IEEE OES Liaison
Robert L. Wernli Sr. received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California Santa Barbara and the M.S. degree in engineering design from San Diego State University, San Diego, CA. He retired in 2005 from his career at a navy laboratory in San Diego where he specialized in the field of underwater robotics research, developing remotely operated vehicles and work systems for depths to 20,000 feet.
As president of First Centurion Enterprises, he began his second career as an underwater technology consultant and a writer. His most recent technical publication is The ROV Manual, 2nd edition; in fiction, he has published three novels. He has over 30 technical publications and was also editor and co-author of the book Operational Effectiveness of Unmanned Underwater Systems, published on CD-ROM in 1999 by MTS.
He has been actively engaged in promoting the oceans, including the use of remotely operated vehicles, by creating and chairing the MTS ROV Committee’s first 10 Remotely Operated Vehicle conferences (ROV ‘83-ROV ’92), and co-chairing the following: OCEANS MTS/IEEE ’95, ’03, ’13 and ’21, all in San Diego, and Underwater Technology ’04 (Taiwan), ’07 (Tokyo), ’09 (Wuxi, China), ’11 (Hawaii with OCEANS), ’13 (Tokyo), ’15 (Chennai, India), ’17 (Busan, S. Korea), ’19 (Kaohsiung,Taipei) ’21 (Tokyo – virtual) and the upcoming UT ’23 (Tokyo).
Mr. Wernli is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Oceanic Engineering Society, and a member and fellow of the Marine Technology Society (MTS). He is a recipient of the MTS Special Commendation and Award and the MTS ROV Committee’s Chairman Award and the OES Distinguished Service Award. During his career with the government, he received the Exemplary Service Award, the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award and the prestigious Lauritsen-Bennett award for Excellence in Engineering.