Paul Panayotatos, Respected Faculty Member, Dies

It is with great sadness that the School of Engineering announces the death of Paul Panayotatos, an internationally respected researcher and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rutgers University, who died on Sunday, April 7, following a long illness.

During his 30 year career as a faculty member of Rutgers School of Engineering, Dr. Panayotatos was a vigorous supporter of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the university working with students, leading the department through a successful ABET evaluation last year, and serving as a member of various university committees, including most recently as chair of the University Senate.

His research interests included co-integration of GaAs on Si for optical interconnects, organic semiconductor solar cells, silicon micromachining for microelectromechanical devices (MEMS) and compound semiconductor devices. As a respected faculty member at Rutgers, Dr. Panayotatos held a number of distinctive positions, including Board of Governors faculty representative and member of the search committees for both the current executive vice president for academic affairs and the university president.

“Dr. Panayotatos will be widely remembered as a gentleman, a man of principle and a tireless advocate for ECE,” said Athina Petropulu, department chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “He did not allow his two-year long illness to define him, but rather, despite all odds, he went about managing his departmental and university responsibilities with renewed energy and optimism. He gave us all lessons of courage. He will be sorely missed.”

Dr. Panayotatos and his Capstone group received the best paper award at the 2012 American Waterworks Conference, and also the first prize at the 2012 ECE Capstone competition.

Dr. Panayotatos received his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Patras, Greece, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Columbia University. Following his graduation, he served in the Greek Navy and then briefly joined the faculty of Columbia University as assistant professor before finding a home at Rutgers in 1982.

Dr. Panayotatos is survived by his mother, Sofia, and his sister, Elisabeth.

The funeral service will take place in Athens on April 16, and the burial will take place on April 17 in Argostoli of the Greek island Kefalonia, where his family is from.  A memorial service at Rutgers will be scheduled at a later date.  A condolences guestbook is available online.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the ECE Department.