Joe Biedenbach has been recognized as “the driving force behind an entire era of excellence in continuing engineering education.”
Not only did Joe hold various offices in several professional organizations, he was also a professor of Continuing Engineering Education at the University of South Carolina where he held the only chaired professorship in continuing engineering education in the country.
Joe was instrumental in forming the College Industry Education Conference (CIEC) in 1976 and was the first General Conference Chair.
He was a fellow of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and ASEE. IEEE awarded him the Centennial Medal in 1984 and the Outstanding Engineering Educator Award in 1987.
In 1976, he received the Distinguished Service Award of the Professional Development Division. This Service Award was later re-named the Joseph M. Biedenbach Distinguished Service Award in his honor in 1982.
Joe Biedenbach passed away suddenly in April 1990. All who knew Joe noted he was an outstanding individual who brought visibility to the field of continuing engineering education.
“He had a talent for working with people that kept him in a leadership role in both personal and professional activities. He lived his life in high gear generating ideas, molding his students into professional engineers, and inspiring those of us who knew him to work for ideas that were important…”
Those still in the division who remember Joe recall him as the “father of continuing engineering education” and as one of the first to speak to new attendees at conferences. He was someone who knew how to “get things done” and had a strong belief in customer service.
His warmth, laughter, and leadership still inspire us today.