SWERSEY--Burt L., of Stephentown, N.Y., age 78, died unexpectedly on March 9. An inventor, entrepreneur, farmer, teacher and dreamer, he believed in the power of engineering to improve the world. He attended Bronx Science and Cornell and founded four medical technology companies and a plant nursery. He taught for 23 years at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where his Inventors Studio course fostered creativity and innovation and spawned numerous successful companies. In 2009 it was named one of the best entrepreneurship courses in America. His latest course How to Save the World emphasized creative solutions to important problems. In addition to his wife Alice and brother Arthur, he is survived by a son, William, daughters Sarah and Rachel, and six grandchildren, to whom he was utterly devoted.

Published by New York Times on Mar. 12, 2015.
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I was a student in the first class Burt ever taught at RPI and considered his influence as foundational in my life and career. I had never met any individual like Burt at that time in my life and in so much was forever changed. I just discovered that Burt had passed looking to introduce him to one of my three daughters all who have become engineers.
Jeffrey Brady
October 14, 2020
When I started my landscape design business, I had the great fortune to purchase plants from Burt's nursery, but it was never just buying plants, it was more a chance to learn from Burt who was the most generous of teachers. His life was a gift to all!
Karen Shreefter
March 26, 2015
Burt u were a man of wisdom. Knowledge I believe we shared. Some words while triming trees. In ur woods liked working with was. A pleasure the grass and the woods nature teaches us who we are. And what we want to be I am proud to have known u
carl vanderwood
March 20, 2015
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I was a student of Bert's at RPI in 1991. He was a wonderful instructor and a great influence on my path in life. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have learned so much from such an intelligent, motivating, energetic, and kind man.
Keith Richman
March 19, 2015
Dear Alice, Bob and I were so sorry to learn of Burt's untimely passing. And we are so sorry to have put our visit off over and over again. Lesson learned. We are thinking of you and your beautiful family and hope that maybe we can see you when the weather loosens in the Berkshires. Our condolences and love, Roberta Silman
March 17, 2015
Though I'm so sad that Mr. Swersey left this life, I can't help but feel joy just thinking of the blessed life that he lived! He had what so few people can find, a very happy marriage, loving and creative children, many grandchildren, and an inspiring career! His loss will be felt by many for a long time.
Caroline Darlington Leonard
March 14, 2015
may your memories of him always be a blessing to you and everyone who knew him. What an inspirational man and life. He was blessed to have you all so close to him.
Stephen Markowtiz
March 13, 2015
We all miss you, Burt. I am forever grateful for my happy childhood, and you Swerseys were a big part of that. Love and prayers for Alice, Bill, Sarah, Rachel and all the family.
emily hourihan
March 12, 2015
That was Burt exactly. He will be missed. Roberta and Steven.
March 12, 2015
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