Former NYSSPE President Howard Blitman honored with RPI Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award

Howard Blitman, PE

Howard Blitman P.E., F.NSPE was honored with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award at RPI’s Inaugural Scholarship Gala this past fall. He received this award in recognition of his service, philanthropy and partnership with Rensselaer for over 65 years. Blitman graduated Rensselaer in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and as an alumnus remained very active at Rensselaer as an adviser, trustee, philanthropist and volunteer. He established a professorship in engineering, and gave a gift to the endowment that allowed for the construction of Blitman Commons, once a hotel and now a student living space, which benefits both the school and downtown Troy community.

In his professional life, Blitman is a consulting engineer and the president of The Blitman Building Corporation. He also served as president of the New York Chapter/NYSSPE in 1974-1975, president of NYSSPE in 1978-1979, and was elected president of NSPE in 2002-2003.

Congratulations Howard, from all of your colleagues at NYSSPE!

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George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.- NYSSPE Engineer of the Week

George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.

George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.

NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. who was an American civil engineer, born on February 14, 1859 in Galesburg, Illinois. He is best known for creating the Ferris wheel.

Ferris graduated RPI in 1881 with a degree in engineering and began to work in NYC designing bridges and tunnels. Shortly after, he moved to Pittsburgh and founded his own company, G.W.G. Ferris & Co. In 1891, the directors of the World’s Columbian Exposition challenged Americans to produce a structure that rivaled the Eiffel tower. Ferris took on the challenge with a vision to create a giant wheel ride inspired by a waterwheel that he had admired as a child.

In 1983 the wheel made its debut at the Exposition and was a huge success. However, the excitement about the wheel died down after the Exposition was over and Ferris passed away before the Ferris wheel design spread around the world.

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