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ESD's founder, Hem Gupta, passes at the age of 85

A 53-year career included engineering work on several of Chicago's iconic buildings.

February 16, 2017 |

Hem Gupta founded Environmental Systems Design, a leading MEP engineering and consulting firm. Image: ESD

Hem Gupta, founder of Environmental Systems Design (also known as ESD), died on February 10 at the age of 85.

The family did not disclose the cause of death.

A native of India, Gupta received his Masters degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois. In 1954, he began his professional career at Skidmore Owings & Merrill. Gupta also worked for Epstein, and was Perkins + Will’s chief engineer when he launched his own firm, ESD, in 1967.

ESD grew into one of Chicago’s largest MEP consulting and engineering firms. The projects it has worked on in that city include the UBS Tower, Citadel Center, and Hyatt Center on Wacker Drive. ESD’s international work includes several buildings for the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Gupta is survived by his wife Asha (nee Simpson), four children (Reeta Gupta Brendamore, David, Mark, and Raj, who took over for his father as CEO of ESD in March 2011); 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

“My father served as a big brother, father, or grandfather figure for members of our ESD family,” recalls Raj Gupta in a prepared statement.


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