Joseph W. Tedesco earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Lehigh University in 1982 after receiving his B.S. from the University of Notre Dame in 1971 and M.S. from Tufts University in 1974, also in civil engineering. In August 2007 Tedesco was appointed Dean of the Cullen College of Engineering at the University of Houston. This appointment becomes effective January 1, 2008.
Tedesco is currently professor and chair of the University of Florida's Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering, a position he has held since 2000. As chairman, he has shepherded the department's undergraduate program to a national top-ten ranking among public institutions and its graduate program to the number 16 spot nationally. Tedesco has also proved to be a successful fundraiser at Florida. He has raised more than $3.5 million for faculty endowments and more than $4 million for facility improvements, including the construction of a new, 8,500-squre-foot research laboratory.
In addition to his time at Florida, Tedesco has held professorships at Oregon State University and Auburn University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the states of Florida and Alabama and is the author of the internationally renowned textbook Structural Dynamics: Theory and Applications. He is a six-time U.S. Air Force Research Fellow and has worked in residence at several Air Force Research Laboratories, including Tyndall AFB and Eglin AFB.
As a researcher, Tedesco has conducted dozens of investigations into the dynamic response of structures and materials to high-intensity, short-duration impulse loadings. He is currently the technical director representing the University of Florida in a consortium of six universities that were recently awarded a $51 million grant from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. He also leads a multi-university consortium proposal for a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center.