Tell us about your work / research. What kinds of things do you do?
I specialize in marine vehicle systems and data collection. My work focuses on new methods and techniques for seafloor mapping, and building novel robotic platforms. I run a robotics lab and am typically involved in several projects with other collaborating scientists.
What sparked your initial interest in your career?
I've always enjoyed engineering and have found many interesting challenges for robotic systems in the ocean. Robotic tools are changing the way we do oceanography and will profoundly affect the amount and type of information we can collect from the ocean.
Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?
I had a very good coach that taught me a lot and an encouraging professor as an undergraduate that provided me a lot of opportunities.
What element of your work / study do you think is the most fascinating?
It is very satisfying to see a vehicle you built work in the ocean and collect some new information. Travelling to different areas for field work is always fun.
What other jobs led you to your current career?
I have always built things. I worked in a machine shop and as a carpenters apprentice.
What are your degrees and certificiations?
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering - Virginia Tech, Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering - University of California San Diego, PhD in Ocean Engineering - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
What are your hobbies?
I try to spend time on the water surfing, windsurfing, boating and sailing. I also spend a lot of time fixing my old house and building random things.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career like yours?
Do stuff. Get involved in just about anything and make opportunities for yourself. Education is not a spectator sport.
"The ocean is fascinating place to explore. Developing new technologies and techniques to better understand how the ocean works is challenging, interesting, frustrating and rewarding; all at the same time."
Chris participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: