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George Bugliarello

George Bugliarello, 83, who led two engineering schools, advanced research in sustainable urban design and pioneered one of the first U.S. university-industry research parks in a blighted area in Brooklyn, N.Y., died on Feb. 18 in Roslyn, N.Y. The cause was pneumonia, according to his family.

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Bugliarello was also an ENR Newsmaker in 199y3, cited for being the visionary behind the $1-billion MetroTech Center, while serving as president of the nearby Polytechnic Institute of New York. “With limited resources, if you have a clear idea of the needs of the community and are lucky enough to line up political and development forces, you have the possibility of transforming a portion of the city,” he told ENR in 1992. “I’m convinced it can be replicated.”

Bugliarello joined Polytechnic in 1973, just after it merged with New York University’s now-defunct engineering school to boost finances and student numbers. He is credited with creating Hydro, a computer language for hydrology and hydraulic engineering; founding the journal Technology in Society; and developing at Polytechnic the first U.S. graduate program in financial engineering. It is now the nation’s largest, says NYU. Bugliarello stepped down in 1994. Polytechnic was acquired by Manhattan-based NYU in 2008 to become its school of engineering and applied sciences. Bugliarello also was engineering dean at the University of Illinois, Chicago, president of the research society Sigma Xi and foreign secretary of the National Academy of Engineering, into which he was inducted in 1987.

“Not only was George president of Polytechnic University for 22 years and the driving force for MetroTech, he was a professor developing leading edge scientific principles associated with sustainable design and construction of cities of tomorrow up until his final days,” says Bud Griffiss, Polytechnic’s former engineering dean and now director of NYU-Poly’s Center for Construction Management Technology. “His loss leaves a void in the engineering community.”

This article has been revised at 5:10pm on March 4, 2011.


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