Howard Strassner

My Tech education helped me first by qualifying me for a partial scholarship at Purdue in Indiana. This led to a first job as a “boiler maker”/engineer in New York. My concerns with energy led me to Bechtel, in San Francisco, where I served as a mechanical engineer in power plants. My favorite work at Bechtel was on energy-conservation systems for mining and metallurgy projects. The move to the Bay Area gave me the opportunity to hike and ski in the Sierra Nevada and sail on San Francisco Bay. This helped me find my wife Ruth, who passed in November 2022, after 51 years of marriage.
My daily commute on the BMT to Tech began with a half-mile walk to my elevated stop in Brooklyn. On the way, I learned to adjust my walking pace to just catch my local. My early understanding of train headways led me to my long-term advocacy of public transit as a partial solution to our climate crisis.
My birth in the middle of the Great Depression led to my frugality and to owning some property in the most expensive city in the world. This made it possible to partially retire early to enjoy more hiking, sailing and travel. My part-time projects on energy conservation systems for metallurgy projects made work fun.

It is now seventy years since I left Tech. These days, I wonder, if I could test well enough to enter Tech now that it admits women and more people of color. I visited once and am happy to send modest annual checks. These days I wonder, with Tech admitting women and more people of color, if I could test well enough to be accepted. My only contact in San Francisco with another Technite was with my wife’s old neighbor who graduated ten years before me, was nearly a Nobelist in chemistry, and knew the Nobelists who went to Tech.

Thank you, Tech, for helping a Flatbush boy have a pretty good life.