George C. Popps, 78, a retired structural engineer whose work included the Hirschhorn Museum of Art and the Brazilian Embassy, died Friday in his Chevy Chase home after a heart attack.

Mr. Popps lived in the Washington area for more than 40 years. He was born in Piraeus, Greece. He attended the Polytechnical School of Athens and later served as chief cartogapher in the Royal Greek Navy. He emigrated to the United States in 1927. He was graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Popps was employed by the American Bridge Division of the United States Steel Co., and participated in the structural design of the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

During the Korean War he worked for the Office of Price Administration. Mr. Popps then formed his own structural engineering company, which had its office at 18th and I Streets NW until about five years ago. In recent years, he had been working from his home. His projects here also included many churches. Mr. Popps was a member of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church.

He is survived by his wife, Georgia, and his son Dean, both of the home.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to the Sts. Constantine and Helen building fund.