Remembering William C. Hunter (1946 – 2019)

It is with great sadness that we report our dear friend and colleague, William (Bill) Hunter of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, passed away on January 3.  Bill was the founding director of diversity of the CEMB and played a major role in establishing the educational, diversity and outreach components of our new center.

Bill joined NJIT in 2002 as the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department Chair. Prior to joining NJIT, he spent more than 20 years at the Johns Hopkins University and held earlier positions at the University of Leiden and Penn. He received his education at Lehigh University (B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1968) and Penn (Ph.D., Bioengineering, 1977).  His research activities focused on cardiovascular mechanics and more recently on biomedical applications of MEMS devices. He published widely in the Biophysical Journal, Circulation Research, Aging Cell, American Journal of Physiology, Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, and the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids.  In 2003, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) made Professor Hunter a Fellow “for significant contributions to bioengineering of the heart, which has allowed integrated understanding of cardiac contraction from protein to pump.” 

img: Hunter and Wang_Retreat 2017
Bill Hunter and Yanbing Wang

Of course, we all know Bill’s dedication and passion in helping us establish the CEMB.   We were fortunate to have Bill’s involvement at the very beginning in developing the STC proposal.  He was instrumental in guiding us in the proposal site visit that ultimately led to a successful award from the National Science Foundation.

Dean Moshe Kam of the Newark College of Engineering says that among Bill’s most important accomplishments during his years as BME Chair (2002-2008) were the development of the BME curriculum, the hiring of many new faculty members, gaining ABET accreditation for the first time, and formation of new student laboratory facilities.  These initiatives were critical to the success of the new Department.   Bill was a passionate educator.  His dedication to education and diversity initiatives helped the CEMB and NJIT alike.  He developed a number of fundamental and popular courses and laboratories, including Engineering Models of Physiological Systems; Biomedical Computing and Signal Processing, and Cardiovascular Mechanics.

Bill’s family has set up a memorial donation page, Gifts will be directed to the BME Discretionary fund, which supports areas of greatest need for the Department. Donations can also be made to the Foundation at NJIT, Office of Development and Alumni Relations, 323 MLK Blvd, Newark NJ 07102-1983.  

The CEMB will host a special session on Cardiovascular mechanics in honor of Bill at the 2nd Annual National Mechanobiology Symposium on October 12, 2019, at Washington University in St. Louis.