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Robert Fulton, 72, dies

Engineering professor and county commissioner

David Terraso
Institute Communications and Public Affairs

  Robert Fulton headshot
 

Robert Fulton

Mechanical Engineering Professor and Fulton County Commissioner Robert Fulton, 72, died last week after collapsing at his home in North Fulton County. He was taken to North Fulton Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 5 a.m. on Feb. 24, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Fulton joined Tech in 1985 and has been active in computer-aided design (CAD) research.

“He was a very outgoing and loquacious individual,” said Ward Winer, chair of the School of Mechanical Engineering. “He was always upbeat. He will be remembered for being a good teacher, a very prolific advisor and a good role model.”

Fulton was the director of the Electronic Commerce Resource Center, a joint venture project between Tech and Clark Atlanta University. At the time of his death, he was working to develop a center of excellence in product life-cycle management, said Steven Danyluk, professor of mechanical engineering, who worked closely with Fulton.

“If I were to summarize him, I’d have to say he truly was a gentleman and a scholar,” added Danyluk.

Fulton’s research at Tech was focused on applications in electronic packaging as well as the aerospace and automotive fields.

One of Fulton’s projects was a collaborative effort with the Universities of Notre Dame, Illinois and Maryland that brings together teams of students from disciplines such as mechanical engineering, business, materials engineering and marketing to develop a product from concept to production. The project is designed to simulate the geographical and intellectual boundaries that are a part of daily life in large companies and develop data models to help people from various disciplines work together, said Suresh Sitaraman, associate professor of mechanical engineering, who worked with Fulton on the project.

“He enjoyed his work. He loved to come to work every day. He was exceptional in terms of research, teaching, and scholarship, and he did it to the last day,” said Sitaraman.

The Engineers of Greater Atlanta named Fulton Engineer of the Year in Education in 2003. He served as chair of the data management program for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers from 1985 until his death.

Fulton graduated from Auburn University in 1953 and received his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1960.

He was serving his third term as commissioner for Fulton County District 3 when he passed away. He was elected to the commission in 1995, serving North Fulton County, including the cities of Alpharetta, Roswell and Mountain Park.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my friend and colleague, and my thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Jackie, and his entire family,” said Karen Handel, commission chairman, in a written statement. “From his commitment to parks and greenspace to the arts, Bob made lasting contributions to our community. I will miss him. We will all miss him.”

Fulton’s commission office will remain vacant until a special election is held in July. Flags at Fulton County offices were flown at half-staff last week to honor him.

 

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