Robert "Bob" Visser, an engineering pioneer in the offshore oil industry for 30 years and a Holocaust survivor, has died. He was 95.
In his self-published memoir, he documented his experiences as a 17-year-old boy being rounded-up in Rotterdam by the Nazis and transported to a labor camp. He succeeded in escaping after several attempts, and with help from a U.S. Army field hospital, he returned home in June 1945 to complete high school and enroll in college.
Visser, P.E., M.ASCE, spent his career with Shell Oil Company. He was an ASCE life member who held a variety of patents and authored many papers, presenting at industry conferences around the world. After retirement, he continued to work as a consultant until he was well into his 80s.
He and his wife immigrated to the United States in 1952. His work took him to many locations, including New Orleans, Los Angeles, Houston, and Calgary, Alberta. On retiring, he and Elly lived in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Between work assignments and pleasure trips, Visser traveled throughout Europe, Russia, Asia, Africa, and Australia. His family fondly remembers their vacations in Maui.
A graduate of the Technical University in Delft, Netherlands, with a master’s degree in civil engineering, Visser went on to receive numerous awards in the offshore technology field, including Offshore Industry Pioneer from the Offshore Energy Center in 2017.
He periodically wrote about his adventures and major life events, producing several books that chronicle his experiences and encounters with interesting people during his many travels.
Visser was an avid sailor, often taking his children, grandchildren, and friends on trips aboard his boat, The Belmar. At home, he supported and was active in such organizations as the Peninsula Breakfast Club, Netherlands American Society, and groups for writing and theatre. He leaves a legacy of community involvement and strong friendships.