News: Mourning the Loss of Former Sam Nunn Distinguished Senior Research Fellow

Anthony Rutkowski, Stephen Lukasik, and Seymour Goodman

Posted November 4, 2019

Former Sam Nunn School of International Affairs researcher Stephen Lukasik passed away on Thursday, October 3, from respiratory failure. 

Stephen Lukasik, a former distinguished senior researcher fellow in the Sam Nunn School, joined the department in 2000 to support the research efforts of the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy. He authored “Why the Arpanet Was Built” published by the IEEE Computer Society and “Protecting Users of the Cyber Commons,” published by Communications of the ACM. He also participated in workshops and conferences, including one which explored the international dimensions of cybersecurity.

He was brought to Georgia Tech by his friend, Seymour Goodman, a regents’ professor in the Nunn School. Goodman remembers him as being a real friend, who he spent hours talking to about their research and other substantive information. 

Before joining the Nunn School, Lukasik was the deputy director at the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Under his leadership, there were many technological advances in computer networking, artificial intelligence, and nuclear explosion detection. He oversaw the development of the ARPANET, which helped inspire the creation of the internet. ARPA also led the initiative to analyze seismic data to distinguish between an earthquake and an underground explosion. 

Lukasik is survived by his wife Virginia; four children Carol, Elizabeth, Gregory, and Jeffrey; two stepchildren Elizbeth and Alan; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. 

A funeral service to honor Lukasik was held on October 21 at the Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home in Alexandria, VA.  

The obituary for Lukasik may be found on the Legacy website. A remembrance of Lukasik was featured in the New York Times and Washington Post. 

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