was one of the pioneers in the development of safety and industrial hygiene educational programs and curricula.He entered Clemson University in June 1946, where he graduated with honors and a bachelor of science degree in industrial education in January 1950.He immediately entered Texas A&M University, where he graduated with a masters of education in January 1951.In 1953 he joined the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company as a safety engineer.Over the next 13 years he was promoted to assignments of increasing responsibility and was loss prevention manager for his last several years with the company.
tenure with Liberty Mutual
became convinced of the need for solid academic preparation, particularly in safety engineering.
In January 1966, he
rejoined the faculty at Texas A&M University
with the specific assignment of developing baccalaureate and graduate degrees in safety engineering and industrial hygiene in the College of Engineering.He
was on leave from Texas A&M from June 1966 to August 1968 at the University of Iowa, where he
completed the requirements for the PhD in preventive medicine and environmental health.He
returned to Texas A&M
as associate professor, where he
completed the development of degrees in industrial safety and industrial hygiene.He was promoted to full professor in September 1971.Vernon retired from Texas A&M University in 1986 as professor emeritus of industrial engineering.Vernon
achieved a number of firsts: 1) first BS and MS degree programs in safety engineering; 2) first MS industrial hygiene program in a college of engineering in the United States; and 3) first comprehensive practitioner-based study of the academic and professional certification requirements necessary for practice in occupational safety and industrial hygiene.This research influenced the development of safety and health curricula across the United States.Vernon was the examination consultant to the Board of Certified Safety Professionals for many years, became a member of that board and served as president.He served as president of the American Academy of Industrial Hygiene and as a member of AIHA's Board of Directors.He served on the National Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.He was a certified industrial hygienist, certified safety professional, registered professional engineer and certified manufacturing engineer.He was a member of Sigma Xi.