Safety Sciences Mourns Passing of Robert McClay, Jr.

Posted on 1/26/21 2:17 PM

It is with deep regret that the Department of Safety Sciences announces the passing of Robert McClay, Jr.

McClay joined Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the summer of 1972 as the first tenure-track faculty member in the newly formed Department of Safety Sciences. Prior to coming to IUP, he worked as a chemical engineer and served as an officer in the United States Navy.

During the early years of the program, McClay developed the majority of the courses taught in the program, was instrumental in the development of the Master of Science in Safety Sciences program in 1983, and served as department chairperson from 1974 to 1975 and again from 1982 to 1985. McClay was instrumental in securing federal funding that established the PA/OSHA Consultation Program at IUP, and his work also resulted in the establishment of an honor society for Safety Sciences students, Rho Sigma Kappa at IUP.

McClay was extremely active in the safety profession, where he served on the Board of Directors for the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and received the Safety Professional of the Year award from the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers (now called the American Society of Safety Professionals). McClay continued to travel to the ASSP Professional Development Conferences up until just a few years ago.

To say he was a “rock star” in the department is an understatement. Alumni continue to ask about him to this day, and are always happy to share wonderful memories of a beloved professor who made them work hard to reap the benefits of a thriving profession.

Robert McClay will be missed not only by the faculty and staff in the Department of Safety Sciences, but also by the lives of all the alumni he touched.

Memorial contributions may be made by sending a check to the Foundation for IUP. Your donation will support the Robert McClay Ergonomics and Human Performance Lab.