Kevin Granata

Kevin Granata

Hometown: Toledo, Ohio

Age: 46 years old

Location: Norris Hall

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Profile: Kevin Granata, 46, had two great loves: his work and his family.

He was a professor of biomechanics whose specialty was studying how human skeletal systems respond to stress and neurological dysfunction. Granata authored dozens of academic papers and conducted scores of experiments.

"He was a scientist, a hardworking scientist, trying to understand things," said Brad Bennett, research director of the Motion Analysis and Motor Performance Laboratory at the University of Virginia's Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center, where Granata worked before he joined Virginia Tech.

"He was great to brainstorm with," Bennett said. "He was the first guy in the morning and the last guy to leave at night."

His enthusiasm for his work was contagious. "He loved research, and he loved figuring things out," said colleague Sara Wilson, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Kansas, who had studied with Granata at the University of Virginia.

Granata had an engineer's practicality but also had a playful side, said Barbara Leech, another co-worker at the University of Virginia. He would wear a shirt and tie, looking businesslike, but team it with jeans and cowboy boots, she said.

Leech said her office has been "inundated" with calls of condolence.

Granata was a devoted husband to his wife, Linda, and their three children, Alex, Eric and Ellen, all in their teens.

-- Kirstin Downey, The Washington Post

© 2007 The Washington Post Company