We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Michael Leonard on January 23, 2020.

Mike was a Fellow of ABET and of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, receiving the 2009 IIE Fred C. Crane Distinguished Service Award. After volunteering for many years as a Program Evaluator and member of the Engineering Accreditation Commission, he joined ABET staff as the Adjunct Training Director. Mike also traveled the world teaching accreditation at several universities.

He was Professor Emeritus of Mercer University after serving as Senior Associate Dean of Engineering, and Professor Emeritus of Clemson University, after serving as Chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering. Mike had been Chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Missouri – Columbia and had been an Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech.

A graduate of the University of Florida, Mike was a Professional Engineer in Missouri and South Carolina, an officer of several professional societies and a recipient of many awards and honors.

Here are some reflections from those who had the privilege of working with Mike over the years:

“I first met Mike when we were both members of the EAC. After I became dean of engineering at Mercer University, Mike joined me as associate dean. Our work focused strongly on ABET accreditation, the transition to EC2000 and learning how to ‘do assessment.’ He quietly worked with faculty members to help them meet the new focus on learning outcomes by ABET and regional accreditation with great success. This was the background for his outstanding contributions to the ABET emphasis on training. Mike was one of the most capable, kind and servant-minded persons I have ever known. ABET training was the ideal venue for him to display his commitment to helping others become better volunteers. The outstanding results of his quiet leadership will live on for many years in the high quality of ABET accreditation review processes.” – M. Dayne Aldridge, Sc.D., Adjunct Accreditation Director for Engineering at ABET

“I had the honor to serve on the EAC with Mike Leonard representing IISE (IIE at that time) and the ABET Training Team. He was thoughtful and genuine in his love for engineering education. Mike was one of the original ABET Training Support Facilitators. I felt very comfortable turning the reins of the training program over to him when I left the ABET Training Adjunct role.” – Susan Schall, Ph.D., Founder & Lead Consultant of SOS Consulting, LLC

“Since I started at ABET, Mike has been my mentor and guide through the world of accreditation. He had an unparalleled level of patience and explained complicated processes with ease and simplicity — as only a life-long educator could. Mike was dedicated to ABET’s training programs and committed to improving STEM education worldwide. His contributions have distinguished ABET’s volunteer expert training among its peers. He touched many lives with his benevolent leadership and constancy. He will be missed by our training team!” – Ashley Appleman, ABET Training Manager

“Mike Leonard has been a dear friend, colleague and mentor since the first day we met at MIZZOU over forty years ago. I’ll always remember his courage, dedication, and his tremendous patience when solving thorny problems. Mike’s valuable contributions have impacted countless folks at ABET, IISE and MIZZOU, as well as the entire engineering education community worldwide.” – Jamie Rogers, Ph.D., P.E., F.ABET, F.IISE, IISE President, ABET President (2014-2015) and Professor and Assoc. Dept. Chair of Industrial, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington


To view Mike’s obituary and to express condolences, please visit the Hart’s Mortuary website.