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Joseph F. Camean, P.E.

Engineering Educator and Consulting Expert Marine-Mechanical Engineer. Designer of power, utility and industrial infrastructure, with specialization in engineering applications of thermal and electric power and process systems on projects of up to $500 million capital value. Active in professional societies, education and civic pro bono work. Commitment to share real-world engineering practice experiential knowledge to educate and empower future engineers.




  • M.E., Mechanical Engineering, Manhattan College, 1982
  • B.E., Marine Engineering, Maritime College of the State University of New York, 1975

Courses Taught

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Engineering Experimentation
  • Ships and Maritime Systems
  • Thermodynamics

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • “Consulting in the Discipline: External Practice as a Reinforcement of Classroom Skills”, Central Connecticut State University Interdepartmental Creative Pedagogy Annual Meeting, New Britain, Connecticut, April 2018
  • “Professional Practice Experience Transfer: Classroom Enrichment Through Experiential Knowledge”, Central Connecticut State University Interdepartmental Creative Pedagogy Annual Meeting, New Britain, Connecticut, April 2017
  • “Microgrids: Return to the Future for Energy Sustainability and Security, ACI National Conference on Microgrids, Boston, Massachusetts, April 2017
  • “Electric Generation: Business as Usual or New and Improved”, University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford, Connecticut February 2016
  • “Energy Efficiency and Reliability Solutions for Rail Operations/Facilities – A Consulting Engineer’s Commentary”, Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, Newington, Connecticut, March 2014


  • Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, Study Committee, 2009-2014
  • Central Connecticut State University, Excellence-in-Teaching Award (Student Nominated) semi-finalist, 2016
  • Central Connecticut State University, Faculty Senator, 2018

Professional Memberships

  • Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, 1971-1976; 2018-present
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (Past Chair New London), 1979-present
  • Association for Facilities Engineering; f/k/a American Institute of Plant Engineers(Certified Plant Engineer and Life Member), 1979-present
  • Connecticut Power and Energy Society (Past President), 1988-2013
  • Northeast Clean Heat and Power Initiative (Past Executive Committee), 2011-2013
  • American Society for Engineering Education, 2018-present

Academic Experience

  • 2013-2018: Adjunct Professor, Central Connecticut State University School of Engineering, Science and Technology
  • 2016-present: Evaluator, State University of New York, National College Credit Recommendation Service (accreditation of engineering programs)
  • 2017-present: Member, Engineering Advisory Board, Maritime College of the State University of New York
  • 2018-present: Lecturer, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, USCGA

Non-Academic Experience

  • 1975-1978: U.S. Merchant Marine Engineering Officer, U.S. Flag Merchant Ships
  • 1975-1987: Lieutenant, U.S. Naval Reserve, Ready Reserve Engineering Duty Officer
  • 1979-1983: Start-up, Test and Operations Contractor, Submarine and Shoreside Nuclear Power, Pulp and Paper, Energy-from-Waste, Chemical Processing
  • 1984-2018: Private practice consulting engineer, initially a sole-proprietor, growing to ownership of van Zelm Engineers, a 100 employee firm designing power, industrial, infrastructure for up to $500 million capital projects
  • 2018-present: Principal Emeritus, van Zelm Engineers, of counsel as well as subject matter expert engineer for engineering forensics and legal testimony

Certifications or Professional Registrations

  • USCG Merchant Marine Officer, Steam, Motor, Gas Turbine, 1975-present
  • National Institute for the Uniform Licensing of Power Engineers, 1979-present
  • Licensed Professional Engineer (Multi-State Reciprocity Certified), 1981-present
  • National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, 1990-present

Service Activities

  • Mentor, sponsor and evaluator of student capstone projects for Maritime College of the State University of New York, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, University of Hartford, University of Connecticut, Smith College, and USCGA, 1984-present
  • Town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, Economic Development Commissioner, 1995-present
  • Lyme-Old Lyme Regional School District Building Committee, oversight of a $36 million school rehabilitation program completed on time and on budget, 2000-2006
  • Central Connecticut State University, Creative Pedagogy Committee, 2016-2018
  • University of Connecticut, Connecticut Invention Convention, Judge, 2016-present
  • Town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, Sustainability Committee, 2018-present
  • U.S. Navy Firefighting School – Shipboard Firefighting Certificate, 1975
  • Industrial Risk Insurers – Industrial Fire Protection Course, 1986
  • National Fire Protection Association – Automatic Sprinklers Workshop, 1987
  • International Gas Turbine Institute – Gas Turbine Engine Technology Course, 1990
  • Titan Continuing Education – Power Engineering Course, 2007
  • Pratt Institute – Renewable Green Energy Course, 2010
  • VibroAcoustics – Extreme Event (Shock Mounting) Engineering Certificate, 2012
  • Carrier – HVAC System Design Certificate, 2014
  • Cleaver-Brooks Technical Symposium – Boilers and Heat Recovery Course, 2015
  • MTU – Generator Paralleling and Protection Course, 2017

Contact Information

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