Don and Carol were high school sweethearts who met in physics class while living in Miami, Florida. Carol's parents were educators, and her father -- the Chair of the Geology Department at the University of Miami -- was the person who encouraged her to take the class that brought them together. While Carol was drawn to biology and music, Don became a civil engineer and it was his professional career in private practice that brought them to Jacksonville in 1977.
Don's career includes a broad range of professional, technical, and civic involvement. The following represents a few of these activities. He joined the Florida Engineering Society (FES) in 1969, moving through the chairs of the Broward County Chapter and serving as President in 1982. He was honored as the Chapter's Engineer of the Year in 1984 and was elected to FES Fellow Membership in 1985. Since joining FES, he has served on and/or chaired numerous state and local committees, including service as FES Regional Vice President. His dedication to the technical advancement of the engineering profession is typified by service in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) serving as President and Director of the Broward County Branch including service on the ASCE National Highway Planning and Economics Committee for six years. He is a life Member of FES and ASCE. Awards include FES Engineer of the Year in 1990, FES Outstanding Service to the Engineering Profession in 1995, the James F. Shivler, Jr. PE Award for Outstanding Service to the Engineering Profession in 1997 and the FES Inaugural Legend Award in 2012.
In order to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the founding of FES in 1991, Don authored "FES: The First Seventy-Five Years", a history of the major events of the initial seventy-five years of FES which was published in the July 1991 issue of FES Journal. Subsequently, as FES Historian, Don updated this history for the 90th Anniversary in 2006, and again in 2016 when FES celebrated its Centennial Anniversary. Don served 25 years as Historian and is now recognized as FES Historian Emeritus.
Don has been active in both civic and community affairs serving 3 years on the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Transportation Action Committee, 5 years on the Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Chamber of Commerce Highways and Streets Task Force, 18 years as a private practice member of the Florida DOT Manual on Uniform Minimum Standards for Streets and Highways "Green Book" Committee, more than 37 years as an active participant in the FES MATHCOUNTS competition for middle school students, and 2 years as Private Industry Sponsor for the Broward County Ely High School Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS).
Carol was an integral part of the FES' Auxiliary Advisory Practice Section and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), serving as the Southeast Regional Auxiliary Vice President and FES Auxiliary State President. She was a Girl Scout Leader from 1964-1973 and served as a Supervisor until 1976. In 2020, the Northeast Florida Chapter of the Florida Engineering Society created the Don and Carol Ditzenberger UNF Scholarship in their honor.
In the late 1990's, Don brought his commitment to the profession and involvement in the community to UNF where he joined the Engineering Advisory Council (EAC) for the School of Engineering, serving as Chair from 2009-2011. Here he helped to bring financial and volunteer support from the local engineering community to the University and, through his leadership, the EAC established an endowed scholarship.
In honor of Don's leadership and contributions, UNF has recognized him as an Honorary Alumnus. Although semi-retired for a few years now, they continue to give time, energy and passion to organizations and the engineering profession. Don's role as Historian continues at UNF where he has become our Officiate for the Order of the Engineer ceremonies providing the history of this ring ceremony and the Code of Conduct which individuals accept as they become engineers.
In 2014, they established an endowed fellowship within the UNF Taylor Engineering Research Institute for a masters student in the coastal and port program. "We think it's important to give back, and we appreciate having the opportunity to help others realize their hopes and dreams for a better life," Don said. Don and Carol's passion for the value of an education has led them to generously include their fellowship at UNF in their estate planning.
Don and Carol spent their free time hiking the National Parks and reading. Carol has had special expertise in sewing, while Don enjoys a wide range of woodworking activities.