Dillon Native Frank Hursey Receives Honorary Doctorate

Frank Hursey (A’73, ’77) has received an honorary Doctorate of Commercial Science from the University of Hartford.
As an engineer, inventor, and business developer, Frank Hursey has made a positive impact on the lives of many people.

Frank Hursey

A native of South Carolina, Hursey moved to Connecticut at the age of 19 to find a career and was offered a job with Pratt & Whitney, where he helped develop a fuel cell to provide onboard electricity and water to the Apollo astronauts. He also worked for a time in the respiratory therapy department at Hartford Hospital. These experiences compelled him to pursue an engineering degree by attending night classes at UHart’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture. He later earned a master’s degree in business management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
With an impulse as far back as boyhood to run his own business, in 1987, Hursey founded On Site Gas Systems, based in Newington, Conn., to manufacture portable oxygen and nitrogen generators, known as POGS, for industrial and military use, particularly in remote locations. When the COVID-19 pandemic was at its height, Hursey’s company built POGS for many of the temporary medical centers erected in cities nationwide to better deal with the dire situation.
In addition, Hursey discovered that a mineral, zeolite, synthetically produced, has hemostatic properties. Along with a partner, Bart Gullong, the product, QUIKCLOT, was brought to the attention of the United States Marine Corps.
This impressive part of Hursey’s personal and professional journey—and what followed—is documented in a soon-to-be-released book by Charles Barber titled In the Blood: How Two Outsiders Solved a Centuries-Old Medical Mystery and Took on the U.S. Army.
A distinguished alumnus of the University of Hartford, Hursey is an outstanding example of the possibilities that endure when personal motivation and a strong work ethic are combined with an exemplary academic background.

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