During those same years, Bob found the time and energy to head the Geology Department at Texas A&M. He later became director of the Office of University Research and supervised 112 graduate students, many of whom are now industry leaders.
Bob was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1988, the first member of the geology and geophysics faculty at Texas A&M to receive such an honor. He served a term as president of the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists (1966) and president of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (1971), and he was an honorary member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG), and Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies. In 1981, he was awarded the AIPG Ben H. Parker Medal for outstanding service to the profession, and in 1992 he received the Outstanding Achievement Award from his alma mater, the University of Minnesota. In 1993, he received the AAPG Sidney Powers Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to petroleum geology. He also received many teaching and research awards.
Bob was born on May 28, 1924, in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he attended school and graduated from Central High School in 1942. From 1943 to 1946, he was a weather observer for the U.S. Army Air Corps in the western United States, the Pacific, and Japan. After World War II, he earned his B.A. (1948) and Ph.D. (1951) in geology from the University of Minnesota.
Bob began his professional career with the California Company (now Chevron), supervising exploration in both structural and stratigraphic plays in the Rocky Mountains area. In 1959, he formed Embar Oil Company in Denver, Colorado, which was not only a consulting company, but also generated prospects for oil companies. In 1967, Bob was hired by Texas A&M, which was looking for an enthusiastic scholar with experience in the oil and gas industry to head its Department of Geology. The resulting relationship proved to be extremely beneficial for both parties. From 1967 to 1972, Bob guided the research of 112 graduate students and published more than 70 papers and a popular textbook, Reservoir Sandstones