Born: 08/30/1940, Eger, Hungary
Current residence: Westlake, Ohio
Spouse: Mrs. Ildiko C. Peller
Number of children: 4
Education: Savaria Gimnazium, Szombathely
Active role in the revolution: YES
56-er’s role in the revolution:
After the news of the outbreak I was involved in the peaceful demonstrations in Szombathely demanding the timely withdrawal of Soviet troops and helping with a food transport from Austria to Budapest. In general, the city was quiet. At this time the secret police(AVO) were transferred to Budapest to assist the government there. The Russians locked themselves into their barracks. I joined the march there yelling Russians Go Home! Next, we unloaded the Szikra (Spark) bookstore, and burnt the communist books. Some broke into the building of the AVO and did a lot of damage there. At dawn of November 4th shots could be heard, the Russians killed at least fourteen of the national guard.
In United States of America
Arrival: January 1, 1957, New York
Education: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
Occupation: Professional Structural Engineer
Workplace: Peller & Associates, Inc. Structural Engineering, Westlake, Ohio
Awards: Awards received by Miklós Peller:
1968 James. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation Award for the structural design of Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
1984 Outstanding Concrete Structure in Florida Award of Excellence for the structural design of Westinghouse Headquarters, Orlando, Florida
1986 James. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation Award for the structural design of Shamu Stadium, Sea World, Orlando, Florida
1987 California Geotechnical Engineers Association Outstanding Project Award for the post-tensioned soil anchorage foundation design of Shamu Stadium,
San Diego, California
1998 Association of Themed Entertainment Highest Standards of Excellence Award for the structural design of Ripley’s Aquarium, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
1999 Association of Themed Entertainment Highest Standards of Excellence Award for the structural design of Sea World Journey to Atlantis, Orlando, Florida
1999 Cleveland Engineering Society Engineer of the Year Award for structural engineering excellence through the years
2012 Hungarian Association Árpád Gold Medal Award for the successful Vatican Recourse to save Saint Emeric Church, Cleveland, Ohio
2012 Order of Szent László Knight’s Cross (Lovagkereszt) Award for the successful Vatican Recourse to save Saint Emeric Church, Cleveland, Ohio
2013 Association of of Hungarian Veterans (MHBK) Distinguished Service Award for the successful Vatican Recourse to save Saint Emeric Church, Cleveland, Ohio
2014 Cleveland Engineering Society Induction into the Engineering Hall of Fame for lifetime achievements and for the advancement of the Engineering Profession
2015 The Republic of Hungary Order of Merit Officer’s Cross Award
(Magyar Érdemrend Tisztikeresztje) for the successful Vatican Recourse to save Saint Emeric Church, Cleveland, Ohio and for the advancement of the reputation of Hungarians worldwide
Miklos Peller was born in the city of Eger on August 30, 1940. Later, his family moved to the western city of Szombathely where his father was appointed to be the principal of a Gimnazium (equivalent to High School). He was a regular altar boy in the Cathedral of Szombathely since the age of 7. His third year of high school began in September of 1956 when in less than two months the Hungarian 1956 Freedom Fight began. As the Freedom Fight was crushed by the Soviets on November 4, 1956, he anticipated his inability to freely obtain higher education and determined to flee to the West through Austria.
A merely 16 year old boy at the time, Miklos left his tearful parents on November 9 and after two days of hiding in the town of Ronok he crossed the barbed wire fence all alone into Austria in the early morning hours of November12 after which he was transported to a refugee camp in the beautiful Alpine village of Oberwolz. Soon he was able to contact his uncle living in Cleveland, Ohio, who assumed sponsorship for him and for his travel to the USA. He boarded the US Army ship General Leroy Eltinge in Bremerhaven, Germany on December 21, and arrived in Brooklyn Harbor just before midnight on December 31. The following day, January 1, 1957 he was transported to Camp Kilmer in New Jersey for screening and processing. After an overnight train ride Miklós arrived in Cleveland on January 6. He began his college years in 1958 and obtained a degree in architecture in 1963 and continued with graduate structural engineering studies at Case Western Reserve University. In 1967, Miklos married a pretty Hungarian-American girl in Cleveland, Ildiko Falk. They were blessed with four children and three granddaughters.
Miklos began his structural engineering career in 1963 and became a partner in the firm of Gensert Peller Associates in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1980, he joined the firm of Tilden Lobnitz Cooper in Orlando, Florida as a structural engineering principal. He opened his own firm of Peller & Associates in 1995 where he practices his profession to the present day.
His portfolio of structural engineering accomplishments includes many hundreds of buildings from coast to coast in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Among his first projects was Blossom Music Center near Cleveland and a twin 18-story hospital towers for Cleveland’s Metro-General Hospital. He also personally designed the original and two subseuent phases of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida which complex included one of the largest clear-span roof structures of its kind with 32-foot deep structural steel trusses spanning a column-free space of 330 feet by 600 feet and also the largest post-tensioned concrete exhibit hall floor in Florida. Since 1980 he acquired international reputation for his special expertise in aquariums, aquatic exhibits and aquatic theme parks and other water containment structures throughout the world. He designed orca stadiums in Orlando, San Diego, San Clemente in Argentina and supervised the design of one in Tenerife of the Canary Islands. He also designed aquariums in Myrtle Beach (South Carolina), Gatlinburg (Tennessee), Toronto (Ontario) at the base of Toronto’s CN Tower, Casablanca (Moracco), Buenos Aires (Argentina), in the Jeddah Airport (Saudi Arabia), in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), in Vilnius (Lithuania), one in Daejeon (South Korea). He served as a special consultant for an aquarium in Cape Town (South Africa) and supervised the design of an aquarium in Fortaleza (Brazil). He is also responsible for the design of nearly 200 elementary, middle and high schools in various states, many office buildings, hospital facilities, churches and one US embassy building. His water park portfolio includes all of the Sea World parks, one in Georgetown (Grand Cayman) and one in Desaru (Malaysia).
Miklos has been the volunteer organist at the Catholic Hungarian Saint Emeric Church in Cleveland for 38 years. The Cleveland Catholic Diocese ordered the closure of two of the three Hungarian churches in 2009 which order included Saint Emeric Church. Miklós with the dedicated help of his wife, Ildiko, conducted the Recourse on behalf of St. Emeric Parish to the Holy See on May 4, 2009 appealing the diocesan closure decision. The Vatican’s decision on the appeal arrived in a Decree dated March 1, 2012 which ordered the Diocese to reinstate St. Emeric parish and to reopen the church