Honoring Roy Zingg

Roy James Zingg, alumnus and former professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) at Iowa State University, died Jan. 30, 2018, at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, Iowa, at the age of 86.

Zingg was born on Sept. 12, 1931, to Emil and Martha (Biekert) Zingg in Charles City, Iowa. Upon returning from serving in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, he married Carol Schuldt on May 12, 1966. Roy Zingg

Successful alumnus, Zingg, earned electrical engineering undergraduate, graduate and doctorate degrees from Iowa State (BSEE’58, MSEE’61 and PhDEE’68). He was a member of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a professional society, as well as the honorary societies Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu, where he served as chapter president in 1957.

Zingg began as an instructor in September 1958 and was later promoted to a tenured professor in 1974. During his time at Iowa State, he taught several courses in electrical engineering and computer science and he conducted research in architecture and design of various experimental digital systems. He left academia in 1983 and worked at McDonnell Douglas (now a part of Boeing), until his retirement in 1998.

“Professor Zingg hired me to work as a programmer on the SYMBOL computer research project in the Cyclone Computer Laboratory,” said alumnus David Ditzel, who noted Zingg as his favorite professor. “I worked on the project throughout my undergraduate education, spending every spare hour in the lab.”

“Roy was a longtime mentor and friend. I did my undergrad research with him in the early ‘80s,” said ECpE Professor Diane Rover. “After he left for McDonnell Douglas, I had an internship in one of his labs. He has quite a history with early computers in the department.”

Roy ZinggZingg worked jointly with Iowa State and Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corpin the design of an experimental digital system, was a co-investigator of a five-year funded time-shared computer systems research project and  consulted with Textronix, Inc., in the calculator division.

“Roy was a longtime mentor and friend. I did my undergrad research with him in the early ‘80s,” said ECpE Professor Diane Rover. “After he left for McDonnell Douglas, I had an internship in one of his labs. He has quite a history with early computers in the department.”

Zingg is survived by his wife, two children and five grandchildren.

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