1423 Powhatan St., Suite 1
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Phone (703) 836-6727
Fax (703) 836-7491
Email: asnehq@navalengineers.org


ASNE is the leading professional engineering society for engineers, scientists and allied professionals who conceive, design, develop, test, construct, outfit, operate and maintain complex naval and maritime ships, submarines and aircraft and their associated systems and subsystems.  ASNE also serves the educators who train the professionals, researchers who develop related technology, and students who are preparing for the profession.  Society activities provide support for the U.S. Navy; U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Marine Corps; U.S. Merchant Marine and U.S. Army.

ASNE is the seventh oldest technical society in the United States.  It was founded in 1888 by a group of naval engineering pioneers, most of them officers of the U.S. Navy's Engineering Corps, who sought a unified approach to their profession in order to make the most of new advances in technology. The purposes of ASNE are:           

  • to advance the knowledge and practice of naval engineering in public and private applications and operations,
  • to enhance the professionalism and well-being of members, and
  • to promote naval engineering as a career field.

For 125 years, the Society’s objectives have been strengthened and preserved to meet the changing needs of a time-honored profession. Today ASNE conducts a variety of technical meetings and symposia, publishes the highly regarded Naval Engineers Journal and a number of other technical proceedings and publications, and fosters professional development and technical information exchange through technical committees, local section activities and cooperative efforts with government organizations and other professional societies.

The Society's annual meeting, ASNE Day, is typically held in February of each year in the Washington, DC, area. The meeting features major addresses by high level industry and government leaders and panel discussions by leading members of the profession.  It also includes presentation and discussion of technical papers on a variety of timely naval engineering topics, presentation of the Society's prestigious annual awards and a large exposition with government and industry exhibits covering the full spectrum of naval engineering technology. ASNE Day is highlighted by the Society’s annual Honors Gala, attended by hundreds of executives and senior managers from both government and industry.

Our website is designed to not only serve our members, but also to support scholars, students and others interested in the varied field of naval engineering.  We welcome your suggestions on ways we can improve your experience. 

CAPT Willard F. Searle, Jr., USN (Ret.)

Award: Harold E. Saunders Award
Year: 1985
CAPT Willard F. Searle, Jr., USN (Ret.)
For his significant contribution to naval engineering as set forth in the following:

In recognition of outstanding achievement as a naval engineer in the field of maritime salvage and ocean engineering. Capt. Searle has won international respect and honor for his contributions to the advance of the science of marine salvage, deep search and recovery operations. While serving as technical director, Experimental Diving Unit, US Navy, he directed the design and testing of advanced diving and salvage apparatus and procedures and served the United Nations in planning and consulting for salvage clearance of the Suez Canal. He also participated in the development of unmanned remotely operated techniques for recovering spent or lost ordnance from test ranges, including development of the CURV-farnily of remotely operated vehicles. As fleet salvage officer, Pacific, he was responsible for salvage and wreck clearance from Southeast Asia to the Middle East. From 1964 to 1969, as supervisor of salvage and diving, he was the Navy's chief salvage officer responsible for salvage, towing, and deep ocean search and recovery projects worldwide. He played a principal role in advising on technical aspects of the successful search for and recovery of the H-bomb off Palomares, Spain (1966), as well as on the search that located the sunken nuclear submarine USS Scorpion (1968). He served on the first Interagency Committee on Oil Pollution, coauthoring the initial "National Oil and Hazardous Materials Pollution Contingency Plan."

After retiring from the Navy in 1970 he continued to participate in most major deep search, recovery and salvage operations, and as an advisor to the United Nations on clearance of the Suez Canal (1973/74) and the reopening of the ports of Bangladesh (1972-74). He performed in a technical consulting or supervisory role in connection with the Navy's bottom habitat saturation diving projects SEALAB II, SEALAB III, and TEKTITE I, and conceived and managed the development of the advanced shipboard mounted saturation deep diving system, DDS MKI. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1982 and has been continuously active in national and international committees concerned with this field of engineering.

Capt. Searle's contributions to the profession of naval engineering have been made at all levels: in the underwater environment wearing his diving helmet, on shipboard, in the laboratories, in the drawing rooms, in the classrooms, and in the board rooms. His lifetime dedication to salvage technology helped place the U.S. Navy into the forefront in that field. He is, thus, by all rights, eminently qualified to receive the Harold E. Saunders Award.