PENNINGTON, N.J., Jan. 21, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:OPTT) ("OPT" or "the Company"), today announced that David R. Heinz has been appointed to the position of Vice President, Autonomous Power. Mr. Heinz previously held the position of Vice President and General Manager of the Maritime Systems division of iRobot Corp., a leader in delivering robotic, technology-based systems. Reporting to Charles F. Dunleavy, OPT's Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Heinz will lead the Company's efforts in developing the Autonomous PowerBuoy business. The Autonomous Power business unit is targeting and developing opportunities in this large potential market for OPT's non-grid-connected PowerBuoys ®. This market includes off-grid applications such as maritime surveillance for defense and border security, offshore oil and gas operations and oceanographic/meteorological data gathering. Charles F. Dunleavy, Chief Executive Officer of OPT, commented, "We are very pleased to have David join OPT as Vice President, Autonomous Power. He comes at a time when the markets which our Autonomous PowerBuoy can serve are attaining a strong appreciation and understanding of the game-changing capabilities of our APB-350 product. David's background maps well into this opportunity, with experience selling into both the maritime surveillance and oil and gas market sectors. We welcome him to the senior management team." Before joining OPT, Mr. Heinz led a group of engineering, sales and manufacturing teams at iRobot, specializing in underwater autonomous vehicles, resulting in the development of new products and markets and significantly increasing sales. This included development and implementation of business strategies for new sensors and products for oil and gas exploration. Previously Mr. Heinz had an outstanding career in the US Marine Corps (USMC), attaining the rank of Major General prior to retirement. His military career included running large acquisition programs, oversight of worldwide military operations, and tours with aviation squadrons in combat situations. David is a distinguished graduate of the US Naval Test Pilot School and was selected by the USMC as a NASA Astronaut candidate. His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal.