Beloved engineering professor Dr. Edward Furlani dies

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Dr. Edward Furlani, a professor in the electrical engineering department, died unexpectedly on Tuesday at 65 years old.

Furlani came to UB in 2011 after a 25-year career at Eastman Kodak Research Labs in Rochester where he performed and directed computational modeling for the development of numerous commercial technologies.

Furlani, a Lancaster native, completed all of his schooling at UB. His work spans 152 U.S. patents, which helped elevate him to become a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. 

Mark Swihart, professor and chair in the department of chemical and biological engineering, collaborated with Furlani for more than 15 years. He shared the news of Furlani’s passing with students and colleagues via email on Thursday.

“Ed was really a wonderful colleague, he brought a great perspective to the department,” Swihart said. “He really took a lot of pride in the work of his students. He worked very closely and hands on with his group of graduate researchers. Ed was a great mentor to his students and a father figure to many. All around he was a great guy to have in the department, he was always eager to help out in any way he could and always had a smile on his face.”

Viktor Sukhotskiy, a Ph.D. candidate in the electrical engineering department assisted Furlani in his laboratory of interdisciplinary modeling and simulation. Sukhotskiy most recently helped Furlani finish a book chapter and cherishes the time they spent together.

“I remember we worked really hard to polish the language and technical aspects of the literature, I really admired his perseverance and tenacity to get the chapter absolutely perfect since it’d be looked at for years to come,” Sukhotskiy said. “He really strived for excellence, he really strived to pass his knowledge of the industry on to us through example and work. He knew all the trade secrets of how to work and survive in the industry.”

Sukhotskiy and other students traveled with Furlani to present at nanotechnology conferences across the country, including Washington D.C. and California. Sukhotskiy is thankful that Furlani took the time to teach him and his fellow students how to properly present at such events.

“He really cared about his students, I’ve never met a professor that was so invested into his students,” Sukhotskiy said. “Dr. Furlani coached us how to present our work efficiently. His mentorship and personality really stood out to me.”

Furlani’s family will be available to receive condolences on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Lancaster/Depew Amigone Funeral Home. This will be followed on Monday by a funeral service at 10 a.m., held at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church.

Max Kalnitz is the senior news editor and can be reached at max.kalnitz@ubspectrum.com and

@Max_Kalnitz