Paul M. Chirlian, a retired University of New Orleans faculty member who served the campus as a professor, department chair and associate dean, died on Tuesday, July 12, at 87 in Tinton Falls, NJ.
Chirlian joined the UNO in 1993 as a professor and chair of the Department of Engineering. He came to New Orleans after beginning his career in New York, where he attended New York University. It was there that he received his undergraduate degree in 1950, a masters in electrical engineering in 1952, and a Sc.D. degree in 1956.
Chirlian was an instructor for a short time at NYU, where he received many awards, including Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Henry Morton Great Teacher Award, and membership in Sigma Xi, Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi.
He was soon appointed professor in the electrical engineering department at Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, NJ. He had a distinguished career at Stevens, becoming well-known in his field largely due to his prolific research, authoring 28 scholarly books and over 70 research publications. Many of his books have been translated into multiple languages.
Chirlian served as UNO’s chair of Electrical Engineering for eight years before he was promoted to associate dean for Research and Graduate Programs in the College of Engineering in 2001. While at UNO, Chirlian continued doing research and teaching courses in electronics and signal processing.
He was greatly involved in the approval process of the Ph.D. program in Engineering and Applied Science, a joint program between the UNO Colleges of Science and Engineering.
In recognition of his extraordinary accomplishments, Chirlian was awarded the title of Don E. Wilson Chevron Professor of Electrical Engineering, and he was given the UNO National Alumni Association Career Award for Excellence in Research. He was named professor emeritus in 2003, but continued to serve the university as associate dean and professor emeritus gratis until 2013.
Chirlian, who in 2013 moved from Slidell, La., to Tinton Falls, is survived by his wife, Barbara, a son Peter and his wife, Sandra Lionetti, a daughter, Lisa and her husband, Jerome Linden and his three granddaughters, Elizabeth, Abigail, and Julia Linden-Chirlian.
Services for Dr. Chirlian were held at the Bloomfield-Cooper Jewish Chapels in Ocean, NJ, on Sunday, July 16.