Austern (1926-2000) was a nuclear physicist and a lover of literature, music, history, philosophy and archeology. He earned a bachelor's degree from The Cooper Union in 1946 and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1951. He was a research associate at Cornell University from 1951 to 1954 and a scientist at New York University's Institute of Mathematical Sciences from 1954 to 1956. He was a Fulbright Research Scholar in Australia from 1957 to 1958 and from 1968 to 1969. He held several visiting professorships and fellowships in England, France and Japan. Austern joined the Pitt physics faculty in 1956 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to full professor in 1962, and retired in 1994. Austern played a leading role in the 1950's when Pitt research was central to understanding the structure of the nucleus. His specialty was theoretical nuclear physics, including nuclear reactions and electro-magnetic effects in nuclei. He published more than 100 journal articles. His textbook, Direct Nuclear Reaction Theories, was published in 1970.