Print

Print


Please post: 

It is with great sadness and regret that we inform the Process Systems Community of the death of our colleague Gary Powers.

Larry Biegler and Ignacio Grossmann
Carnegie Mellon University

In Memoriam - Gary J. Powers

September 18, 1945-July 23, 2007

Gary J. Powers, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon 
University, passed away on July 23, 2007.  Beloved husband for 41 years 
to Susan (Whitman) Powers. Loving father of Becky (Tom) Musial, Ben 
(Rebecca) Powers, Nate (Suku) Powers, Alex Powers, Katie (Rolfe) Loomis) 
Powers, and Libby Powers. Proud grandfather of Thomas, Jake, Gabriel, 
William Musial and Indira Powers. Gary received degrees from the 
University of Michigan (BS ChE, 1967) and from the University of 
Wisconsin (PhD ChE, 1971).  He served on the faculty of MIT before 
joining Carnegie Mellon in 1974.

Gary Powers was a leading researcher in process systems engineering. He 
did pioneering research in process risk assessment and in process 
synthesis. As a Ph.D. student at the University of Wisconsin, in a joint 
effort with Jeff Siirola, he developed the program AIDS for the 
automatic synthesis of process flowsheets using artificial intelligence 
techniques. He co-authored the text "Process Synthesis" with Rudd and 
Siirola, the first text in this area. Gary's research seminal 
contributions to safety analysis covered more than three decades. He 
developed new methods for efficiently generating detailed fault trees 
for quantitative risk assessment. He applied these methods in industry 
with great success, and in 1976 he founded the company Design Sciences, 
Inc. Gary developed theories and models for synthesis and evaluation of 
high integrity operating procedures, and novel approaches for the 
verification of real-time control systems combining chemical engineering 
models with software engineering techniques.  For his contributions in 
the safety area Gary Powers received the 2005 AIChE Norton H. 
Walton/Russell L. Miller Award in Safety/Loss Prevention.

Gary Powers was also an outstanding educator at Carnegie Mellon who
loved teaching students at all levels. He taught the introductory
course to freshmen in chemical engineering emphasizing synthesis
concepts. He also created unique laboratory experiments for chemical
engineering undergraduates that emphasized process safety and
environmental risk assessment, and used engineering fundamentals to
address process and product development problems. Gary taught a safety
course to undergraduate and graduate students, where he introduced
students to concepts and techniques developed in his research. Gary
was one of the most popular and well-liked professors in the
department. He was a mentor to many and was respected by all. He was a
frequent recipient of the departmentís "Kun Li Award for Excellence in
Education," which is selected each year by the graduating senior
class. Gary was loved and appreciated by his students and colleagues
alike.  He was always the smiling face in any group and was supportive
of all those around him. Garyís enthusiasm, energy and optimism will
be fondly remembered. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

More information on memorial arrangements, donations and condolence guestbook can be found on:
http://www.legacy.com/postgazette/Obituaries.asp?Page=Lifestory&PersonId=91377496