NYSSPE Remembers Don Aulenbach, PE

Don Aulenbach, PE (photo courtesy Facebook)

With sadness, The New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) recently learned of the passing of Don Aulenbach, PE. Many of you may remember Don from his twenty plus years as the New York State MATHCOUNTS coordinator and his almost forty years as member of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers. Even though Don had not been the coordinator of the state competition for the last 10 years, he still remained an active participant right up until this past year’s competition.

There will be a memorial service for Don on October 28th at the Christ Community Reformed Church in Clifton Park (details are below). His family has asked that in lieu of flowers, they would like to have donations go the Capital District MATHCOUNTS fund (details listed at the bottom of this post).

Don graduated from Franklin and Marshall College, and continued his education at Rutgers University, earning his PhD in Environmental Engineering. After working as a chemist/bacteriologist for the Delaware Water Pollution Commission, Donald began his thirty-year teaching career in 1960 as a Professor of Environmental Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. At R.P.I., he authored numerous articles on environmental engineering, led annual investigative trips with his engineering students to Lake George, and was a consultant on many projects, including a two month stay in China, assisting that country on waste-water disposal facilities.

Donald loved his family and he organized biannual get-togethers with his four children and their families at diverse locations throughout the United States. Donald was also passionate about education and music. In addition to nurturing environmental engineers at R.P.I., Donald served as a regional coordinator of the New York State Mathcounts, a yearly math competition for middle school students. He played bass in a band well into his 80’s and he sang weekly in the choir at Christ Community Reformed Church. He is survived by Marie, his wife of 65 years; and four children, Louise Trakimas and her husband, Robert, of Winchester, Massachusetts, Bruce Aulenbach and his wife, Sole, of Monroe, Oregon, Nancy Baker and her husband, James, of Highland, California and Brent Aulenbach and his wife, Nancy, of Lilburn, Georgia. He is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are private. There will be a memorial service at Christ Community Reformed Church on October 28, 2017 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Donald B. Aulenbach may be made to FEE-Capital District Mathcounts, Foundation for Engineering Education (FEE), 6 Airline Dr., Suite 114, Albany, NY 12205 or to the Christ Community Reformed Church, 1010 Route 146, Clifton Park, NY 12065

Note: NYSSPE facilitates posting on this blog, but the views and accounts expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not the views or accounts of NYSSPE, its officers or directors whose views and accounts may or may not be similar or identical. NYSSPE, its officers and directors do not express any opinion regarding any product or service by virtue of reference to such product or service in this blog.


  1. John J. Martin, P.E. says:

    I’m saddened to learn of the passing of Don. He was a dedicated member of NYSSPE and served both Mathcounts and Professional Engineers in Education with distinction, long after he had retired. He was also a well respected Engineering Educator and his reputation went far beyond NYSSPE into many technical organizations. But my fondest memory of Don was the year he celebrated his 50th Wedding Anniversary and NYSSPE honored he and his wife at the Annual Meeting. I believe it was far more important to Don to be remembered as a good husband and father than any of his other impressive accomplishments.

    He is a role model that will be remembered and missed for many years to come.

  2. Frank Roma says:

    What a wonderful person. He visited schools to promote STEM way before its latest revival. He helped me develop ideas for the NYSSPE STEM program. His enthusiasm will be missed.

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