April 12, 2016
Ami E. Berkowitz, a research professor in UC San Diego’s Department of Physics and Center for Memory and Recording Research, died on March 31, 2016 of heart failure. He was 89.
Berkowitz received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1953. He was employed by the Franklin Institute Laboratories in Philadelphia from 1947 to 1960 where he was manager of the Magnetism and Thermoelectricity Division. He was with IBM from 1960 to 1968, initially at the Research Laboratory at Yorktown Heights, NY, and then as manager of the Materials Branch at the Components Division in Burlington, VT. From 1968 to 1986, Berkowitz was at the General Electric R&D Center in Schenectady, NY. There, he was active in electron beam addressed memories, thermomagnetic recording, magnetic tagging, magnetic printing, magnetic surface phenomena, amorphous and crystalline particles, and the development of spark erosion method for particle production.
In 1986, he came to UC San Diego as a professor in the Physics Department with an endowed chair, and to CMRR to establish the materials group. After retiring, he continued as a research professor at CMRR and the Physics Department. Berkowitz published extensively in the scientific and patent literature and with E. Kneller co-edited "Magnetism and Metallurgy," published by Academic Press. He also gave many invited talks, and was been twice appointed a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Magnetics Society and, in 1997, he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
He is survived by his wife, Alice Berkowitz; two sons, Barney and Jon Berkowitz; daughter Dana Berkowitz; and three grandchildren