Reuben H. Karol, 97, of Monroe Township died Feb. 13, 2020. He was born and raised in Toms River.
A licensed Professional Engineer in New Jersey, Mr. Karol was Professor Emeritus of the Continuing Engineering Education Center at Rutgers University.
He enrolled at Rutgers in 1940 and completed three semesters before serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps for three-and-a-half years, both in the U.S. and the Pacific Theatre. After his honorable discharge as a first lieutenant, he returned to Rutgers, and earned his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in civil engineering in 1947 and 1949.
From 1947 to 1951 he was an instructor and assistant professor in civil engineering at Rutgers. From 1951 to 1956 he worked for ESSO, designing refinery structures and foundations. From 1956 to 1967 he headed the Engineering Chemicals Research Center for American Cyanamid Company in Princeton. In 1967 he returned to Rutgers as a professor and director of the Continuing Engineering Education Center. He retired from full-time teaching in 1984, but continued teaching part-time at Rutgers for many more years.
He was active in the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Society for Testing and Materials, chairing many of their technical committees and receiving numerous citations and awards. He also taught special courses at (the former) New College of Engineering and Stevens Institute of Technology. He was a guest lecturer at many universities throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in Mexico, Portugal, Israel, Jordan, and China.
During his career he gained international recognition for his laboratory and field research in control of water flow into underground excavations. He worked in gold, silver, copper, and iron mines in Canada; coal and copper mines in the United States; copper mines in Mexico; and dams in Mexico and Jordan. His work detailed in a college textbook is still used in classrooms throughout the world. He wrote three other books and 37 technical articles about foundation engineering and grouting for soil stabilization.
His side interest in mechanical design earned him six United States patents. Based on these, in the 1960s he founded a company to design and manufacture soil and metal testing machines. That company, now owned by others, still exists as Karol-Warner Co.
In the 1970s he started woodworking as a hobby, and developed a process he called “contour sculpture.” Using this procedure, he built laminated wood sculptures of the female figure. The sculptures have been exhibited and sold in over 20 art galleries throughout the United States. Over the years, more than 500 of these sculptures have been sold, and new pieces continue to be shown in art galleries.
Predeceased by his first wife, Sylvia Gross, in 1991, he is survived by his second wife, Joan Baker; three children, Diane, Leslee, and Michael; two stepchildren, Bruce and Penny; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Services were held Feb. 16 at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, New Brunswick, with arrangements by Crabiel Parkwest Funeral Chapel, New Brunswick. Memorial contributions may be made to the Continuing Engineering Education Center at Rutgers University.