Longtime advocate of nuclear power, UF's Jack Ohanian dies


Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 6:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 9:37 p.m.

A retired University of Florida faculty member and advocate of nuclear power has died.

M. Jack Ohanian, 78, was a professor emeritus of nuclear and radiological engineering who filled a variety of roles in his nearly 40 years at UF. Before retiring in 2001, he served as interim vice president for research and graduate education and subsequently interim dean of engineering.

Ohanian was "incredibly passionate not only about the university and the College of Engineering, but of engineering as a profession," said Erik Sander, director of the college's Engineering Innovation Institute. "He just dedicated his life to the profession."

Ohanian died Monday. A cause of death was not immediately available. Ohanian was former chairman of the American Association of Engineering Societies, former president of the American Nuclear Society and he regularly wrote guest columns for The Gainesville Sun in support of nuclear power.

"He certainly believed that nuclear power has a very big role in solving the world's energy needs," said Pramod Khargonekar, an electrical and computer engineering professor and former engineering dean.

A native of Istanbul, Turkey, of Armenian descent, Ohanian came to UF in 1963.

His duties for the College of Engineering included serving as chairman of nuclear and radiological engineering, engineering research dean and associate dean for research and administration.

"He did many things for the University of Florida," said Win Phillips, UF's senior vice president and chief operating officer. "He certainly was a jack of all needs of the university."

Contact Nathan Crabbe at 338-3176 or nathan.crabbe@gvillesun.com.

For more stories on the University of Florida, visit www.thecampussun.com.

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