Dana Yoerger

Dr. Dana Yoerger

Senior Scientist
Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering

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Contact Information:
Work: 508-289-2608
dyoerger@whoi.edu
Building: Blake

Mailing Address:
266 Woods Hole Road, MS #07
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Research Interests

Robotics, applying principles of automation to remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles to add capability and ease of use; localization, navigation, and positioning, autonomous robots for exploration of the seafloor and the ocean's twilight zone.

Professional History

  • The Walter A. and Hope Noyes Smith Chair for Excellence in Oceanography, 2015-present
  • Interim Director, WHOI Center for Marine Robotics, 2013-2014
  • Senior Scientist, Deep Submergence Laboratory, Department of Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2008-present.
  • Member, Research Board, Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, 2010-present
  • Tenured Associate Scientist, Deep Submergence Laboratory, Department of Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1992 –2008.
  • Associate Scientist, Deep Submergence Laboratory, Department of Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1988-1992.
  • Fellow, WHOI Earth-Ocean Exploration Institute, 2001-2004
  • Adjunct Researcher, Institute for Exploration, Division of the Sea Research Foundation, 1997- present.
  • Assistant Scientist, Deep Submergence Laboratory, Department of Ocean Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1984-1988.
  • Visiting Investigator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Department of Ocean Engineering, 1983.
  • Lecturer/Research Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 1982-1984.
  • Departmental Instructor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 1979-1980.
  • Research Assistant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 1977-1979; 1980-1982.
  • Engineering Assistant, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, 1973-1977.

Awards

  • Lockheed Award for Ocean Science & Engineering: Presented by the Marine Technology Society to an individual who has demonstrated the highest degree of technical accomplishment in the field of marine science, engineering or technology, Presented October 2009.
  • The Walter A. and Hope Noyes Smith Chair for Excellence in Oceanography, 2015-present

Education

Ph.D.   Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering, 1982

S.M.     Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering, 1979

S.B.      Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering, 1977

Biography

Dr. Dana Yoerger is a Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a researcher in marine robotics. He supervises the research and academic program of graduate students studying oceanographic engineering through the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in the areas of control, robotics, and design.  Dr. Yoerger has been a key contributor to the remotely-operated vehicle Jason; to the Autonomous Benthic Explorer known as ABE; most recently, to the autonomous underwater vehicle, Sentry; and the hybrid remotely operated vehicle, Nereus which reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 2009.  Dr. Yoerger has gone to sea on over 80 oceanographic expeditions exploring the Mid-Ocean Ridge, mapping underwater seamounts and volcanoes, surveying ancient and modern shipwrecks, studying the environmental effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the recent effort that located the Voyage Data Recorder from the merchant vessel El Faro. His current research focuses on robots for exploring the midwater regions of the world's ocean. He heads a team developing a new underwater robot called Mesobot designed to track midwater targets such as zooplankton that play an important role in the movement of carbon through the world’s oceans. He was the 2009 recipient of the Lockheed Award for Ocean Science and Engineering and serves on the Research Board for BP's Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. He recently served as interim Director of WHOI's Center for Marine Robotics and currently holds the Walter A. and Hope Noyes Smith Chair for Excellence in Oceanography.