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Stephanou, Former ARRI Director, Dies

Friday, March 29, 2013

It is with great sadness that we report that our highly regarded colleague and friend, Harry Stephanou, died the afternoon of March 28 after a long illness. He is survived by a son, Phillip, and a daughter, Dorothy, both engineers and graduates of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). He also had one granddaughter, Dana. Please keep Harry’s family in your thoughts and prayers.

Ben Johnston

Dr. Stephanou

For those wishing to pay their respects, visitation will begin at 6:00 p.m., followed by a wake at 7:30 p.m., March 29 at the Moore Funeral Home, 1219 N. Davis Drive, Arlington (817-275-2711). The funeral service is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. March 30 at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, Euless (303 Cullum Dr., 76040, 817-283-2291).

Harry was an electrical engineering professor and former director of the Automation and Robotics Research Institute (ARRI, now the UTA Research Institute). He always thought big. He was ambitious and creative, and he always wanted to make a difference. He dedicated much of his last decade to UTA’s Texas Microfactory initiative. After suffering a stroke, he worked to develop a tailored rehab strategy and, with the head of his rehab center and a neuro-surgery patient, co-authored a paper on engineered therapy for improved stroke recovery. He also planned to develop a course on Assistive Rehab Robotics and teach it online while testing its methodologies on himself, making a world of difference in health, safety and humanity.

In his career, Harry held several leadership positions, including Vice President, Conference Program Chairman and Associate Editor at the IEEE Society for Robotics and Automation. He published more than 130 papers, journal articles and conference proceedings.

He earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 1976, focusing on robotics and intelligent systems. In his long and distinguished career, he worked for the Exxon Production Research Company in Houston, served on the faculty of the School of Information Technology and Engineering at George Mason University, was part-time Program Director for Robotics and Machine Intelligence at the National Science Foundation, and was Director of the Center for Automation Technologies at RPI. 

While those who knew him best recall his passion for his work, they also remember his extensive collection of model cars. We will remember Harry’s commitment to his work and dedication to UT Arlington, and we will miss being his colleague and friend.