Thomas Biedron

Thomas Biedron

Major: Electrical Engineering                      Minor: None

Extracurricular Activities:
My personal story has motivated me to push beyond barriers. My rigorous schedule of maintaining a successful law practice, Biedron Law Offices, pro bono work, the high demands of an academic curriculum, and attending physical therapy five days a week to defy my prognosis of never moving below the waist, keep me motivated.

I feel blessed to have had to take the more difficult path. It gave me empathy and experience necessary to push forward. Prior to enrolling at Valparaiso University College of Engineering (COE), I earned my first undergraduate degree in Computer Information Systems and graduated summa cum laude.  I went on to complete a joint Juris Doctor and Master in Computer Science degree in three years along with a Certificate in Intellectual Property during this same three-year period.  After completing these degrees, I became a licensed attorney in Indiana.

On December 20, 2005, the day that I completed law school, I suffered a spinal cord injury. My inpatient status at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), delayed my chances of taking the Indiana Bar Examination that I had scheduled for February 2006. In July of 2006, I passed the Indiana Bar Examination. Continuing my rehabilitation after the examination, I petitioned my insurance company and was afforded a one day pass to be sworn in as an Indiana licensed attorney in October of 2006.

In January 2007, I became an Assistant District Attorney (ADA), which marked the start of my one hundred percent conviction rate. All the while, my sight of pre-injury never diminished. Each year my time is donated to serving The Northwest Indiana Volunteer Lawyers, Inc. My volunteer work focuses on representing fellow disabled clients concerning Section VIII Housing and ADA compliance issues, as well as defending underrepresented clients in criminal matters.

My background has allowed me ensured integrity of the VU Honor Council (HC). I was asked by the HC Faculty Advisory Board to help eliminate a backlog of over sixty cases by becoming the Hearing Officer. By the end of the Summer 2014, I was able to reduce the backlog to zero cases. Seeking new ways to help my clients and give back to the community led me back to an electrical engineering degree. Proudly, I have been a member of the Valparaiso University Robot Team and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Hopefully my background has helped shed a light and allow other students to better appreciate the disabled community. Through several philanthropic activities, even preceding my days at VU, I hope to make a difference to not only Northwest Indiana but globally.

Honors and Awards:
Through continued hard work and perseverance, I have managed to excel academically. Hard work and diligence afforded me the opportunity to be honored by induction into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, which recognizes academically outstanding adult students, and Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, in the Fall 2014.  In Spring 2015, I was asked to join the Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society.  I was also elected as the Tau Beta Pi Indiana Delta Chapter Corresponding Secretary and nominated the Indiana Delta Chapter Laureate Candidate.  Prior to attending VU, I received many awards and honors while completing my prior academic degrees.  These include the recipient of the prestigious Federal Bar Association William S. Bullinger Scholarship, the Fred F. Herzog Scholarship, and the Glen D. Peters Scholarship.

While at VU, I have managed to continue my law practice. I was chosen to serve as Law Clerk to the Hon. Thomas P. Stefaniak and subsequently the Hon. Jeffrey J. Dywan while attending law school.

Research Interest:
I will never forget watching the spark fade from the eyes of the many patients that sat before me as they were delivered the news that they would not be able to independently operate their power wheelchairs. These countless individuals helped me to identify a need for spinal cord injury patients with worse prognoses than my own. This led me to invent a dynamic Wheelchair Collision Avoidance System (WCAS). Hopefully this will allow many of these patients to retain their independence in the future. My invention was chosen by the COE faculty from many submissions to be implemented as a Senior Design Project. The American Society for Engineering Education recently chose the implementation of this project for exhibit at the section conference held in Fort Wayne, Indiana. My research doesn’t stop at the borders of Indiana, I also was part of a global research program at the COE led by Professor Dan White, the Satellite Networked Open Ground Station (SatNOGS).

Favorite Quote:
“By perseverance, study, and eternal desire, any man can become great.” –General George S. Patton, Jr.

Prospective plan for after graduation:
Initially when I came to VU, I entered the COE seeking to become a better patent attorney. To my surprise I was awakened by a vast thirst for knowledge in the field of engineering. Needless to say, I plan to continue my education and complete a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering.


I recall taking an extremely difficult test which caused me to have a mental block. While sitting at my desk trying to recover, Professor Alan Kraft entered the room in which I was taking the test. Professor Kraft offered me a doughnut from the many he gave his class next door. It was his tradition to give doughnuts to his class when they achieved high scores on their test. At that moment, I was reminded and reassured of how great it is to be a student at VU. I appreciated the personal attention from faculty that I wouldn’t have been able to receive at a larger school. Luckily, I was not only reminded of the amazing experience I was receiving as a student, I also remembered a technique that was learned from Professor Kraft’s Circuit Theory II course just by him entering the room. My mental block faded allowing me to solve the difficult problem on the test, as I remembered how fortunate I was to be a VU student.