Dr. George Georgopoulos, a three-time graduate of the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and a member of the inaugural class of the MAE Hall of Fame, has died.
Georgopoulos passed away on Saturday, December 14th, 2019, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, with his family by his side after a courageous battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). He was 75.
He earned bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from NC State. Georgopoulos was inducted into the first class of his home department’s Hall of Fame in 2013.
Georgopoulos was born on July 14th, 1944 in Kavala, Greece, the son of Stavros Georgopoulos and Maria Konstantinidi. After attending the Greek Air Force Academy, he moved to the United States in 1965 to attend N.C. State University. After graduation, he moved to Pittsburgh, Penn., where he started his career at Westinghouse analyzing the stress and dynamics of nuclear power plants. Some years later he moved to Pine Brook, NJ, and shifted his focus to commercial manufacturing. He became the chief engineer of Levolor Lorentzen. Circa 1995, he became a consultant to famed industrialist Henry Rowan, helping him to improve the operation of 20-odd diverse Rowan companies. Eventually, he became president and CEO of High Energy Corporation, a Rowan company manufacturing ceramic, metalized film and oil-filled capacitors in Parkesburg, Penn. He led that firm from near bankruptcy to being one of the most profitable Rowan holdings.
Georgopoulos resided in New Jersey with his family for 37 years before relocating to Wilmington in 2018.