Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering Ernest
“Ernie” Gardow, who taught at the University of Hartford
for more than three decades, passed away on June 30 at the age of
Gardow was a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering from 1968 until his retirement in 2000, and he served as department chair for many years.
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and University alumnus Bob Celmer '78, said “I was privileged to know Dr. Gardow as both my teacher and as a fellow faculty member. All my knowledge of thermodynamics and all things "hot, wet and sticky" (as he liked to call it) came from him. He had a wonderful way of weaving clear theoretical explanations with real life engineering stories.
“When I returned to the University after graduate school, I had trepidations that I would still be viewed as a student,” Celmer added. “Instead, Ernie treated me immediately as a colleague, and was a strong mentoring partner as I progressed towards tenure. As department chair of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Gardow had an uncanny knack for remembering not only names, but even the birthdays of people he knew – something that added to his approachability. He always put our students first, a trait I continue to emulate.”
Gardow served on the Faculty Senate for many years, and chaired some of the organization’s key committees. In retirement, he continued to serve the University of Hartford as an active member of the Emeriti Association. He served on the association’s Executive Committee, and was chair of the Emeriti Association Scholarship Committee, which annually awards scholarships to University of Hartford students.
Gardow was a Professional Engineer (PE) who earned a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Union College, a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a PhD in mechanical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Before joining the faculty at the University of Hartford, he worked as an engineer at Hamilton Standard.
Throughout his life Gardow was involved with many professional, civic, and cultural organizations. He served on the State Board of Examiners for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors for the State of Connecticut, and on the national level he contributed to professional engineering by preparing and reviewing questions for the PE exam. He also was an officer of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for many years.
Gardow is survived by his wife of 55 years, Margery Peters Gardow, four children, and seven grandchildren.
Calling hours will be at the Vincent Funeral Home, 880 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, on Thursday, July 5, from 4-7 p.m. A memorial service and gathering of friends will be held at a later date at the family's convenience. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dean Zerban Endowed Scholarship, Office of Institutional Advancement, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, CT 06117; or to the Simsbury Community Band, P.O. Box 201, Simsbury, CT 06070.
Read Gardow’s obituary in the Hartford Courant, and leave online condolences.