Dr. Leo Finkelstein, Jr.

Senior Lecturer and Director of Technical Communication

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Wright State University

Dayton, OH 45435937-775-5001

Abbreviated Vita


Broad-based experience in technical communications; academic administration and teaching; print, film, and electronic media; computer applications; and military logistics, administration, and space operations. He is the author of Pocket Book of Technical Writing for Engineers and Scientists, 3rd Ed., McGraw-Hill, 2008, which is now in widespread use throughout the United States and Canada and in major universities overseas (more than 85 major universities in the US, plus many foreign subsidiaries). His second textbook is Pocket Book of English Grammar for Engineers and Scientists, McGraw-Hill, 2006, was released Feb 25, 2005.


Ph.D., Communication and Rhetoric,

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 1978. Areas included rhetorical theory, communication theory, and both technical and political communication. External area of cross-cultural communication.

M.A., Speech and Theatre,

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 1969. Areas included rhetorical theory, electronic media, and theatre.

B.A., Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures,

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 1968. Areas included scripting, media production, and audience research techniques.


Senior Lecturer and Director of Technical Communication,

Office of the Dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Wright State University (WSU), Dayton, Ohio. Prior WSU position: Instructor and Assistant to the Chair, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Teaching responsibilities include technical writing, the social implications of computing technology, and scientific paradigms. Administrative responsibilities include designing and directing desktop publishing and web page activities, major project writing and editing, developing major publications, and graphics design. (1989- PRESENT)

Associate Professor of English and Director of Technical Writing,

USAF Academy (USAFA), Colorado Springs, CO. Teaching responsibilities included technical writing, advanced composition and speech, and scientific thought. Administrative responsibilities included supervision of 11 technical writing instructors and directing the technical writing program, which included approximately 1,600 students. (1978-1981) Prior USAFA position: Instructor of English. (1974-1976)

Adjunct Associate Professor of Communication,

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, CO. Teaching responsibilities included technology and directed social change, film and media, applied rhetorical theory, and interpersonal communication. (1979-1981, 1985-1986)


Assistant to the Commander for Corporate Communication,

Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC), Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. On the personal staff of two 4-star generals (James P. Mullins and Alfred G. Hansen). Responsibilities included strategizing and writing commander's policy letters, congressional testimony, personal briefings, television and media scripts, and fulfilling other specialized communications requirements. Also conceptualized, designed, and developed major publications. (1981- 1984, 1987-1989)

Motion Picture Writer/Producer/Director,

Aerospace Audiovisual Service, Norton AFB, CA. In charge of major 16mm and 35mm sound film and television productions, including technical training, documentary, and recruiting vehicles. Conducted conferences; wrote scripts; directed location and studio photography; supervised editing, dubbing, negative cutting and laboratory phases; and approved all milestones through answer print. Screen credit: 426 minutes (film). (1969-1972, 1973-1974)

Technical Advisor,

US Air Force Effective Writing film series. Scripting, casting, and production; responsible for approving all milestones. (1983)

Licensed Broadcast Engineer,

WTTG Television, Washington, DC. (summers of 1965 and 1966) Prior position: Broadcast Engineer, WISE Radio/Television, Asheville, NC (part- time, 1963-1964). Transmitter, audio, video, lighting, technical direction, board work.


Chief, Joint Activities Office,

AFLC. Personal representative of two 4-star generals (Earl O'Loughlin and Alfred Hansen) to counterparts in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force Systems Command, the Defense Logistics Agency, and the Secretary of Defense. Dealt with logistics issues including acquisition policy, software development, technology insertion, supply and distribution, and manufacturing. (1987-1989)

Senior Project Manager,

Strategic Planning Division, Directorate of Plans, DCS/Plans and Programs, HQ AFLC. Senior-level logistics policy, current issues, posture statements, and congressional testimony. (1986-1987).

Space Plans and Programs Officer,

Directorate of Plans, DCS/Plans, Air Force Space Command (AFSPACECOM), Peterson AFB, CO. Strategic defense policy, space strategy, air defense doctrine, and early warning systems. (1985-1986) Prior position: Research Analyst. Financial planning, technical editing, and systems concept development.


Detachment 17, 601st Photo Squadron, Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. In charge of a 52-person organization responsible for precision recording photography, combat documentation, and general photographic support of the Vietnam War. Devised and led development of unique systems of aerial photographic documentation involving high-performance aircraft flying combat missions over North Vietnam. (1972-1973)


U.S. Air Force (20 years). Retired as a Lieutenant Colonel on 30 September 1989. Security Clearance: Top Secret

Specialty Areas: audiovisual production, education and training, logistics plans, space plans, and information management. Assigned to the Aerospace Audiovisual Service, USAF Academy, Air Force Space Command, and Air Force Logistics Command.

Decorations: Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Vietnam Service Medal, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Qualified expert in small arms (dual qualification: .38 and M-16).


Federal Communications Commission, General Radiotelephone License

Federal Communications Commission, Advanced Amateur Radio License



Leo Finkelstein, Jr., Pocket Book of Technical Writing for Engineers and Scientists, 3ed, Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2008. (2nd edition, 2005; 1st edition, 2000)

Leo Finkelstein, Jr., Pocket Book of English Grammar for Engineers and Scientists, 1ed, Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2006.