George Shortley, 70, a retired vice president and chief scientist of Booz, Allen Applied Research Inc., who had long experience with defense work, died of a pulmonary embolism Thursday at Sibley Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Shortley was born in Minneapolis and graduated from the University of Minnesota. He earned master's and doctoral degrees in mathematical physics at Princeton University and then was a national research fellow in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Harvard University. From 1935 to 1942, he taught at Ohio State University. During that period, he also spent a year at the University of Paris.
During World War II, Dr. Shortley moved to Washington and went to work at the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, where he became chief of the mechanics division. Among his responsibilities was the planning of facilities to house supersonic wind tunnels captured from the Germans at the end of the war. In 1946, when he resigned to return to Ohio State, Dr. Shortley received the Distinguished Civilian Service Award from the secretary of the Navy.
From 1949 to 1955, Dr. Shortley was at the operations research office of Johns Hopkins University. He was chief of the home defense division at the time he left and was engaged in designing air defense systems for the United States and related projects. From 1955 to 1957, he was associate director of the research center of the Borg-Warner Corp. in Chicago.
Dr. Shortley joined Booz, Allen in 1957 and worked on a number of projects for the Defense Department, including communications and satellite systems. He retired in 1970. He lived in Bethesda.
Dr. Shortley was the author or coauthor of five books and had published 35 papers in technical and professional journals. He was a fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the American Astronomical Society, the Operations Research Socity of America, of which he was a former president, and the Division of Mathematics of the National Research Council. He also was a member of the Cosmos and Kenwood Country clubs.
Survivors include his wife, Irene, and a daughter, Elizabeth, both of Bethesda, and a brother, Charles, of San Diego.