Emery Valyi, a prolific inventor and pioneer in plastics technology, died May 5 at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., of complications resulting from treatments for bone cancer. He was 86.
Valyi held nearly 200 patents and in recent years, his focus shifted to plastic packaging. Four years ago, he approached Pepsi-Cola Co. with the design for The Grip, a 2-liter bottle with indented sides.
Born in Murska Sobota, Slovenia, Valyi was educated at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, where he received a doctorate of science in engineering in 1937. After working as a research engineer for the Swiss Federal Institute, he joined Injecta Ltd., a Swiss die casting company. He moved to the United States in 1940 and worked for the company's licensee before becoming a partner at Lucius Pitkin/ Sam Tour & Co., a metals consulting firm.
During World War II, Valyi was recruited to work on separating radioactive material and isotopes for the Manhattan Project. In 1945, he became a consulting engineer and formed a number of companies including ARD Corp., a research and development firm.
Earlier this year, Valyi donated some of his patents for plastic molding and forming to the Valyi Institute for Plastic Forming at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
He is survived by his wife, Elisabeth Jenks, and daughter Katherine.