The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) recognized four individuals for their outstanding contributions to naval architecture and marine engineering. The annual achievement medals were presented at the SNAME Annual Banquet, held during the SNAME 2009 Annual Meeting and Expo in Providence, R.I.
The society’s top award, the Vice Admiral "Jerry" Land Medal for outstanding accomplishment in the marine field, was presented to Robert D. Somerville, Chairman and Chief Executive officer of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). As Chairman of ABS, he has overseen a period of extraordinary growth in the organization's activities, creating many hundreds of new job opportunities for naval architects and marine engineers. As Chairman of ABS and Chairman of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), he used his position and time to introduce new, technically superior standards for the design of the principal commercial ship types. This included his championing of the most fundamental change in the nature of ship classification since its inception with the adoption in December 2006 of the IACS Common Structural Rules for tankers and bulk carriers. Somerville is a graduate of the Maine Maritime Academy with a B.S. in Marine Engineering and the Management Development Program at Harvard Business School. He has received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from both the Maine Maritime Academy and Webb Institute in recognition of his service to the industry.
The David W. Taylor Medal for notable achievement in naval architecture and/or marine engineering was presented to Joseph P. Fischer, President, Bay Engineering.
The William H. Webb Medal for outstanding contributions to education in naval architecture, marine or ocean engineering was presented to William S. Vorus, chairman of the school of naval architecture and marine engineering at the University of New Orleans.
The Blakely Smith Medal for outstanding accomplishment in ocean engineering was presented to Dietmar R. Deter, owner of Nautex, Inc.