The 2009 POAC Founders Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. William (Bill) Sackinger.
William M. Sackinger was born in Olean, New York, in 1939, received his B. S. in Physics from the
University of Notre Dame in 1959, his M.S. in 1961, and his Ph.D. in 1969, both from Cornell University.
After 9 years of industrial research, he joined the University of Alaska faculty in Fairbanks in 1970,
retiring in 1995. His teaching and research included the fields of geophysics, electrical engineering,
mechanical and chemical engineering, as well as patenting and licensing.
His involvement with Port and Ocean Engineering began in 1971, studying millimeter-wave radar
backscatter from sea ice. Then using radar as a tool he explored movements of sea ice ridge building
along the Chukchi Sea coastline. With a series of colleagues, he measured in-situ sea ice stresses near
coastlines and structures, during naturally-occurring events, in the Chukchi Sea, Barrow, Prudhoe Bay,
MacKenzie Bay, and Gulf of Bothnia, In his study of ice island formation and dynamics, instruments were
placed on the ice shelf at Ellesmere Island, and remote sensing imagery was used to track ice islands in
the Arctic Ocean and explain their movements. He also studied spray sea ice formation on ships and
structures, the adfreeze bonding of sea ice to several surfaces, and the anisotropy of the compressive
strength of sea ice. Most of his sea ice research was motivated to discover details of sea ice forces
against Arctic offshore structures.
Serving as Technical Program Chairman for POAC 75 in Fairbanks, he became active in the POAC
International Committee, serving some 24 years, including President of POAC in 1983-85, Chairman of
POAC-87, and the POAC Secretary-General from 1995 to 2001.