Woolpert Acquires Vessel-based Hydrographic Survey Firm
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Woolpert Acquires Vessel-based Hydrographic Survey Firm

Woolpert has acquired eTrac, a vessel-based hydrographic survey and marine technology firm that conducts custom and integrated marine services for projects across the U.S. and its territories.

These marine services include collecting and processing hydrographic survey and bathymetric mapping data for coastal mapping, navigation safety and nautical charting, high-resolution multibeam sonar data for shipping channel dredging and pipeline inspections, underwater imagery and aerial Lidar data for change analysis, and vessel positioning and monitoring.

eTrac is headquartered in San Rafael, California, and has offices in La Porte, Texas, Port Orchard, Washington, and Wasilla, Alaska. eTrac will become part of Woolpert’s geospatial sector and will expand to serve clients throughout the U.S. and around the world.

Adding Hydrographic Survey and Multibeam Sonar expertise

Woolpert vice president and maritime solutions market director John Gerhard said this merger combines the hydrographic survey and multibeam sonar expertise of eTrac with Woolpert’s aerial topographic, bathymetric and geospatial capabilities to deepen service offerings, leverage inherent synergies, achieve operational efficiencies and extend geographic reach. It also unites eTrac’s fleet of survey vessels with Woolpert’s 49 manned and unmanned aircraft.

“We have partnered with eTrac for years. We know their people, admire their work and understand how we make each other and the data better,” Gerhard said. “By marrying our complementary marine technology products and services, we gain the tools to comprehensively support the needs of our global clients today and to develop the geospatial solutions of tomorrow. We have already begun collaborating – seeing whether a project is better served via a plane or boat, which sensor will be most cost-effective, and so on – and this is just the beginning.”

Maritime Lab for Hydrographic and Bathymetric Research

Like Woolpert, eTrac was founded as an engineering and survey company. While Woolpert grew to develop integrated architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) capabilities, eTrac carved out its niche in vessel-based hydrographic services. Both have retained that fundamental, problem-solving perspective. This has led the firms to not only deliver geospatial services but to develop products where needed solutions did not yet exist.

“Woolpert is very technology-forward, investing in the future rather than playing catchup, and that is how we’ve always operated as well,” said Michael Mueller, CEO and founder of eTrac. “We have our line of marine products and systems, and Woolpert has its new topo-bathy sensor system, all of which were designed to address specific client needs. The fact that Woolpert has established a maritime lab to further hydrographic and bathymetric research and development efforts internationally really sealed the deal for us.”

Woolpert president and CEO Scott Cattran said this acquisition further strengthens Woolpert’s position as a leading provider of global geospatial services. “We continue to invest heavily in firms that provide progressive solutions for our clients. Between our firms and through our extensive industry partnerships, we are now collecting, processing and integrating data from outer space to the bottom of the ocean – strengthening our industry leadership in marine, maritime and coastal mapping services,” Cattran said. “We are now one of a few select firms around the world that can deliver this wide a swath of vital geospatial data, and we are the only ones who can support it with integrated AEG expertise. We are excited to welcome eTrac to our growing Woolpert family.”

eTrac, the vessel-based hydrographic survey firm acquired by Woolpert, is headquartered in California.