Mr. R. Keith Michel

Webb Institute
Past President

Contact Details

Webb Institute


Keith Michel is Chairman of the Board of Herbert Engineering Corp. group of companies (HEC), where he has been actively engaged in the design of ships and related research for the last thirty-six years. The HEC group of companies consists of HEC (focusing on the design of ships and offshore structures), HSSI (HEC’s marine software company), HES (HEC’s subsidiary company located in Shanghai), and HEE (HEC’s European subsidiary company).

Keith’s expertise covers risk assessment, marine transportations studies, and conceptual, preliminary, and contract level design, shipyard negotiations, and plan approval of commercial ships. These designs have been primarily double-hulled vessels, including containerships, tankers, LNG carriers, bulk carriers, ro-ro ships and barges. His experience covers U.S. and foreign flag vessels, and U.S., European and Far East construction. Representative projects include ro-ro’s for the carriage of forest products and autos built in Norway, open hatch bulk carriers built in Japan, feedership, post-PANAMAX, and open-top containerships built in the U.S. and overseas, LNG carriers built in Korea, and tankers built in the U.S., China, and Korea. He has published numerous technical papers on ship design, safety, and environmental performance.

His work on probabilistic oil outflow analysis has been incorporated into the IMO regulations for alternative tanker designs, subdivision requirements for tankers, and the protection of bunker tanks on cargo vessels. Keith served as Chairman of the IMO BLG working group tasked with developing new MARPOL regulations for hypothetical oil outflow and tank size.

Keith is past Chairman of the Marine Board (National Academy of Sciences) and has served on a number of National Academy committees. He currently is vice-chairman of the Board of Trustees for Webb Institute and chair of its Planning Committee. He is a SNAME Fellow, has chaired various regional and national committees for SNAME, and is serving as the President of SNAME for years 2009-2010. Keith is a recipient of SNAME’s David W. Taylor Medal, Cockrane Award, and Centennial Medal.