Eugene Engels – 1933-2024

Emeritus Professor Eugene Engels passed away on June 30, 2024 at age 90. Gene earned a BS with honors from Caltech in 1955 and was commissioned an officer in the US Air Force, where he served at Edwards Air Force Base with the Air Research and Development Command from 1955 to 1957. He then went to graduate school at Princeton, receiving his Ph.D. in 1962. He served as Instructor of Physics, and then Assistant Professor and Associate Professor at Harvard from 1962 to 1970, when he joined the Pitt faculty as Professor. He served in that position until taking Emeritus status in 1999. Gene was Visiting Scientist at the Centre d’Etudes Nucleaires in Saclay during 1980-1981, and served as Department Chair from 1985 to 1990.


Gene was instrumental in building the high energy experiment group at Pitt. He was elected Fellow of the APS in 1988. His early work was on K mesons and the Sigma and Xi baryons. In the 1980’s he led efforts to develop silicon microstrip vertex detectors at Fermilab, and also was involved in the development of a large liquid argon calorimeter, both of which became fundamental technologies for future experiments. Starting in the early 1990’s, Gene was a member of the CDF collaboration at the Fermilab Tevatron, which at the time was the world’s highest-energy collider and the forerunner to the LHC.


Those of us who knew him remember the unflagging positive energy Gene brought to any gathering. Emeritus Professor Steve Dytman offers this remembrance: “His services to the department were supreme. He built and led the high energy experimental group as we know it. He was also a Chair who was willing to listen to anyone. Finally, he was a very inspiring teacher and friend.”

Date :
Tuesday, July 9, 2024 - 14:45