1939 - 2018
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SUSSMAN, Professor Joseph M. Renowned MIT Professor Professor Joseph Martin Sussman, born in Brooklyn, NY and a longtime resident of Lincoln, MA died in Boston, MA on March 20th, 2018. Joseph was born on November 17th, 1939 and was the eldest of two children to Leonard and Lillian Sussman. Dr. Joseph M. Sussman was the JR East Professor (endowed by the East Japan Railway Company) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Institute of Data, Systems and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he served as a faculty member for 50 years. He joined the MIT faculty in 1967. From 1977 to 1979, Professor Sussman served as the Associate Dean of Engineering for Educational Programs. From 1980 to 1985, he served as Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at MIT. From 1986 to 1991, he served as Director of the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) at MIT. In 2011-2012, he served as the Interim Director of the Engineering Systems Division. Dr. Sussman received the Roy W. Crum Distinguished Service Award from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) its highest honor, "for significant contributions to research" in 2001, and the Council of University Transportation Centers (Award for Distinguished Contribution to University Transportation Education and Research in 2003. He became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007. In 2008, he won the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Engineering Alumni of the City College of New York. The Transportation Research Forum named Sussman as its Distinguished Researcher in 2014, a lifetime achievement recognition. In 2017, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering bestowed its Distinguished Service and Leadership Award on Professor Sussman. Sussman's work in railroads has had a major impact on the railroad industry in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Sussman chaired the TRB committee overseeing the Federal Railroad Administration's R&D program from 1996 to 1999 and chaired, in 2006, a TRB panel reviewing the federal transportation strategic plan for R&D. Sussman also chaired a new committee advising US DOT on the next generation of its Research, Development and Technology Strategic Plan. He has worked with the Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer (UIC) on technology scanning for the international freight and passenger railroad industry. In Portugal, he was the principle investigator of a project examining many aspects of High Speed Rail planned for that nation. Sussman has worked extensively on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), helping to build the U.S. national program. While serving as the first Distinguished University Scholar at ITS AMERICA (1991-92), he was the only academic member of the core group of five that wrote the first Strategic Plan for ITS in the U.S., a twenty-year plan for research, development, testing and deployment which has shaped the U.S. ITS program to the present day. In 2002, ITS Massachusetts named its annual "Joseph M. Sussman Leadership Award" in his honor. ITS America inducted Professor Sussman into the ITS Hall of Fame in 2015 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the organization. In February, 2011, a National Research Council (NRC) committee that he chaired, wrote a report entitled Federal Funding of Transportation Improvements in Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Cases. This report recommended a fundamental restructuring of the relationship between the Department of Defense and the civilian public sector with respect to how transportation programs are funded when there are substantial shifts of military personnel to bases in already congested areas. Dr. Sussman has served on review panels for transportation programs at Northwestern, the University of Toronto, Cornell, and the University of Michigan (chair). He has served as the chair of the CE advisory committee at CCNY and completed a 10-year stint on the advisory committee of Cal-IT2, a joint venture of UC-Irvine and UC-San Diego. Dr. Sussman is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Transportation Research Forum, Transportation Research Board (Executive Committee chair in 1994; Executive Committee member, 1991-1998), ITS America (Board of Directors, 1995-2001) and ITS Massachusetts (Board of Directors, 1996-2001). He co-founded Multisystems of Cambridge, MA in 1966 (now part of Transystems). As a longtime Lincoln resident, Joseph loved to take walks around his neighborhood, frequent stops at the local ice cream establishments, loved his time as a Trustee to the Lincoln Public Library and enjoyed hosting many events at his beloved family home. He loved coaching his children in sports in their youth and found much joy in watching his grandchildren in their theater and in sports as they grew. If anyone ever talked to Joe, they soon found out his lifelong passion for baseball and horse racing. Dr. Sussman is survived by his wife of 54 years, Henri-Ann Simon Sussman and their three children as well as his younger sister, Toby Manke and her husband Terry of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; daughter Kerri-Jae Sussman and her partner Kimberly Coppenrath of Windham, ME; son Andrew Sussman and his wife Kristina Sussman and their daughters Leda and Hailey of Westford, MA and son Craig Sussman and his wife Nadia Sussman and their children, Taylor, Ryan and Owen of Lincoln, MA. Services at the Wilson Chapel, 234 Herrick Road, Newton, MA on Sunday March 25th at 10am. Following interment at Lexington Road Cemetery in Lincoln, MA, observance will be at the home of Joseph and Henri-Ann Sussman. Shiva will be held at the home at 1:30pm on Sunday and will continue from 3 to 8pm on Monday March 26th, 2018. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Joseph and Henri-Ann Sussman Book Fund at the Lincoln Public Library, 3 Bedford Road, Lincoln, MA 01773.

