Obituaries, Feb. 2990 - present

Obituaries, Feb. 2009 - present

[Note: in cases where donations may be made to New Mexico Tech, the address is: Advancement Office, New Mexico Tech, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801.]

Dr. Arpad Torma |

Dr. Arpad Emil Torma, 76, passed away on March 10. Torma was a former professor of metallurgy at New Mexico Tech, and also served as Dean of Engineering, Director of the State Mining and Mineral Resources Institute (Mineral Institute) and Director of the Sullivan Center for In-situ Mining Research.

Services will be held on Friday, March 13 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Rio Rancho, beginning with a rosary at 10:30 a.m., followed by Mass at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Torma’s name can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 9500 Montgomery NE, Suite 209, Albuquerque, NM 87111.

Torma was born on Oct. 30, 1932 in Gyor, Hungary. He received his Bachelor’s of Sciences in Chemical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich; his Masters in Sciences in Chemistry from Laval University, Quebec City, Canada; and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Arpad married Katalin Dobovari on Sept. 24, 1960 in Switzerland; their sons, Steven C. and Gabriel A., were both born in Quebec City. Survivors include two daughters-in-law and three grandchildren. (His elder son is married to the former Patricia Saavedra of Socorro.)

Torma joined the Metallurgy Department at New Mexico Tech on Jan. 1, 1977, during the Kenneth Ford administration.

“When his house in Quebec City was covered in snow, he came to sunny New Mexico to interview for a faculty position and said he would take whatever we offered,” said Dr. Osman Inal, Professor of Metallurgy and current Dean of Engineering at New Mexico Tech.

Inal said he coached both Torma sons in soccer, and that they were very good players. “Arpad Torma was a good guy who fit very well into the Socorro and Tech communities,” Inal said.

Torma left Tech in June 1990 to take on new challenges, “and was very much missed,” Inal said. “The New Mexico Tech community mourns the loss of a good man.”

An obituary notice in the Albuquerque Journal noted that Torma retired in 1994, and that he authored or co-authored some 240 reviewed articles including nine books; he also held 13 patents.