Penn State Professor Dies After Collapsing in Class

September 04, 2008

A well-liked professor at Pennsylvania State University at University Park died on Wednesday after he fell ill while teaching a classroom of graduate students, The Centre Daily Times reported today.

The professor, Lawrence Hochreiter, who taught mechanical and nuclear engineering, collapsed at about 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Students, administrators, and paramedics called 911 and performed CPR on Mr. Hochreiter until he was moved to the Mount Nittany Medical Center’s emergency room, where he died shortly after 11 a.m. The county coroner told the newspaper that the professor had died of natural causes.

Former students and colleagues spoke warmly of Mr. Hochreiter, who had taught at the university since 1986. Before that, Mr. Hochreiter, who held a Purdue University doctorate, worked as an engineer at an energy business and was an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Mr. Hochreiter’s research interests included thermal-hydraulic modeling of nuclear power plants, reactor safety analysis, and the experimental study of two-phase flow and heat transfer. He was teaching reactor engineering when he collapsed. —Allie Grasgreen