George F. Steinmetz Jr., 76, BGE engineer, consultant

March 13, 2002|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

George F. Steinmetz Jr., a retired Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. gas engineer, died of heart failure Friday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 76 and had lived in Baldwin since 1963.

An expert who evaluated the efficiency of burning liquefied natural gas, Mr. Steinmetz joined the utility in 1949 and retired in 1990 as a principal engineer. He headed its technical services lab in Timonium, was the author of many articles and spoke at industry conferences. He helped create a set of standards used in the home appliance industry for gas ranges, hot-water heaters, boilers and furnaces.

"He was an expert in evaluating the ability of a gas utility to use different gas supplies," said David S. Johnston, a utilization specialist for Washington Gas, where Mr. Steinmetz was a consultant.

Part of his duties including the testing and mixing of liquefied natural gas imported from foreign sources. Through his testing, he determined which was usable for home heating and in appliances.

After he retired, he became a consultant to the gas industry and remained active in recent years as the demand -- and price -- of natural gas rose.

"He was a methodical, thorough and determined engineer," said John S. McDaniel, a friend and colleague. "He would plod through a problem, and if it took him three months it would not bother him."

Mr. McDaniel recalled working with Mr. Steinmetz about 15 years ago when a set of gas ranges was delivered to BGE for testing. Mr. Steinmetz made numerous tests and ultimately rejected the appliances.

Mr. Steinmetz received awards from the American Gas Association and Gas Research Institute, and helped the American National Standards Institute establish safety standards for natural gas equipment.

"Anyone with a problem would automatically migrate to him," said his brother, William O. Steinmetz of Baltimore. "He was quick to help, offer solutions and comfort. I was always amazed at how he found the time with a personal problem -- or to fix your brakes."

About 1965, he took up oil painting and studied under artist Bob Browne. He exhibited at galleries at Fells Point and at Meadow Mill in Woodberry.

Born in Baltimore and raised on South Dean Street, he was a 1943 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and earned a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Maryland in 1949.

During World War II, he served in the Army artillery in Europe, attaining the rank of technical sergeant.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Evans Funeral Chapel, 2325 York Road, Timonium.

He is also survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Emmy Maria Mook; two sons, Bruce G. Steinmetz of Portland, Ore., and Paul E. Steinmetz of Woodbridge, Va.; a daughter, Jennifer M. Granados of Baldwin; a sister, Amy S. Miller of Mechanicsville, Va.; and a grandson. A son, Stephen R. Steinmetz, died in 1999.

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