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DR. EDWARD W. ERNST OBITUARY

Dr. Edward W. Ernst of Belleville, Ill., died Friday, Nov. 14, 2008. Dr. Ernst, formerly of Urbana, Ill., and Columbia, S.C., was distinguished professor emeritus from both the University of Illinois and the University of South Carolina. Dr. Ernst spent his lifetime in engineering education, investigating the nature, scope and direction of change evolving in engineering education.

Dr. Ernst was born Aug. 28, 1924, in Great Falls, Mont. He received a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was a member of the faculty in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois from 1958 until his retirement in 1989. He was program director for Undergraduate Engineering Education at the National Science Foundation from 1987-1990 and served as Allied Signal professor of engineering at the University of South Carolina from 1990-2000.

From 1977-1992, Dr. Ernst served ABET as chair, Engineering Accreditation Commission (1985-86) and president (1989-90); was IEEE vice president for Educational Activities during the 1981-82 academic year; was the founding editor of the ASEE Journal of Engineering Education (1991-1996); and was a member and vice-chair of the International Engineering Consortium (IEC) Board of Directors. He was a fellow of IEEE, AAAS, ASEE, ABET and IEC, and a member of Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu and Phi Kappa Phi. Other awards he received include the Halliburton Award for Leadership in Engineering Education (1983), the IEEE EAB Meritorious Achievement Award in Accreditation Activities (1985), the IEEE Education Society Achievement Award (1989), the Linton E. Grinter Distinguished Service Award from ABET (1992), the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Alumni Association (University of Illinois) in 1994, and the ASEE Recognition of Contributions as Editor of the Journal of Engineering Education (1996).

Dr. Ernst was preceded in death by his first wife, Helen (nee Todd); his second wife, Margaret (nee Patton); son, Thomas Edward Ernst; parents, Paul Wilson and Grace (nee Woodmore) Ernst; and a brother, Gerald Paul Ernst. Surviving are his wife, Barbara (nee Allen); children, Deborah (Michael) Caddell of Oklahoma City, Okla., Alan (Jennifer) Reeder of Garland, Texas, Ruth (Jae Allen) Reeder of Swansea, Ill., and Carol (Stuart) Pellish of Skokie, Ill.; stepson, Stacey Moye of New York, N.Y.; brother, Col. Donald Ernst of Washington, D.C.; grandchildren, Morgan Reeder, Joshua Orr, Jonathan Reeder, Zachary Pellish, Aaron Pellish, Amy Minton, Jeff Belcher, Meredith Johnson, Casey Caddell and Corey Caddell; and eight great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008, at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Belleville, Ill. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be sent to St. Paul United Church of Christ, 115 West B Street, Belleville, IL 62220 or University of Illinois Foundation, 1305 West Green Street, MC-386 Urbana, IL 61801

 

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