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Senior Environmental Scientist

It is with great sadness and respect that we honor our PIANC USA Commissioner, Bob Engler, who passed away early this morning, March 5, 2015. In addition to his intellect and scientific expertise, he was a passionate leader, mentor, innovator, and friend. He will be greatly missed by the PIANC community world-wide, but he leaves behind a distinguished legacy.


Dr. Engler (Geochemist-Wetlands Soils and Sediments) was employed in 1973 by the USACE Waterways Experiment Station (WES) and served in numerous positions: researcher, program manager, upper-management supervisor, Senior Scientist (Environmental) and technical lead of several national research and development programs supporting the USACE navigation mission.

While at WES he made notable technical contributions that advanced the state-of-the-art in the geochemistry of dredged material, flooded soils, wetlands, sediments, toxic substances, aquatic disposal, and domestic/international regulatory criteria. He also represented the Corps on numerous Congressional hearings, National Academy teams, litigation teams, international treaties and interagency regulatory negotiations.

Dr. Engler received numerous awards including the Gallery of Distinguished Employees. He joined Moffatt & Nichol in January 2006 and worked on numerous environmental, dredging and contaminated sediments projects. The projects ranged from harbor deepening to Superfund sediment cleanup activities. He also served as an expert witness in Superfund and navigation dredging litigation.

Dr. Engler received the ASCE John G. Moffatt-Frank E. Nichol Harbor & Coastal Engineering Award. He was made an Honorary Member of PIANC International in 2013. He has been a member of PIANC USA since 1978. His participation in PIANC and other engineering and navigation societies included:

  • PIANC International Environmental Commission, Chairman, 1994-2007
  • PIANC International Executive Committee, 1994-2007
  • PIANC US Section Vice President and Commissioner, 2008- present
  • Western Dredging Association (WEDA) 1980
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 1999
  • Coastal, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI), Waterways Committee, Dredging Subcommittee, Chairman

PIANC International has also posted a tribute to Bob in a special issue of Sailing Ahead.


revised 5 March 2015

Photo of Mr. and Mrs. Engler

Dr. and Mrs. Robert Engler at dinner in Helskinki, Finland at the 2009 Annual General Assembly.

Photo of Engler and Louis at 2011 AGA meeting

(left to right) Dr. Robert Engler (PIANC USA Commissioner) and Mr. Louis Van Schel (PIANC Secretary-General) at 2011 AGA Meeting. Dr. Engler signed a memorandum of understanding for the 2014 PIANC Congress on behalf of PIANC USA with PIANC Headquarters.

Photo of Robert Engler at Dredging 2012

Dr. Robert Engler mentoring Young Professionals at Dredging 2012.