Craig A. Bernecker, Ph.D., FIESNA, LC, is founder of The Lighting Education Institute (LEI), an educational initiative focusing primarily on education for professionals in the lighting and buildings industry. LEI provides customized educational programs to corporations and others, and offers a portfolio of its own classes on a regional basis. Prior to founding The Lighting Education Institute, he directed the lighting education program within the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State University from 1981 through 1999. During that time, the program achieved a reputation as one of the premier lighting education programs in the United States and placed more than 250 professionals in the lighting industry.
While at Penn State, Dr. Bernecker also developed a number of lighting education programs in continuing and distance education, and served on the major policy-advising body for the University's Internet-based learning structure, the Penn State World Campus. He has published more than forty articles on research and education in lighting design and illumination engineering and is known for his work on the psychological aspects of lighting. In addition to his educational and research activities, he has maintained an active consulting practice, providing lighting design services and serving as an expert consultant on many projects and as an expert witness on many legal cases.
As Director of The Lighting Education Institute, Dr. Bernecker has served as an educational consultant to many large lighting corporations, as educational facilitator for the LIGHTFAIR Conference program (2004–present), and has delivered innumerable programs to corporations, associations, and others on a wide variety of lighting and power distribution topics through a variety of media ranging from face-to-face to web seminar and integrated Internet learning systems. He has also developed the content for a major portion of a 20 week professional Lighting Certificate program for IberoAmericana University in Mexico City. Beginning in September 2006, Dr. Bernecker joined the faculty of the Masters of Lighting program at Parsons School of Design in New York on a part-time basis.
While at Penn State, Dr. Bernecker served the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) as Vice-President for Technical and Research Activities (1991–1993) and Vice-President for Educational Activities (1993-1995). Most recently, he served the Society in its highest office, as Senior Vice-President for 2003-2004, President for 2004-2005, and Immediate Past President for 2005-2006. As a result of his contributions to lighting education, the Society named him a Fellow in 1991. Dr. Bernecker has also served on the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) Board of Directors and as the United States Division III representative to the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), and remains on the leading edge of new techniques for enhancing learning in the field of architectural lighting practice.