Then...      and      Now

Robert Jacob Merkert

   Robert Jacob Merkert

21 Chippenham Drive,
Voorhees, NJ 08043
856-784-2413 (home)
609-332-8593 (mobile)

Nyack Class of 55 pencil

College Highlights - Electrical Engineering major. B.S.E.E., Villanova University, 1959; M.S.E.E., University of Pennsylvania, 1961 (I saw Martin Roberts at times as we both were at Penn at the same time)

Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, Villanova University, 1959;  Eta Kappa Nu; Tau Beta Pi; President's Forum Member, Villanova University.

Marriage and Family Highlights - Married Marge Coumbe in August, 1960. We have two children, Hope and Bob, Jr. Hope also graduated from Villanova with a degree in electrical engineering ( now traded in for being a full-time mom). Bob graduated from Rowan University with a degree in Marketing. He worked with me at (Schlumberger) DANYL .

Hope and Ken have two children, Kyle (4) and Bryce (1). Bob and Joanne have two children - John (8) and Ashley (5). As the saying goes, if we knew grandchildren were so much fun, we would have had them first. We really enjoy having them with us, especially at the beach on LBI.

Career Highlights - I began as an engineer at RCA, Camden, NJ, designing military computers. After eight years I joined a small local company, Computest, where the focus was on designing automatic test systems for computer memories. This type of work led me to run into Steve Denker at the International Test Conference. We both worked on the same committee for a time.

In 1972 I joined the smallest company possible. Three of us from Computest formed our own company, DANYL, where we developed products for the legal and collegiate marketplaces. In 1985 I moved into marketing and business development and started to travel quite extensively. We were one of the first US companies to develop products for the smart card industry (similar to the American Express Blue Card). In 1995 we sold the company to Schlumberger, a large French company involved in oil exploration and electronics, especially the smart card industry. I have remained in the smart card industry since that time, working for firms in Los Gatos, CA and San Jose, CA. It's been a ride - a lot of pressure, but also a lot of fun.

I was also a founding member of the International Test Conference and served both as Program Chairman and General Chairman. Some of the proceeds from the conference were donated to Drexel University to establish a perpetual scholarship for a deserving needy student. For my involvement with the Conference, I received the IEEE Computer Society Award for Outstanding Service.

Travel/Vacation Highlights - Over the years I have been fortunate to travel most of this country and several countries overseas, both on business and vacation. Luckily, Marge was able to accompany me on many of the business trips. Countries visited included Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Israel, China, Australia, and New Zealand.

Hobbies/Sports - Photography, Genealogy, Christmas Village Collection, Chess (now with grandson, John - thanks, Mr. Templin), watching the waves on Long Beach Island, traveling - trading our timeshare, skiing (started at age 50), golf (should have given it up at age 30), occasional "whiffle ball" game with my brother, Joe (he can still beat me, but it takes much more effort on his part).

Civic/Church/Political Activities - Marge and I are both still active in our church community. I have been both a Lector and Eucharist Minister and have spent several terms on Parish Council, acting as President for three different terms. We have been involved as team leaders on Marriage Encounter and have also been involved with the Charismatic Renewal and the Discovery Youth Ministry. I received the Bishop George P. Guilfoyle Camden Diocesan Medal for my involvement with Discovery.

Achievements/Awards/Outstanding Events - I have written and published over 50 papers and articles for presentations at various conferences and inclusion in magazines and digests (Dr. Roody would be pleased). Many of these presentations were the reason for my travels. One presentation was as the co-Keynote Speaker at the AIC Smart Card Conference in Auckland, New Zealand. One of the technical manuals that I co-authored received a first place award in a writing competition. (Mr. Desmond, Mr. Templin, and Mr. Wray would also be pleased).

Anything at all that you may want to say - Family and friends are still our top priority. I am sure that we have shared many of the same joys and heartaches that our children give us the opportunity to experience. Overall, it has been a great ride. As Kathy Knieriem Hudson said to me - 'Where is the pause button for this fast forward life that we are living?

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