Selim Seymour Podnos, 84, a retired engineer who also had done management consulting, died of congestive heart failure July 20 at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville.

Mr. Podnos, who lived in Silver Spring, was born in Lynn, Mass., and moved to the Washington area in 1919. He graduated from Central High School and George Washington University, where he received a bachelor's degree in engineering and a master's degree in business and public administration.

In the 1930s, he began working with what then was the War Department. He was a director in the research and engineering division of the Department of Defense and a special assistant to the assistant secretary of defense in the 1950s, then left federal service to be general manager of the automation division of U.S. Industries in Silver Spring. There, he developed and produced automated equipment for major manufacturing industries. He also did management consulting for research and development firms.

He later returned to federal service, and he retired in the early 1970s as assistant director for procurement at the General Accounting Office.

Mr. Podnos had been an adjunct professor of management at Montgomery College, and he had served on the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County and on the fiscal affairs committee of the Montgomery County Council. He was a precinct chairman for the Montgomery County Democratic Party, and he was active in the Rosemary Hills Interneighborhood Council.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Ruth Wilansky Podnos of Silver Spring; four children, Sydnee M. Schwartz of Bethesda, Barbara Jeweler Bilby of Potomac, Marc W. Podnos of Rockville and Elaine M. Winer of Torrance, Calif.; and four grandchildren.