Former engineering professor Ephrahim Garcia dies

Ephrahim Garcia, Cornell University professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, died Sept. 10 as the result of a stroke at age 51.

Before joining the Cornell faculty, Garcia was a program manager in the Defense Sciences Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency from 1998-2002.

Ephrahim Garcia
Ephrahim Garcia

Garcia joined the mechanical engineering faculty at Vanderbilt University in 1991 as an assistant professor. He became an associate professor in 1995, and left Vanderbilt in 2001.

Garcia had research interests in dynamics and controls, particularly in sensors and actuators involving smart materials. As head of the Laboratory for Intelligent Machine Systems at Cornell, Garcia worked on projects ranging from modeling and analyses of flapping wings to energy harvesting for biological systems.

From 1991-97, Garcia owned and operated a corporation now called Dynamic Structures and Materials, which designs and fabricates smart materials based on actuators.

He also was named a National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellow in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.

He was the recipient of the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) Abe M. Zarem Advisor Award in Aeronautics in 2010, and received Merrill Presidential Scholar Advisor Recognitions in 2008 and 2010. In 2006, he received the Dennis G. Sheppard Teaching Award from Cornell’s Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Garcia received his Ph.D. (1990), M.S. (1988) and B.S. (1985), all from the State University of New York at Buffalo, all in aerospace engineering.

Immediate survivors include his wife, Anna Marie, a physician; son, Isaac, and daughter, Sarah.