fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences; he also became an honorary life fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He accumulated a long list of other awards for his research and teaching.
Throughout his career Ferdinand was also as an industrial consultant. He very much valued these contacts and the insights they afforded into “real-world” engineering problems. His main consulting activities were with Bell Telephone Laboratories, Designatronics, IBM, The Singer Company, Foster Wheeler, Gulf and Western, and General Motors. The General Motors consulting activities went on for over 15 years.
An interesting event occurred at an American Society of Mechanical Engineers meeting in San Francisco in 1972, where Freudenstein was the scheduled luncheon speaker. At one point, as part of the introduction, the moderator asked that “all the people in the room who are either part of the Freudenstein academic family tree or feel that their work has been strongly influenced by their relation with him please rise from your seats.” At that moment, almost all of the approximately 200 people in the room rose to their feet. Similar requests were made subsequently at other meetings over the years, and the results were the same. It always created a powerful emotional response to witness this physical demonstration of Freudenstein’s great influence on the field.
Ferdinand Freudenstein was a kind and soft-spoken individual. He was extremely modest. He was an accessible professor and was always pleased to assist his professional colleagues at Columbia and throughout the world. His benevolent influence was felt, both directly and indirectly, by practically everyone who taught or did research in the field of kinematics or machines and mechanisms. His progeny are teachers in many different countries, and his research results have shaped the teaching and practice of mechanism and machine theory throughout the world. In addition, his descendants have taken his basic ideas into new areas of interest, such as mechatronics (particularly robotics), microelectromechanical systems, biochemistry,