“...[Answers to overarching questions about urban sustainability] ...depend on the development of new bio-socio-technological-environmental paradigms, and of a correspondingly broader conception of engineering and of the interdisciplinarity of knowledge.”
A Man of Vision
George Bugliarello’s range of interests and expertise transcended many disciplines, including civil engineering, bio-medical engineering, urban development, science policy, water resources and environmental science. His vision of the role of science, innovation and education, coupled with a passion for turning his vision into reality, is reflected in today’s urban communities, forged through academic and industry interactions in ways that spur economic growth and societal well-being, while respecting the quality of human life and the environment.
The Biosoma Paradigm
In emphasizing the urgent need for a clear strategy for urban sustainability, Dr. Bugliarello recommended a new paradigm based on the biosoma—the indissoluble interaction of biology, society and machines, along with the complementary system of systems paradigm. The biosoma-environmental paradigm views the city as a complex, adaptive system where the three biosoma entities interact with the environment. Synergies and trade-offs among these entities and their interaction with sub-components such as materials, energy, information and systems, are at the heart of addressing issues of urban sustainability.
George Bugliarello, President Emeritus (having served as president from 1973 to 1994), Institute Professor and former chancellor (1994 - 2003) of Polytechnic Institute of NYU (formerly Polytechnic University), was an engineer and educator with a broad back¬ground ranging from fluid mechanics to computer languages, the environment, bio¬medical engineering and science policy. He held a Doctor of Science degree in engineering from the Mass¬achusetts Institute of Technology, and was awarded honorary degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Trieste, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Pace University, Trinity College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Minnesota.
At the time of his death, Dr. Bugliarello was serving his second four-year term as Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Engineering, of which he had been a member since 1987. He was a lifetime National Associate of The National Academies and served as chair of the National Academy of Engineering Council’s International Affairs Committee.
During his long and fruitful career, he served as chairman of the Board of Science and Technology for International Development (BOSTID) of the National Academy of Sciences and as chairman of the National Medal of Technology Nomination Evaluation Committee. He chaired the Advisory Panel for Technology Transfer to the Middle East of the Office of Technology Assessment, and also the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPP) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He served as chair of the Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment of the National Research Council, and of the National Academies Megacities project for the Habitat II conference. He also served as chair of the National Academies steering committee on the Megacities. Other committee service included the U.S. National Academies-Russian Academy of Sciences Committee on Terrorism Confronting the U.S. and Russia and co-chairmanship of a joint Russian-American Task Force on Urban Security.
Dr. Bugliarello’s international experience included consultantships abroad for OECD as reviewer of the science policy of several countries, and for UNESCO, assignments as specialist for the U.S. Department of State in Central Africa, the holding of a NATO Senior Faculty Fellowship at the Technical University of Berlin, membership on the U.S.-Egypt Joint Consultative Committee of the National Academy of Sciences, and membership on the Scientific Committee of the Summer School on Environmental Dynamics in Venice. He had been the U.S. member of the Science for Stability Steering Committee, and of the Science for Peace Steering Committee, of the Scientific Affairs Division of NATO.
He was co-founder and co-editor of Technology in Society - An International Journal, Interim Editor-in-Chief of The Bridge (the quarterly publication of the National Academy of Engineering), served on several editorial advisory boards, authored over three hundred professional papers, and was the author, co-author or editor of numerous books.
He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Engineering Education, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Biomedical Engineering Society, and a Founding Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.