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Francis (Fran) Clay McMichael

August 8, 1937 July 28, 2018
Francis (Fran) Clay McMichael
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Obituary for Francis (Fran) Clay McMichael

Please keep the family and friends of Francis Clay (Fran) McMichael in your hearts and prayers. He was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, and emeritus professor of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He passed away on July 28, 2018 at the age of 80. Fran was born in Philadelphia on August 8, 1937, son of the late Francis and Estella McMichael. He attended Girard College in Philadelphia, in 1954. Fran earned a BS in Mining Engineering (1958) from Lehigh University, and an MS in Geophysics (1959) and PhD in Civil Engineering (1963) from the California Institute of Technology. He was a Research Fellow at Caltech from 1962-1965. In 1963 he received an appointment as a Sanitary Engineer in the U.S. Public Health Service, which he held for the rest of his life, rising to the rank of Commander and involving active duty service on a number of occasions especially in response to flooding disasters. Following his postdoctoral research appointment at CalTech, Fran joined the faculty of the Department of Civil Engineering at Princeton University in 1965. He was recruited in 1967 to the Mellon Institute at Carnegie Mellon to join the American Iron and Steel Institute Water Resources Group. Fran left a profound legacy at Carnegie Mellon, where he held a joint appointment in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Engineering and Public Policy (EPP). He was among the small group of visionary founding faculty members of the EPP Department in 1972. He was the CEE department head from 1975-1979, and was appointed the first Walter J. Blenko, Sr. Professor of Environmental Engineering in 1981. He was the Director of the Center for Solid Waste Management Research from 1990-1995. In addition to his contributions to CEE and EPP, Fran was instrumental in founding the Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon, along with colleagues from College of Engineering and the Graduate School of Industrial Administration (now the Tepper School of Business). He was well-known as one of the nation’s leading researchers and educators in interdisciplinary engineering-based environmental problem solving. Fran was an influential teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend to generations of students and faculty members at Carnegie Mellon, including during his 16 years in emeritus status following his transition to Emeritus Professor status in 2002. Fran also was devoted to his family, his church, and his community. He is survived by his wife of 49 years Patricia (Barati) McMichael, his daughter Jessica Ortiz and her husband Pablo Ortiz of Brampton, Ontario; his daughter Laureen Yungmeyer and her partner Mitchell Manning of Scotts Valley, California. He was pre-deceased by his half-brother James Gillian. He was the proud and loving grandfather of four grandchildren: Pablo and Elizabeth Ortiz, and Cody and Austin Yungmeyer. He was a long-time, active member of Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Over the course of his career he gave generously of his time for many committees and panels for the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the National Research Council, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other organizations. A memorial service and celebration of Fran’s extraordinary life will be held on Saturday, October 20, beginning at 11:00 am at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, 5121 Westminster Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. A reception will follow immediately in the parish hall. Gifts in memory of Francis Clay Michael can be made to the Carnegie Mellon Civil and Environmental Engineering Strategic Endowment Fund (, or Carnegie Mellon University, P.O. Box 371525, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-7525). The family thanks the many friends of Fran for their outreach to him and for their concern and prayers during his final days. Arrangements by the John D. O’Connor and Son Funeral Home, Inc., 5106 Second Avenue, 15207, 412-521-8116

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11:00 AM 10/20/2018 11:00:00 AM - 12:00 PM 10/20/2018 12:00:00 PM
Shadyside Presbyterian Church

5121 Westminister Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Shadyside Presbyterian Church
5121 Westminister Place Pittsburgh 15232 PA
United States

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