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In Memoriam: Ed Schmeltz
The ACOPNE received the sad news of friend and colleague, ACOPNE 2017 President Ed Schmeltz's passing on March 9, 2022. Edward James Schmeltz, 72, of Greenwich and Branford, CT, passed away surrounded by his family. Mr. Schmeltz was a founding Diplomate of the ACOPNE and the only individual that was board certified in all four disciplines. He also was a founding member of the ASCE's Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI).
Ed was born in Newark, New Jersey, to Edward and A. Loretta (Pittman) Schmeltz. He grew up in Chatham, New Jersey. He attended the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), earning a BSME and Texas A&M University, MCE with a specialty in Coastal and Ocean Engineering. Ed worked as a coastal engineer for over 45 years, working in 21 states, 37 countries and 6 continents. Some of his most notable projects were for the U.S. Navy including, designing berth and support facilities for the battleships U.S.S Iowa in New York Harbor and U.S.S. Missouri in Pearl Harbor; channel improvements for CVN nuclear aircraft carriers in San Diego; and berth and support facilities for the Trident nuclear submarines in Kings Bay, Georgia. Other key landmark designs include restoring Whiskey Island, one of the barrier islands that protect New Orleans and the tender design of the Third Set of Locks for the Panama Canal.
Ed was a Distinguished Member and recipient of the OPAL Award in Design from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); a Fellow of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and past President of the NYC Post; Vice President, Americas, Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses (PIANC); and a member of the Moles. He served as Chairman of the Flood and Erosion Control Board in Greenwich. He was the recipient of the inaugural ACOPNE Outstanding Practitioner in Coastal, Ocean, Port and Navigation Engineering Award, for his indelible contributions in the practice of coastal, ocean, port and navigation engineering in his outstanding career.
Ed was a friend, teacher, and mentor to many in the civil engineering profession. He enjoyed helping others and supporting the next generation of engineers. He had a genuine care and good will for others.
Ed from 2017 ACOPNE interview: "Always treat people with respect. Always be open to learning new things. Listen to everyone’s ideas and perspectives. Sometimes the lowliest member of the team has something valuable to add. Learn to take a step back and deal with the important not just the urgent. Finally, everyone makes mistakes. The key is to admit it, correct what you can or must and move on. I could go on and on! My career has been a constant learning experience."
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Donna, daughter Leigh Erin Izzo and husband Daniel, son Erik Schmeltz and wife Rebecca, and his 6 grandchildren, Colton, Bennett, Tanner, Parker, Sadie and Logan.
A memorial service was held on March 19 at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Riverside, Connecticut. Donations for a scholarship held in his name can be made, to support engineering students. Donations can be made to: SAME, NYC Post Scholarship Fund, Inc., and mailed to: SAME, NYC Post Scholarship Fund, c/o Judy Cooper, President, 999 Grant Avenue, Pelham Manor, NY 10803.