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January 5, 2017

George Lawrence Kusic KusicGeorge Lawrence Kusic, associate professor of electrical power engineering in the Swanson School of Engineering, died Dec. 7, 2016. He was 81.

Greg Reed, director of the Center for Energy, said: “His influence among academia and industry in the field of electric power engineering was quite vast.”

Kusic was Reed’s professor and adviser when Reed was a Pitt PhD student in the early 1990s, and later a colleague when Reed joined the faculty in 2008. Kusic’s most significant research contributions came in power system design and analysis, especially “groundbreaking research in power network operation and control,” Reed noted.
Kusic published two textbooks, “Computer Aided Power Systems Analysis” and “Electronic Design with Off the Shelf Integrated Circuits” (1994).

Kusic’s research for NASA, including years working at NASA research facilities and under NASA grants, was particularly vital, Reed added.

“He was a passionate educator,” Reed recalled. “He loved being in the classroom and enjoyed mentoring and advising students. He contributed to the success of countless undergraduate and graduate students during his 49 years at Pitt — literally hundreds of students over the years, myself included. George was not just a teacher but a caring mentor and adviser.”

Kusic earned all three of his electrical engineering degrees — BS, MS and PhD — at Carnegie Mellon University.

He began his career in industry with Sikorsky Aircraft and TRW in the late 1950s and early 1960s but also was involved early in government-funded research as an applied space technologist for NASA and through a National Science Foundation teaching assistantship.

He joined the University in 1967 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering.

Through the years he also was a consultant to many companies in his field, a Fulbright lecturer and, for two decades, a NASA contractor dealing with energy conversion, electrical system monitoring, fault detection and power system design tools. In 2013, he was a visiting professor at the Politecnico di Torino.

Kusic’s research was widely published and he presented at many conferences.

He also held a patent for a tracer control circuit and was awarded the Nikola Tesla Serbian Academy of Sciences Award in 2006.

He is survived by wife Alexandra (“Sondra”), son Michael and daughter-in-law Amy, daughter Dara Marie and son-in-law Sean Kluse, daughter Nicole and son-in-law Frank Parker, son Robert Borota, son Michael and daughter-in-law Tiffani Borota and son David and daughter-in-law Holly Borota.

He also is survived by 14 grandchildren, sister Gladys and brother-in-law George Miljus and many nieces and nephews.

—Marty Levine 

Filed under: Feature,Volume 49 Issue 9

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