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Published in Boston Globe from Mar. 22 to Mar. 23, 2018.
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Memories & Condolences
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21 entries
March 8, 2019
Joe and his sister Toby were my neighbors in Flatbush Brooklyn. Toby and I were best friends and grew up together. Joe was the older brother. Growing up in an apartment house, everyone is your friend. Like an extended family. I'm quite impressed by what Joe did with his life.
Diane Boardman
June 11, 2018
Prof. Sussman taught a couple of courses I took when he first joined the faculty at MIT. He was already a great teacher. I often think back to those classes because what he taught continues to be useful to me.
Gerald Ruderman
April 14, 2018
Although Joe was not my advisor, I remember him fondly for how much he cared about and engaged with all students in the program, and I later had an opportunity to spend time with him as academic colleagues. His legacy will live on.
Mark Abkowitz
April 1, 2018
Here, on Easter, I have just heard of Joe Sussman's passing. I am very sorry to hear of it and offer my condolences to Henri Ann and his family. Joe was my masters thesis advisor and a mentor. He was unfailingly reasonable, kind, and articulate, with me and with everyone with whom I saw him. I always learned something new when I heard him speak with his wonderful Brooklyn accent. I will miss him, as I'm sure will his many friends and colleagues. Peter French
Peter French
March 28, 2018
Joe's was the first class I took in 1999 as a graduate student a few continents away from the comfort of the home I grew up in. That year, Joe tantalizingly promised to cancel our final exam if the Red Sox were to win the World Series. Such a passionate fan, and a great sense of humor! He was always ready with a smile, a kind word, a "How are ya?" as we walked past in the halls. He was always connected to the students and their well-being, and constantly strove to open our eyes to the big picture. A true legend!
Ramachandran Balakrishna
March 26, 2018
Joe was always full of heart and passion, becoming a dear friend and mentor to many students. I can still hear his deep Brooklyn accent!

His is a memory many colleagues and students will long cherish.
Mark Hickman
March 26, 2018
Professor Sussman will be greatly missed. I remember taking one of my first courses at MIT under him, and was impressed how he approached complex problems in simpler but powerful ways. He was a kind person and great mentor to many students at MIT.

I pray for his family. With deepest condolences.
Akhil Chauhan
March 26, 2018
Rest in peace Dr. Sussman. You will be remembered not only as a true gentleman and scholar, but also your significant contribution to the Transportation Engineering industry. thank you for your leadership at TRB and ITS America.
Abbas Mohaddes
March 26, 2018
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
March 25, 2018
Professor Sussman will be greatly missed. He played an important role to students and colleagues alike as educator, mentor, and standard-bearer to study problems of global significance. Extraordinarily generous and motivational, he was one of the key individuals who helped inspire and chart my early career. His advice and perspective will be sorely missed but never forgotten by those who carry his memory forward. My sincere condolences to his family with heartfelt thanks for the time let shared with the world.
Paul Grogan
March 24, 2018
My deepest sympathies to Joe's family and friends. I'm grateful to have first met Joe when we sat next to each other at a transportation meeting 20 years ago. It was our jovial conversation and his insightful advice that day which inspired me to pursue graduate study. Joe eventually became my MIT advisor.

He always made time for a spirited chat with his students - whether in the halls, or years after graduation as careers and industry progressed. Thank you Joe for your kindness and generous mentorship. You will be greatly missed.
Marge Cortes
March 24, 2018
Dr. Sussman will be missed by the entire MIT community and the researchers at Lincoln Labs. A teacher to the entire research community of what it means to be smart and kind. His message reached thousand of students from around the world of whom will shape our future thanks to Joe's wisdom and mentorship. The constantine family hearts breaks for Joe's entire family. May there be peace and love surrounding his wife, sons, daughter, daughter in laws and all the 5 grandchildren.
SarahJane Constantine
March 24, 2018
Professor Joseph Sussman was a wonderful inspiration and mentor to our Son Travis while Travis was studying with him for 5 years at MIT, as well as the years since his graduation. It was our sincere pleasure to meet with him several times and we fully understood why he was so admired by all the students who's lives he touched. The whole community will miss this exceptional man.
Bruce and Toni Dunn
March 24, 2018
Prof Sussman was a reference for his enthusiasm and dedication to developing people through the MIT programs in Transportation. A person of rare generosity and humanity will be remembered by all who had the priviledge of working with him
Rosário Macário
March 23, 2018
Professor Sussman guided me through my time at MIT as a teacher, mentor, and friend. He took me under his wing for the Mexico City air quality project, and helped me with my internship at JR East under the MIT Japan program. My deepest condolences to Henri-Ann and family. He will be remembered by many.

Dan Amano (MST '03)
Dan Amano
March 23, 2018
In loving memory of a wonderful friend and colleague. We will miss you always.
Fred Moavenzadeh
March 23, 2018
All condolences to Joe's family and friends on his loss; very sorry to hear about this. Joe played a very significant role in not only tolerating my nonconventional dissertation research at MIT but in finding funding for me when none was available elsewhere. All students he reached out to help are in gratitude of his caring presence and Joe's memory is forever blessed.
Jonathan Richmond
March 23, 2018
Dear Henri-Ann and family.

I was so sorry to hear of Joe's passing and I just wanted you to know I am thinking of all of you in this difficult time. Please accept my condolences.
Richard Shmishkiss
March 23, 2018
In my quality of Director of the Transport Systems Focus Area of the Portugal-MIT program, I had very regular contact with Prof. Sussman. In him I came across a man of great willingness to find the best fit for our graduate students in their hosting at MIT and of great intellectual passion for the topics of our joint research. The program owes him a great deal and he leaves a strong memory in all those that were fortunate to work with him.
José Viegas
March 22, 2018
Professor Sussman is one of the people who will always be what I think of as the face of MIT. I was fortunate to be able to have him in my group of advisors who I could call and ask for advice. He always made the time for my questions and to say "Hi" in the hallways -- even when he was doing much bigger things.

He will be missed. We've lost a great man, scholar, and mentor.

David Long
March 22, 2018
I will always remember Professor Sussman as a wise gentleman and a generous scholar, especially to the youngsters. I was very lucky to have him as host during my PhD year at MIT in 2010/2011. I want to express my sympathies to his family. RIP.
Antonio Andrade
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