Professor Doug Ernie receives 2021 Joseph M. Biedenbach Distinguished Service award

The Continuing Professional Development Division (CPDD) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) has recognized professor Doug Ernie with the 2021 Joseph M. Biedenbach Distinguished Service award. This honor recognizes his service to the CPDD in various capacities and his ongoing commitment to the professional development of engineers.

As a representative of the CPDD Faculty special interest group for almost a decade, Ernie has facilitated the group’s sessions to identify issues that can be addressed through presentation topics for the following year’s Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration programming. He has provided leadership to the CPDD, serving as program chair representing the division for the 2017 and 2018 ASEE Annual National Conferences in Ohio and Utah respectively, as well at the 2022 ASEE Annual Conference in Minneapolis. Outside ASEE, Ernie’s commitment and dedication to the training of engineers is evident in his dedication to teaching at all levels. 

As director of UNITE Distributed Learning at the University of Minnesota, Ernie has helped working professionals advance their skills, has served as the liaison between UNITE and University faculty, and worked with companies interested in engaging with UNITE. He has been a driving force in helping practicing engineers advance their education in ways that accommodate their constraints of time and medium of instruction. He has also helped advance the University of Minnesota's commitment to a diverse student body and an improved student experience by supporting numerous University wide activities, including those focused on distance/online program delivery, recruitment of underrepresented populations, and The Dignity Project for enhancing the experience of graduate and professional students.

Ernie’s devotion to teaching and training is also borne out by the awards and recognition he has received at the University of Minnesota for contributions to education, teaching, and distinguished service. In 2006, he was the recipient of the George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished Service (a College of Science and Engineering award) for outstanding service to the University and voluntary public service to governmental or other public groups. He received the University’s Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education in 2016 and the 2019 George W. Taylor/CSE Alumni Society Award for Distinguished Teaching for his outstanding contributions to undergraduate and graduate education. 

That professor Douglas Ernie’s work has been honored by the ASEE with the Joseph M. Biedenbach Distinguished Service award comes as no surprise to those of us who have worked with him, and know his enduring dedication to education, community service, and professional development. It is however a proud moment for us and we join the ASEE’s CPDD in celebrating and honoring his accomplishments. 

The Joseph M. Biedenbach Distinguished Service award is the highest honor awarded by the CPDD to a member who has rendered noteworthy leadership and service within the division and in recognition of outstanding service to the continuing professional development of engineers. It is in honor of Joseph M. Biedenbach, the driving force behind an entire era of excellence in continuing engineering education and a valuable member of CPDD. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the Professional Development Division in1976. The Service Award was later renamed the Joseph M. Biedenbach Distinguished Service Award in his honor in 1982.