Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 10am


Herbert E. Rauch of Los Altos, former schools trustee, control systems pioneer

Mr. Rauch

Los Altos resident Herbert E. Rauch died March 29 of metastatic melanoma, shortly before his 50th wedding anniversary. He passed away peacefully with his family at his side. He was 75.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Mr. Rauch moved to Albuquerque at age 13 with his parents, Herbert and Vera, and sister, Joanne.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from the California Institute of Technology, and a master’s and doctorate from Stanford University, all in electrical engineering.

While at Stanford, Mr. Rauch met Margie, whom he married in 1961. They made their home in Los Altos, where they raised four children.

A devoted father, Mr. Rauch loved to spend time with his family. He encouraged his children in school and in sports, and was assistant coach for their soccer teams. He served two terms on the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees.

For many years, Mr. Rauch was employed at the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, where his area of expertise was control systems. With John V. Breakwell, he authored several papers on interplanetary trajectories, including creating a Venus swing-by trajectory that was part of an optimal low thrust Earth-Mars-Earth roundtrip. Their work led to the development of the Rauch-Tung-Striebel (R-T-S) algorithm, now used for tracking interplanetary spacecraft and earth satellites. Lockheed honored Mr. Rauch with numerous service awards, including the Robert E. Gross Award for Technical Excellence.

He served as president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Control Systems Society, as editor-in-chief of three publications and chairman of the International Federation of Automatic Control Working Group on Control Applications of Nonlinear Programming. In the course of his career, he published numerous technical papers and gave many lectures on his work.

Mr. Rauch is survived by his wife, Margie; his children, Marta, Erik and Loren; five grandchildren; his sister, Joanne Nelson; and his cousin, John Forster and family. His son Evan, in whose honor he endowed the UC Berkeley Evan Rauch Chair of Neuroscience, predeceased him.

An online memorial is available at memorialwebsites.legacy.com/HerbertRauch/Homepage.aspx. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to local food banks or the American Cancer Society.

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