The beloved professor and colleague passed away on April 12, 2022.
Friday, 22 April 2022
Prof. Joe Saleh

Beloved professor, mentor, colleague, and researcher Joseph Saleh passed away on April 12, 2022. Professor Saleh was known for his unique teaching style and wisdom, but his dedication and mentorship towards students was unparalleled.

“Joe was a beloved member of our AE community for 15 years. He was a wonderful instructor who cared deeply about his students,” said William R. T. Oakes Professor & School Chair Mark Costello.

Professor Saleh received numerous awards for his teaching and mentoring, including the Outstanding Faculty Award, the Lockheed Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Most Valuable Professor Award at Georgia Tech. On April 25, the Georgia Tech chapter of Sigma Gamma Tau – a national aerospace engineering honor society – will award Saleh the Most Valuable Professor Award posthumously for “outstanding teaching and his impact on AE students,” shared Anonto Zaman, chapter president.

Saleh joined the AE School in 2007 as an associate professor, bringing expertise in spacecraft systems and risk prevention. His research covered spacecraft reliability and analysis, programmatic systems engineering, and accident causation and system safety, which was used across different industries and disciplines. In the fall of 2021, Saleh launched a national accident and injury prevention competition for undergraduate and graduate students, challenging them to solve system safety problems in society.

His genuine curiosity and exceptional talents led him to write many publications shared around the world. Saleh authored two books, 120 technical publications, including two articles in the Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering (Wiley), and 60 journal articles, a dozen of which have been included in the Top 25 most downloaded publications on ScienceDirect. One of his 2019 publications, "Statistical Reliability Analysis for a Most Dangerous Occupation: Roman Emperor," was dubbed “the Nerdiest Study of 2019” by Fast Company magazine.

The AE School sends its deepest condolences to Dr. Saleh’s family, friends, colleagues, Georgia Tech community, and students during this time. Students who wish to talk to someone or find support resources during this time are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Engagement and Well-Being’s website regarding Health, Wellness & Recreation. Providers from the Georgia Tech Counseling Center have also made themselves available for students who need help and support. Georgia Tech staff and faculty may find support through the Employee Assistance Program at


Memorial Services:

Monday, April 25 | 11am EST
St Joseph Maronite Catholic Church
6025 Glenridge Dr, Atlanta, GA 30328


Wednesday, April 27 | 1:30pm-2:30pm EST
Georgia Tech Campus: Exhibition Hall, Midtown V, ground floor



Professor Saleh was such a beautiful, bright soul and kindred spirit - he lit a fire within each of his students to go out into the world to make our own marks. His genuine and authentic memory lives with us, and we will miss him dearly. Thank you for letting him share his fire with us at Georgia Tech.

  • Onalli, alumni


Professor Saleh had a passion for teaching students that is rare to see. Despite his many years in academia, he still came to every class with such excitement and dedication to teach the next generation of aerospace engineers. I was so blessed to have known Dr. Saleh and to learn from him this past year, and I look forward to someday becoming a professor who embodies his spirit.

  • Amber, undergrad student


He was truly a good man who treated his students with great care and consideration. He broadened our horizons and encouraged us to think in new ways. Of course he was brilliant, but we loved him most for his kindness.

  • Nicole, graduate student


Joe was thoughtful, deep scholar both in his area of expertise and outside.  I fondly remember many conversations between us on history, the classics, and photography.  Joe's book of photography of Lebanese architecture was one of many wide-ranging conversations we have had over the years.  He will be deeply missed here.

  • Tim Lieuwen, professor