Perhaps best known for introducing a new wind chill formula, Professor Emeritus Maurice Bluestein lost his four-year battle with esophageal cancer on Monday evening, August 28 in Pompano Beach, Florida, where he lived with his wife of 54 years, Maris (Werner). He was 76.
Maurice’s academic career began early, when he was accepted as a mechanical engineering student at City College of New York at the age of 16. After earning his engineering degree in 1962, he pursued a Masters in Mechanical Engineering at New York University in 1964, and then a Ph.D. in Bio-Mechanical Engineering (a new field of study at the time) at Northwestern University in 1967. In 2012, City College of New York awarded him a Townsend Harris Distinguished Alumni Medal.
His career included working closely with technological innovations from prosthetic devices, space suits for the first moon landing, implantable artificial hearts, cardiac balloon pumps, and the first diagnostic use of ultrasound.
After many years in industry as a bio-medical engineering leader, Maurice changed careers in mid-life and became a full professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). His friendships with colleagues and students continued for many years.
It was his study of thermodynamics that caused him to question the accuracy of the then-prevailing wind chill formula while shoveling his daughter’s driveway one sub-zero morning in the late 190s in Indianapolis. This led to a partnership with Canadian Randall Osczevski. Together they created a new wind chill formula at an international meteorological convention in Germany in 2000. Numerous media interviews followed. Their formula became the meteorological standard now used throughout North America. Maurice also co-authored a textbook, Thermodynamics and Heat Power, now in its eighth edition.
Maurice was a life-long learner. From his world travels to 50+ countries, taking up tuba playing at the age of 50, and even finishing reading four books in the weeks before his death.
Maurice met his bridge partner, travel companion, and future wife, Maris, while attending City College of New York. They were married on Christmas Eve, 1962. He is survived by his three children, Karen (Christopher Nyers), Richard (Lorenzo Eslava) and Jennifer (Michaelbarry Fink). Maurice was delighted with the birth of granddaughter Jaxanna Fink in 2001, and grandson Bennett Fink in 2004. They visited him in the final weeks of his life, ensuring his final days were joyful.
Throughout his battle with cancer over the past four years, Maurice’s own doctors referred to him as a “warrior,” but he didn’t see it that way. He was just enjoying living his life, and he was the first to admit it was a great one.
“If it’s my time, I’m OK with that. I’ve lived a good life. A great wife and family, decades-long friendships, a sunny retirement. I’ve learned quite a bit, I’ve achieved some things, I’ve traveled the world. Everything else is just gravy.”
A fighter until the end, Maurice continued to attend band practice long after he lost his ability to play the tuba, enjoying the camaraderie of his fellow musicians.
Click to read The New York Times Obituary
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