Underwater Engineer George B. Tirey Has Died

A member of the Academy since 1963, Tirey is remembered for a career in marine geophysics and oceanography.

Published April 20, 2010

George B. “Rusty” Tirey, a Texan and member of the Academy since 1963, died in December at age 86. After serving in the US Navy during World War 2 where he performed underwater photography and mine disposal, Tirey graduated from Texas Tech University in 1950 with a degree in electrical engineering and began a career in marine geophysics and oceanography as applied to coastal civil engineering and marine mining projects. He worked for Columbia University’s field station in Bermuda and at the Lamont Geological Observatory in New York. He also worked for Alpine Geophysical Associates, Inc., Woodward-Clyde Consultants, the US Geological Survey, US Mineral Management Services, and performed independent consulting services in his field. His business took him around the globe, working on notable projects such as the Alyeska Pipeline in Alaska, the Great Belt Crossing in Denmark, and the English Channel tunnel. Tirey was instrumental in the development of underwater exploration equipment of both the electrical and mechanical nature, such as a vibratory sediment sampler and an underwater electrical seismic profiler used to establish subsurface soil layers. He was inducted into the Texas Tech Electrical Engineering Academy in 1998. He was also a member of American Geophysical Union, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the Explorer’s Club, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Associates.