Campus Life

A Tribute to Dr. Joe Caliendo

Utah State University Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Joseph Caliendo died Wednesday, Aug. 14. He was 74. On Aug 13, colleagues were informed that Caliendo had suffered a heart-related medical emergency.

Memorial Services

Sunday, Aug. 18: Viewing from 6-8 p.m. at Nyman Funeral Home in Providence, Utah.
Monday, Aug. 19: Viewing from 10-11:30 a.m. at the LDS Church at 355 Canyon Road, Providence, Utah.
Monday, Aug. 19: Funeral at noon at the LDS Church at 355 Canyon Road, Providence, Utah.

Caliendo was a beloved faculty at the USU Logan campus where he taught since 1992.

Students, faculty and university colleagues can share thoughts and condolences by contacting the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering located on the second floor of the Engineering Labs building or by calling 435-797-2932. Emails can be sent to department head Paul Barr at Barr says the loss of his friend and colleague shocked and saddened the university community.

“There are a lot of very famous geotechnical engineers including Terzaghi, Peck and Casagrande,” said Barr. “To those of us that were fortunate to work with Dr. Joe, he was in a class above them all. His personality was infectious, his generosity was unbounded and his loyalty to family and friends was absolute. His passing has left a void that cannot be replaced.”

Caliendo mentored hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. He was named the 2017 College of Engineering Teacher of the Year and has a long list of accolades from universities and engineering organizations.

Caliendo and his wife, Joyce, raised five children, four of whom graduated from USU.

Prior to joining USU, he worked for seven years with the Florida Department of Transportation and served as that state’s head geotechnical engineer, overseeing the design and construction of large bridges with complex foundation systems. 

He worked as an adjunct professor at Florida State University and the University of Florida where he taught engineering courses. Caliendo earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Detroit, civil engineering (1969) and Humboldt State University, oceanography (1974) and later earned a doctorate from USU, civil engineering (1996).

Caliendo was a U.S. Navy veteran, Navy diver and a proud former member of Seabee Underwater Construction Team 2.

An experienced educator, Caliendo taught undergraduate and graduate level classes on geotechnical engineering. He also offered short courses for the National Highway Institute and was an active technical member of the Pile Driving Contractors Association. Caliendo was best known among colleagues as the organizer and director of the annual Professors’ Driven Pile Institute. The national symposium drew engineers from the across the United States and Puerto Rico.

One of Caliendo’s most iconic legacies is his namesake sandwich that has been served at the USU Hub eatery for over two decades. The signature Marv n’ Joe open-faced sandwich was co-created by Caliendo and his colleague Marv Halling — also a professor of civil and environmental engineering.


Paul Barr
Vice Provost
Utah State University


Faculty 158stories Obituary 35stories

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