Richard (Dick) C. Heyser was born in 1931 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Arizona, where he received a BSEE degree in 1953. Awarded a Charles LeGeyt Fortescue Fellowship for advanced studies, he earned a MSEE degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1954, and spent two additional years in postgraduate work at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
In 1956 he joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the California Institute of Technology where he became a member of the technical staff. His work involved communication and instrumentation design for space programs at JPL, including the conceptual design of America's first satellite, Explorer I, and the application of coherent spread spectrum techniques to improve underwater sound and medical ultrasound imaging.
He maintained a personal laboratory where he conducted research on audio and acoustic measurement techniques. He was awarded nine patents, including time-delay spectrometry (TDS).
At the time of his death on March 14, 1987, Heyser was the president-elect of the Audio Engineering Society, where he had been an active member for more than three decades. He served as a governor of the Society for 1983 to 1984 and was prominent in numerous society activities and committees.
Other roles he held include: senior editor of Audio magazine; member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE.); fellow of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), who further honored him in 1983 with the AES Silver Medal for his development of Time-Delay Spectrometry (TDS); fellow of the Acoustical Society of America; and member of the Hollywood Sapphire Group. He remains the only scientist to-date to have a volume of the AES Journal dedicated exclusively to his research studies about TDS.
The Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture series was established in May 1999 by the Audio Engineering Society Technical Council, its Board of Governors, and the Richard Heyser Scholarship Fund to honor his contributions to the field and his ability to communicate new and complex technical ideas with clarity and patience.
The Anthology of the works of Richard C. Heyser on measurement, analysis, and perception, a collection of his writings published by the Audio Engineering Society in 1988.