic impact extended beyond the School of Engineering to the Department of Earth System Science where he held a joint appointment. On a personal level, we remember Carl for his kindness, generosity, collegiality, and sense of humor. Carl's passing is a profound loss to his family, friends and colleagues, and our community.
As a small gesture of appreciation for Carl's contributions we are putting together an event is his memory. It will be an informal gathering of family, colleagues, students, and friends to recall the many accomplishments of Carl and celebrate his life. The gathering will take place 3-5 pm, Friday September 30, in Engineering Hall Room 2430 (Colloquia Room). It is buiding 308 (Grid F6) on the UCI map. Parking instructions are here.
We are grateful for an outpouring of sympathy messages from the community. Many of these messages provide insight into Carl Friehe the man and the scientist. Below we reproduce some of them.
Carl meant a great deal to me as a young researcher; I think of him as my mentor, although I suspect he never though of himself that way. I had this experience when writing up the calibration procedure for the Sabreliner, that I always tell my student about. I was writing up this technical report and I wanted his input, so I sent him the manuscript. After a while he came back and suggested that we'd write a real paper instead, and would I please consider him as coauthor provided that he trimmed the report down to appropriate length - and language. Of course I agreed and he went to work; a few weeks later he sent me back something that was about half the length and for the life of me I could not figure out what it was that he took out; everything was still there. That was a real lesson to me in efficient writing, that I try and convey to my students. Another memory I have from when I was a grad student and he was here talking about the same project; we went up to a field site for a visit, and while we talking about some turbulence measurements Carl got all exited, got out a pen and started to do time-constant calculations for a cold-wire sensor wrapped around a cylindrical support - on the back of his hand. When the hand wasn't enough he used the rest of the lower arm. Carl took me under his wings and let me stay in his house when I was going to my first conferences by myself in US and was always helpful and interested. Do you know if there will be some mechanisms to send condolences; will there be a memorial issue in some journal or anything like that? I would like to pay my respects somehow. I will miss Carl... Michael Tjernström, Meteorological Institute, Stockholm
I'm greatly saddened by Carl's passing. He was first a friend, then mentor, and a 'rigorous' colleague as you well know :). We shared everything from gardening to risqué jokes to his latest interest in the Nusselt number. First I lose my friend Joach Kuettner and now Carl; it's been a rough summer for this old man. We spoke only a couple of weeks before he passed and he seemed so hopeful. Bob Grossman, University of Colorado.
I'm nothing short of heartbroken at this news... I can thus only begin to imagine your & Ding Ying's deep sense of loss. I will of course reach out to her personally in the near future. I have of course passed this difficult news to close colleagues here at NSF. Thanks for sharing your fine tribute. I am attaching a snapshot I took of Carl at the 'POST' planning meeting @ CIRPAS back in June 2008. He was a fine, fine teacher & mentor, and in time I was honored to be his colleague. With most sincere condolences to you & the other members of the UCI faculty. Brad Smull, NSF.
I am shocked and saddened to learn of Carl's passing. I can't recall the last time I spoke with him but I believe it was early this year. He never gave up and always expressed interest in our activities. He took an active role in many of our airborne projects (science as well as the technical aeronautical issues -- he was such a valuable asset to us on the GV modification and of course with the CIRPAS TO. If you have an address for his wife I would like to send her a card. The world truly got a bit smaller. Jim Huning, AGS/NSF.
I am very sorry to hear the news of Carl. Although I did not know him as well as you did, I will remember him not only as an outstanding scientist and colleague, but as one of the most generous scientists I've known. William M. Drennan, University of Miami.
Carl was telling me a "FLIP" story. All the relevant PIs were struggling getting their instruments to work properly. Lots of noise, A/D issues, etc ... One particular PI said my instrument is working, great ... beautiful -5/3 spectra etc .... Carl turned around and said ...that's great and then commented... ...isn't that your probe laying in that stack of cables on the floor? Carl was pleasant ... a treat to visit with. Peter Sullivan, NCAR.
Along with the scientists who will miss him I'm sure there are a number of US Navy warehouse managers who will miss one of the greatest instrument scroungers I ever met, Carl the Prowler. And what he turned these salvage items into was wondrous. Without peer!!! Bob Grossman, University of Colorado.
Carl was a long-time friend and colleague. We were academic cousins; our PhD advisors had been students of Stan Corrsin at Johns Hopkins. I believe it was Carl who told me that our family tree, which begins with Stan's advisor, Hans Liepmann, is portrayed on a wall at Cal Tech. I met Carl about 1970, probably at an annual meeting of the Fluid Mechanics Division of the American Physical Society. The ten-minute talks there tended to be on latest results, and at the time we were both interested in dissipative-range turbulence. Kolmogorov's 1941 scaling hypotheses, as interpreted by Batchelor and others, implied universality of dissipative-range structure, but data from the lower atmosphere were beginning to refute that in striking ways. The atmospheric derivative signals had much larger kurtosis (were much spikier) than those from lab flows. This was unexpected, and a lot of us, including Carl, caught the atmospheric turbulence bug. When our AFCRL group went to northwest Minnesota in 1973 for measurements through the depth of the boundary layer, Carl, Frank Champagne, and John LaRue added their own fine-structure experiments. That part of Minnesota is quite flat and has a gummy black soil that the locals call "gumbo." Carl found the perfect name for the experiment: Greater Upper Minnesota Boundary-layer Observations, or GUMBO. It is documented in a 1977 JAS paper. Carl's stint as a manager in NCAR's Research Aviation Facility in Boulder could have been his first "real job". By all accounts his personal skills served him superbly there. I suspect he grew to miss the academic life, though, and he eventually left for the faculty position at Irvine. I still recall his farewell party upon leaving NCAR. Carl loved German wines and had an extensive collection of excellent bottles, but rather than move them with him he invited a group of friends over to enjoy them. As was his style, Carl quite matter-of-factly told me of his health issues several months ago. Such courage. I miss him. John Wyngaard, Penn State.
Im glad I got a chance to talk to Dr. Friehe one more time in 2008, when we had a brief email exchange after he ran into my high school French teacher at a doctors office. Carl (that feels a little weird) will always be one of my favorite bosses, and every time I watch Storm Chasers or have other contacts with atmospheric science (did that freak hailstorm in April hit UCI?), Im proud that he gave this computer scientist the opportunity to contribute in some small way to this important physical sciences research. (Now we just gotta get the world to allocate more bio sci researchers to whatever condition robbed us of Dr. Friehe too soon.) Dan Harkless, Fidelity National Financial.