Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Robert L. Wiegel

Robert L. Wiegel MSME, DIST.D.CE, P.E., N.A.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni as an Honorary Member on

Robert L. Wiegel received his B.S. (1943) and M.S. (1949) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.  From 1942 to 1946, he served in the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps, rising to the rank of 1st Lieutenant.  Between 1946 and 1960, he was an Assistant, and then Associate, Research Engineer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.  From 1957 to 1960, he was a Lecturer in the Department.  He became Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Cal in 1960 and a full Professor in 1963, serving in that role until 1987 when he became Professor Emeritus.  From 1963 to 1972, he also served as Assistant Dean of the College of Engineering and, in 1972 to 1973, he was the Acting Dean.  He was awarded the Berkeley Citation in 1987.

Professor Wiegel’s primary research and teaching interests were in the areas of coastal engineering, beach processes, offshore pipelines and liquid waste disposal, coastal wave characteristics, and wave induced forces on offshore platforms.  He has been particularly recognized for his pioneering work in applying the scientific principles and empirical findings of oceanography to the solution of civil engineering problems in the ocean and along the coast.  He was the founding President of the International Engineering Committee on Oceanic Resources (ECOR) and was named an ECOR Honorary Member in 1987.  He also served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Waterways, Harbors and Coastal Engineering Division (1974-1975) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and as Vice President and Director (1988-1995) of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association.

Professor Wiegel has received more than 50 recognitions, awards, and honors during his career.  He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 1975.  He received the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Outstanding Civilian Service Medal in 1985.  He was named both a Fellow and Honorary Member of ASCE.  He was also named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an Honorary Member of the Japanese Society of Civil Engineers.  He received the 1978 Moffatt-Nichol Harbor and Coastal Engineering Award and the 1985 International Coastal Engineering Award, both from ASCE, and he was named a Distinguished Diplomate, Coastal Engineering, of the ASCE Academy of Coastal, Ocean, Port and Navigation Engineers. In 2011, ASCE published a volume in honor of Professor Wiegel, Civil Engineering Classics, Selected Coastal Engineering Papers of Robert L. Wiegel.