In Memoriam: Edward S. Cassedy, Jr.

Edward S. Cassedy, Jr.

Retired Professor Edward S. Cassedy, Jr., who was a member of the Electrical Engineering Department, died Feb. 18 at his home in Woodstock, N.Y. following a long battle with a form of hydrocephalus.  He was 89.

Professor Cassedy received the BS/EE in 1949 from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., the MS in 1950 from Harvard University, and the Ph.D. in EE at Johns Hopkins University in 1959.  In 1960 he joined the faculty of what was then the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.  During the early phase of his career, he conducted research on the interaction of electromagnetic waves and plasmas.  His tutorial paper on the topic, “Synchronous Coupling of Harmonic Waves in Parametric Interactions,” won an award at the National Electronics Conference in 1965.

During the late 1970s, Dr. Cassedy pursued his growing interest in energy issues, including pollution, nuclear power and waste, and resource depletion. With Peter Z. Grossman, now a professor of economics at Butler University, he co-authored Introduction to Energy: Resources, Technology, and Society, first published by Cambridge University Press in 1990. Intended for both undergraduate students in introductory energy classes and a broader readership, the book explored the benefits and problems that various energy sources have brought to society. A second edition published in 1998 explored emerging concerns such as energy sustainability and climate change, and a forthcoming third edition has been revised to address issues such as energy availability and the alleviation of world poverty.

Professor Cassedy retired in 1995 and later moved with his then wife Bernice Herman Cassedy to Woodstock, N.Y.  Born Edward Spencer Cassedy, Jr. on August 19, 1927 in Washington, D.C., his family moved to Silver Spring, Md., in 1937.  As a child, he contracted osteomyelitis, a bacterial infection of the bone. Afflicted before the development of modern antibiotics, he underwent surgery to remove the infected marrow in his femurs, and spent months at home recuperating.  Unable to participate in sports requiring running and jumping, he joined the Sea Scouts and learned to sail on the Potomac River. During his teenage years, he went on week-long summer Scouts sailing expeditions on the Chesapeake Bay.  Throughout much of his adulthood, Dr. Cassedy remained an avid sailor, joining the Steppingstone Sailing Club in Great Neck, N.Y., where he had moved with his family in 1961.

In addition to his wife Bernice, survivors include three daughters, Ellen Cassedy of Takoma Park, Md., Amy Lewis of Vancouver, B.C., and Susannah O’Donnell of Falls Church, Va., and a son, Steven Cassedy of San Diego by his first wife, the children’s author Sylvia Cassedy, who died in 1989.  He is also survived by a stepdaughter, Nancy Herman of Woodstock, a stepson, Glenn Herman of Buffalo, eight grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.