MARCH 18, 1955 – MARCH 24, 2022
UAB School of Optometry Professor Emeritus William J. “Joe” Benjamin, OD, MS, PhD, has died. His life’s work positively impacted optometric education as well as the lives of many optometric professionals and patients.
During his tenure at the School of Optometry, Benjamin served as associate dean from 2013 to 2014 and interim chair of the Department of Optometry from 2011 to 2014. He was a senior scientist in the Vision Science Research Center from 1995 to 2014 and served as the director of the Clinical Eye Research Facility from 1996 to 2005.
Benjamin had great impact at UAB and beyond. He gave more than 100 lectures, received numerous prestigious awards, and was extensively published. Of note, he edited and served as co-author of one of optometry’s bedrock textbooks, Borish’s Clinical Refraction (2nd ed.).
A clinically oriented researcher and a clinician in contact lens practice and primary care, Benjamin was a key player in the standardization of contact lens materials. He became internationally recognized as an authority on the measurement of a constant that describes the ability of a contact lens material to pass oxygen to the eye. He served 15 years as chair of several contact lens committees of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and served on the Z80 committee on Ophthalmic Products of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). He was past chair of the American Optometric Association (AOA) Commission on Ophthalmic Standards.
His research received sponsorship from companies and associations in 13 different countries and 16 different states in the US and has given presentations or conducted meetings in 25 countries and 27 states.
Most recently, Benjamin served as president of Material Performance Assessments, LLC.
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Physiological Optics, in 1977, his Doctor of Optometry degree, in 1979, and his Master of Science degree in 1979. Benjamin earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1982. All degrees are from The Ohio State University.
Dr. Benjamin was a respected and valued colleague to many at the UAB School of Optometry. Our condolences to friends and family worldwide.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, March 29th at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Hoover, AL. Visitation will be from 10:00 to 11:00; the funeral mass is from 11:00am to 12:00pm. Burial will be immediately after the service at Southern Heritage Cemetery and Funeral Home in Pelham, AL. Flowers can be sent to St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, 2061 Patton Chapel Road, Hoover, AL 35216.