In Memoriam | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Michael Horodniceanu

Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, a member of our alumni community since 1978, was a valued member of our faculty. Most recently, he was the founding chair of the IDC Innovation Hub. Born in Bucharest, Romania, Michael Horodniceanu emigrated to Israel as a teenager. There he studied at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, earning a bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1970.

Dr. Horodniceanu became a member of the Tandon family in 1975 when he came to the then-named Polytechnic Institute of New York to commence his doctoral studies in Transportation Planning and Engineering. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1978, he embarked upon a transportation career that included him serving as the New York City Traffic Commissioner for Mayor Ed Koch's administration from 1986 to 1990.

In 2008, he took on a monumentally influential and celebrated role: President of MTA Capital Construction. In that capacity, he oversaw a long list of challenging and ambitious projects, including the completion of the first phase of the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway, the construction of the new South Ferry Station, the openings of the Fulton Transit Center, and the ambitious extension of the Number 7 line. In addition, he completed 75% of the East Side Access initiative bringing Long Island Rail Road trains to Grand Central Terminal.

The passing of Dr. Michael Horodniceanu is a profound loss not only for our institution but also for the engineering community as a whole. His visionary leadership, unwavering dedication, and infectious enthusiasm will be deeply missed. We are grateful for the impact he has made, and his memory will forever remain etched in our hearts.

May he rest in peace, and may his legacy continue to inspire future generations to strive for excellence and create a better world through engineering.

Professor Horodniceanu's Obituary (Tandon)

Professor Horodniceanu's Obituary (New York Times)

Fletcher (Bud) H. Griffis

Fletcher "Bud" H. Griffis, an accomplished U.S. Army Corps of Engineers global builder and esteemed engineering academic, passed away on March 20, 2020 in New York City at the age of 82. Until his retirement in December 2019, Dr. Griffis served as a construction professor emeritus at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, where he also directed the Center for Construction Management Innovation. He was recognized for his expertise in applying operational research and systems analysis principles to construction planning, as well as his early advocacy for Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology.

Throughout his career, Dr. Griffis held significant leadership positions and made notable contributions to the field of engineering. He served as the director of the New York State Resilience Institute for Storms & Emergencies, furthering research on emergency preparedness. Dr. Griffis also played a pivotal role in managing capital construction projects and expanding the Fort Drum military base in upstate New York. His dedication to education extended beyond NYU, as he served as a professor emeritus at Columbia University's Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Department.

Griffis was widely respected for his transformative work in academia and his exceptional leadership skills. He leaves behind a lasting legacy, influencing the careers of numerous students and professionals in the field of engineering. His contributions will be remembered and celebrated for years to come.

Professor Griffis' Obituary (Tandon)

Professor Griffis' Obituary (ENR)

Robert Ratay

Robert Ratay served in the 1990s and early 2000s as a professor of structural engineering at what was then generally known as Brooklyn Poly. Ratay’s academic career also included stints at City College of New York; Pratt Institute, where he chaired the Department of Civil Engineering before becoming Dean of the School of Engineering; and Columbia University. He is perhaps best remembered for his popular course on forensic structural engineering.

He was the originator and principal developer of the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute’s standard concerning design loads on structures during construction.  Ratay authored three highly regarded reference books: Handbook of Temporary Structures in ConstructionForensic Structural Engineering Handbook, and Structural Condition Assessment.  Prof Ratay passed on January 3, 2020.  

Professor Ratay's Obituary (Tandon)

Raul R. Cardenas Jr.

Professor Raul Cardenas got his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas. He later served in the US Army during the Korean War and was discharged as a 1st Lieutenant. After the war, he came to NYC and earned a Masters's and Ph.D. degrees from NYU in Environmental Engineering. He was a professor at the Polytechnic Institute of New York where he taught for many years. Raul put forth tireless efforts protecting the environment including wetlands.

Professor Cardenas's Obituary (Lohud - The Journal News)

George Bugliarello

George Bugliarello was a visionary leader who understood the role of engineering in improving the world. He studied engineering at the University of Padua.   He went to the University of Minnesota on a Fulbright scholarship and graduated in 1954 with a master’s degree in civil engineering. In 1959, he received his doctorate in civil engineering and hydrodynamics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. George Bugliarello served as dean of engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1969 to 1973 when he accepted the job at the Polytechnic Institute of New York where he served as president until 1994.  

Dr. Bugliarello is credited with creating Hydro, a computer language for hydrology and hydraulic engineering; founding and serving as co-editor of the journal Technology in Society; and creating at Polytechnic the first American graduate program in financial engineering.

The memory of George Bugliarello would be woefully incomplete without mentioning his quiet kindness to friends and colleagues. George Bugliarello’s leadership, collegiality, civility, keen mind, and kindness made those he touched better for knowing him.  

Professor Bugliarello's Obituary (New York Times)

Alan Molof

Professor Molof joined NYU’s Civil Engineering Department in 1962, after receiving a Ph.D. and two M.S. degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is credited with expanding NYU’s offerings in environmental engineering. During his long career, Dr. Molof mentored 18 doctoral students.  His area of specialization was wastewater treatment. He held a number of  patents dealing with water and wastewater treatment.  Died October 22nd 2015 at 86 years old.

Professor Molof's Obituary (Tandon)