Salvatore P. Sutera
Salvatore P. Sutera, PhD, age 90, passed away on November 7, 2023. Sal is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Celia; daughters Marie (Bob) Woodruff, Annette (Joe Antczak) Sutera, and Michelle (Dan) Ludwig; grandchildren Anna (Joey) Azim, Sam (Hannah) Woodruff, Emma Ludwig, and Max Ludwig; and great granddaughter Leila Azim. Sal is also survived by his dear brother Tom (Flora) Sutera.
For more than 40 years, Sal was an academic leader at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University and an internationally recognized scholar in the area of biomechanics. Sal joined the faculty at Washington University in 1968 as a professor of Mechanical Engineering and served as Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from 1968 to 1982, then again from 1985 to 1997. After the University created the new Department of Biomedical Engineering in 1996, Sal served as the founding and acting Chair during the department’s first year. In 1997, he was installed as the first Spencer T. Olin Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, an endowed professorship he held until his retirement in 2003. He came out of retirement to serve as Dean of the McKelvey School of Engineering from 2008 to 2010. Over the course of his 40-year career at Washington University, Sal touched the lives of thousands of engineering students, both as a professor in the classroom and laboratory and also as department Chair and Dean.
Off campus, Sal enjoyed classical music, oil painting, and traveling with Celia. He was a lover of all things French, born out of his year as a Fulbright Fellow in Paris in 1956. He returned with his family in 1973 as a visiting professor at the University of Paris. Sal was an active member of the Alliance Française of St. Louis for several decades and served on the Board of Directors of St. Louis-Lyon Sister Cities, Inc. He was also proud of his Italian heritage and was active in the Italian Club of St. Louis for many years. His intellectual curiosity and adventurous spirit took him far and wide, but he was happiest at home with his wife and daughters (his sweethearts) who will miss him terribly.
Services: A memorial Mass to honor Sal’s life will be held on Saturday, November 25, 2023 at The Immacolata Catholic Church, 8900 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights, MO 63117. Visitation at 9:00 a.m. followed by Mass at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations in honor of Sal be made to The Sutera Family Endowed Scholarship for Engineering, McKelvey School of Engineering, Washington University, 1 Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130.