CSU Maritime Academy 

Alumni Association

2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient


L. Robert (Bob) Exner graduated from California Maritime Academy in 1963 having made the Dean’s List, while serving as midshipman officer, Hawsepipe yearbook business manager, and participating in intramural sports. 

Exner first shipped out from the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association in San Francisco. He went to sea for over five years, serving aboard steamships operated by various shipping lines. Wanting to have more time with his family, he decided to “swallow the anchor,” and come ashore for employment. 

His first shore side job was with Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL) at the Naval Reactor Facilities in Idaho, where he became one of the youngest civilian nuclear power plant engineers. He also qualified as a Nuclear Engineering Officer of the Watch. He was qualified to train both commissioned officers and enlisted personnel in the U.S. Navy for eventual service aboard nuclear subs and surface ships.  

After several years at KAPL, Exner was promoted to Ship Operations Manager. During this time he also completed the Commanding Officer/Nuclear Power Plant Manager Qualification Program, one of the few civilians to do so. 

Exner was soon promoted to be General Electric’s senior training manager at the Naval Reactor Facilities. He was later transferred to KAPL in Schenectady, New York as senior training manager. After several years, he left the Naval Nuclear Power Program and turned to commercial nuclear power.

On the civilian side, Exner was employed by the State of Washington Power Supply System. The company operated the only commercial nuclear-powered generating plant in the Pacific Northwest at the time. He relocated to be closer to his children, who were living in California, and was hired by PG&E, working in their training department. Exner moved to Pismo Beach, where he met his wife, Kelly. He retired from PG&E in 2009, and was recognized by Power Engineering Magazine. 

Exner chaired Cal Maritime’s Class of 1963 Memorial Scholarship Fund campaign, raising more than $52,000 in 2013. 

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Did You Know?

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Education recently released findings that show Cal Maritime graduates have the highest average earnings of any California university ten years after enrollment and they have the seventh highest in the U.S.?

 

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Education recently released findings that show Cal Maritime graduates have the highest average earnings of any California university ten years after enrollment and they have the seventh highest in the U.S.?
 

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