Joseph R. "Joe" Loring, founder and former CEO and chairman of the New York City electrical-mechanical design firm that handled electrical engineering for the 12-million-sq-ft World Trade Center six years after the company's launch, died on May 30 in Arlington, Va., at age 86.

Loring founded the now 90-person Joseph R. Loring & Associates Inc. in 1956. The firm had key roles on large jobs, such as Manhattan's Citicorp Center in the 1970s and Australia's Parliament building in the 1980s (ENR 1/15/87 p. 20).

The firm's work in replacing electrical and HVAC systems as part of a recent revamp of the 78-year-old U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., without disturbing proceedings, was among Loring's biggest career challenges, he said in 2012, when he was awarded a top Virginia Tech engineering-school alumnus honor, one of many college and industry accolades.

In 1970, Loring opened a branch office in Washington, DC, where he worked for the past 14 years until retiring in 2012.

Loring's career began when the U.S. Army assigned him to work on a top-secret voice-scrambling project during World War II, after he studied electrical engineering at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, for just a year. He earned a degree there in 1947.

Loring later funded an annual scholarship and electrical-engineering professorship at the school.

His career was "a testament to his personal drive and skill as an engineer and businessman," said Virginia Tech's engineering dean, Richard C. Benson, in 2012.

“Early in my career, Joe Loring took me under his wing and became my mentor and advisor. He recognized that the training of young people to become great engineers and to be responsible citizens was one of his greatest responsibilities," says Barry Maltz, chairman and CEO of the firm since 2009, and a career employee. "Nothing gave him greater satisfaction than to see individuals who began as interns advance over time to a position of leadership within the firm.”