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In memoriam: Edward Lumsdaine

Edward Lumsdaine of Knoxville, TN passed away peacefully on October 18, 2022


We are saddened to announce the passing of Edward Lumsdaine, a professor emeritus of the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) and former dean of the College of Engineering (COE) at Michigan Tech. He passed Oct. 17, surrounded by his family at the age of 85.

Read Lumsdaine's obituary and leave a memory if you wish.

Lumsdaine started at Michigan Tech as the COE dean in 1993. In 1996, he accepted a position as the director of the Innovation Center at Michigan State University, leading a coalition of several Michigan universities (including Michigan Tech) and colleges participating in the Ford C3P education and training program. In 1997, he returned to Michigan Tech as a ME-EM professor.In 2003, Lumsdaine developed with Paul Nelson (School of Business and Economics) a three-course "technopreneurship" sequence as a concentration in a new interdisciplinary joint degree program, the operations management master's of science in engineering. Because of his experience and reputation in creative problem-solving, entrepreneurship and design, he jointly taught the Senior Design course to the General Motors certificate students via distance learning.

In 2010, Lumsdaine was selected as a distinguished visiting professor of engineering mechanics of the United States Air Force Academy through a program to bring a limited number of outstanding civilian educators to the academy to enrich its faculty.

After retiring in 2015, Lumsdaine continued to lecture and write on creative problem-solving and communication, based on the HBDI (Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument). In July 2016, he was the keynote speaker at the TRIZFest conference in Beijing, China.

Ed is remembered by his colleagues and students for his kind heart, his wry sense of humor and his superb attention to effective team building.

While at Michigan Tech, Lumsdaine received the 1994 Chester F. Carlson Award for innovation in engineering education from ASEE/Xerox, and the 1994 Merl K. Miller Award from ASEE-CoEd for a paper he co-authored. He was a 1996 Centennial Distinguished Alumni of the New Mexico State University College of Engineering (his alma mater). He was a member and fellow of ASME, a member of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of ASEE. He published over 100 journal and conference papers, and was the author of several books on his creative problem-solving method.

In 2021, along with his wife, Monika Lumsdaine, he co-authored a candid and heartwarming autobiography, "Chopsticks & Chocolate: A Love Story Bridging Time and Cultures." In 2016, they also wrote about his amazing life story before coming to the United States from Japan in "Rotten Gambler Two Becomes a True American: A Boy's Journey of Surviving the Odds."