NIU mourns the passing of Romualdas Kasuba, first dean of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology

Romualdas Kasuba

Faculty and staff of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET) at Northern Illinois University are mourning the loss of the first dean of CEET, Romualdas Kasuba, Ph.D., P.E., Dr. (Honorary), dean emeritus, who passed away on Thursday, Oct. 10. 

Dean Emeritus Kasuba is credited with starting the college from the ground up — through its early development, building, growth and outreach phases — to regional and national recognition. Perhaps his most significant achievement to CEET was his effort to lobby legislators to obtain funding to build the Engineering Building. He retired in 2003 after seventeen years of service.

“His tireless commitment and accomplishments have paved the way for the successes of our college, its faculty, its alumni and its students. I was able to develop a good relationship with him over the past two years and will miss our colleague,” said CEET Dean Donald Peterson. “He was always quite proud of the direction the college is heading in, and he consistently expressed how proud he was of our faculty and students. He was a very proud member of the NIU Huskie family.”

Prior to joining NIU, Dean Emeritus Kasuba was the director of the engineering doctorate program, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and professor at Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio. He received all his degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign: B.S. ‘54, M.S. ‘57, and Ph.D. ‘62. Dean Emeritus Kasuba was also a licensed professional engineer in Illinois and Ohio and a veteran of the United States Army.

“I had the pleasure to know Dean Kasuba for more than 30 years. He was my mentor, guide and friend. He created the foundation of CEET which enabled us to continue to build on his successes to grow higher,” said Promod Vohra, former dean of CEET. “He was very generous in supporting the mission of CEET and contributed financially, emotionally and professionally to create a world-class college known for its regional excellence.”

Dean Emeritus Kasuba spent ten years in aerospace and manufacturing industries where he worked on such projects as Saturn IV, the Lunar Excursion Module and auxiliary power systems for unmanned space flights.

In his retirement years, he traveled the world as a guest lecturer in Japan, China, Lithuania, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Australia, Poland, Venezuela and France, in addition to the United States.

Dean Emeritus Kasuba received several national and international recognition and awards including Fellow; American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME); Certificates of Appreciation from the ASME Design Division; Distinguished Faculty Award; Cleveland State University; Sigma Xi; Tau Beta Pi; Certificate of Recognition from NASA Inventions and Contribution Board for Developing New Technology. In 1994, he was an invited distinguished scientist at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. In 1998, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania, and received the diamond award from the UNESCO International Engineering Education Center for the best paper.

In 1999, the National Academy of Sciences of Lithuania elected him as a foreign member to the academy. In 2001, he was invited by the Tokyo Institute of Technology to provide lectures on assessments and restructuring of universities. In 2004, he was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois.

He also continued his research associated with international licensing of engineers and of international accreditation standards in Europe after retiring from NIU. In 2006, along with his NIU colleagues, he received another diamond award from the UNESCO International Engineering Education Center.

In lieu of flowers, the Kasuba family requests that donations be made to the Kasuba scholarship through the NIU Foundation. Gifts in memory of Dean Kasuba can be made to “The Romualdas and Nijole Kasuba Endowed Scholarship Fund.”  Make checks out to the “Northern Illinois University Foundation” and send contributions to P.O. Box 746, DeKalb, IL 60115.  Include “Kasuba Scholarship” in the memo section of the check.

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