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Potter Funeral Home
456 Jackson Street
Willimantic, CT 06226
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Mahmoud A. Melehy

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Mahmoud A. Melehy Obituary


Professor Emeritus, University of Connecticut, Storrs June 10, 1926-May 9, 2014 Mahmoud A. Melehy was born in Dessamy, Egypt, a village on the Nile River. He received his primary and secondary education in Cairo and subsequently attended Cairo University, where in 1947 he completed a BS in electrical engineering. Emigrating to the United States for graduate study, in 1949 he earned a MS in the same field at the Ohio State University, and then, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a MS in mathematics in 1950 and a PhD in electrical engineering in 1952. He had a distinguished career teaching in a number of institutions, including the University of Heliopolis (Egypt), the University of Alaska, and Michigan State University, where he met his wife Catharina (née Raadersma), an immigrant from the Netherlands doing graduate study in nutritional science. In 1958, he joined the faculty of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, where he remained until his retirement in 1992. Throughout his career he was an active researcher, publishing two books and about eighty scholarly articles on thermodynamic theory; this work provides explanations for a wide range of natural phenomena, including the motion of tornadoes and the operation of solar cells. In addition to teaching and research, he also took positions as a consultant, most notably with the Shockley Transistor Corporation in Mountain View, CA, in 1960, where he collaborated on several scholarly articles with Dr. William Shockley, co-inventor of the transistor and co-recipient of the 1958 Nobel Prize in physics. Professor Melehy presented papers at many prestigious colloquia, including the Albert Einstein Century International Conference in Paris in 2005. In 2007 he received the Distinguished Service Award from UConn's School of Engineering. He was also an avid amateur horticulturalist: he attained the distinction of being the first to raise a southern magnolia outdoors in New England. He passed away at his home in Storrs among his family following a prolonged illness. In addition to his wife Catharina, surviving him are their three sons, Omar Melehy of Silver Spring, MD, Hassan Melehy of Chapel Hill, NC, and Essam Melehy of Encinitas, CA, their wives, respectively Suvita Melehy, Dorothea Heitsch, and Holly Melehy, four grandchildren, Alexander, Andrew, Christina, and Melissa Melehy, and a niece, Nemat El-Shinowy of Cairo. There will be calling hours from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday May 11, 2014 at Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson Street (Rte. 195) Willimantic, CT. Interment will be private in Storrs Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to either the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 338 Main Ave., 5th floor, Norwalk, CT 06851, or the Covenant Soup Kitchen, 220 Valley St., Willimantic, CT 06226. For an online memorial guestbook, please visit www.potterfuneralhome.com.


Published in The Hartford Courant on May 10, 2014
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