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George Bugliarello died on 18 February 2011

George Bugliarello, president emeritus and former chancellor of Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), an acknowledged visionary who brought about significant changes in engineering and education, died after a short illness on February 18.  He was trained in hydrodynamics and civil engineering.  His lifelong investigation was  how natural, mechanical, information and energy systems affect society.   

Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was MetroTech. In 1975, during a recession, he foresaw that a university-industry collaboration would revitalize the city, its faltering financial industry and its economy. Dr. Bugliarello and David Rockefeller of the Chase Manhattan Bank, collaborating as members of the city’s Business-Labor Working Group, explored what New York City needed and how Poly, as a top science and engineering university, could help. Dr. Bugliarello proposed an urban research park called MetroTech.  In 1989, NYU-Poly and the city finally broke ground for MetroTech, a 16-acre, 4.7 million square-foot development.   At full capacity, MetroTech attracted more than 20,000 jobs.  Read more.

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Zhigang Suo's picture

I met George at a conference, in China, in 2009.  We sat together on a bus ride.  He was such a delight to talk to.  He told me that he was a civil engineer interested in fluid mechnaics, bioengineering and urban development.  Only later I began to learn about his life's work.  He urged me to go back to my root, and learn about China.  "You will like the books by Joseph Needham," he said. 

He sent me his recent papers after the conference, in old style, by air mail.

I did follow up on his advice, and bought a biography of Needham.  The book is still on the shelf, to be read.  I hope to get to Needham's tomes on the Science and Civilization in China some day. 

I was looking forward to meeting him again at a similar conference in late March this year.

But George is gone.

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