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Associate Dean, College of Engineering

Dean Emeritus



Jasper Gerardi was born in the town of Marsala in Palermo, Italy in December, 1906.   He immigrated to the United States and Detroit as a young man. He attended Cass Technical High School and then the University of Detroit, where he graduated with a B. C. E. in civil engineering in 1929. He received his Master’s degree in structural engineering at the University of Michigan in 1935.


In 1927, Mr. Gerardi began his teaching career at the University of Detroit as a student instructor. Upon graduation, he became a full-time instructor in engineering drawing and surveying. In 1937 he was named an assistant professor and acting chairman of the Department of Engineering Drawing. In 1943, he became a full professor and chairman of the Engineering Drawing Department. In 1947 he was named assistant dean of the College of Engineering, and in 1964 associate dean of the college.


In addition to engineering drawing and surveying, Dean Gerardi taught many other courses, including algebra, hydraulics, trigonometry, topographic surveying, engineering mechanics, and curves and earthworks. And in addition to his work in the engineering college, Dean Gerardi served on a number of university committees, such as the faculty council, admissions, student discipline, and registration. He was also co-chairman of curricula and schedules, and chairman of advisement.


Throughout his academic career, Dean Gerardi was also involved as an engineer and consultant in the private business sector. He worked as a structural engineer for Detroit Edison in 1936 and 1937, and as a civil engineer in the summers of 1938, ‘39, and ’40 for the firm of Mason L. Brown. He was with Nash-Kelvinator (later American Motors) from 1943 to ‘45, where he served as project engineer on the development of metal blades for helicopters. He was with Detroit Tank Arsenal from 1954 to ’55 working on titanium, electronic computers and air cleaners for military vehicles. From 1955 to ’56 he was at Burroughs Corporation consulting on engineering standards. And from 1964 to ’67 he was a special consultant for the National Science Foundation in a graphics course content development study.


One of Dean Gerardi’s most significant accomplishments came in 1953 when he represented the Society of Automotive Engineers at a conference to standardize the dimensional design procedures used in British Commonwealth nations and those used in the United States. A serious disagreement arose among the Americans representing the United States Bureau of Standards and those representing the American Standards Association. Dean Gerardi managed to break the impasse which had developed and restore harmony. As a result of this, and because of the respect he enjoyed on all sides of the American delegation, he was appointed to the select committee charged with authoring the commission’s final report. Needless to say, the coordination of practice and standards throughout the English-speaking world was an accomplishment that has annually resulted in billions of dollars in savings in both the public and private sectors.


In 1962, Dean Gerardi was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the graphics division of the American Society for Engineering Education. And in 1967 he was named a fellow of the Standards Engineering Society for his outstanding contributions in the field of engineering standards.


Another of Dean Gerardi’s accomplishments was his regular contribution to such publications as the Journal of Engineering Drawing, Product Engineering, Journal of Engineering Education, and S. A. E. Journal (the journal of the Society of Automotive Engineers). Some of his titles include: “Preparing Students for Industrial Drafting,” “Something to Think About in the Teaching of Descriptive Geometry,” “Contribution to Discussions on Sketching and Dimensioning,” “Should Current Drafting Practices Be Further Simplified?,” “New S. A. E. Dimensioning Standards,” and “Simplified Drafting: A National Problem.”


Among his many professional affiliations, Dean Gerardi was a member of the American Standards Association; the American Society of Civil Engineers; the American Society of Engineering Education; the Engineering Society of Detroit; the Society of Automotive Engineers; and the Standards Engineers Society. He was also a member of the Tau Beta Pi (Michigan Delta Chapter) and the Chi Epsilon national engineering honor societies. In addition, Dean Gerardi served as the chairman of the northeast chapter of the President’s Conference on Industrial Safety, and on the Defense Drawing Practice Industry Advisory Committee of the Armed Forces Supply Support Center.


Dean Gerardi retired from the University of Detroit after 43 years of service in April of 1972. He was named Dean Emeritus by President Malcolm Carron, S. J. with the unanimous consent of the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of Dean Canjar and the Council of Academic Deans.

University of Detroit

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