Woolpert Acquires eTrac Inc.

Woolpert Acquires eTrac Inc., a Vessel-Based Hydrographic Survey Firm Headquartered in California
This merger combines complementary marine technology products and services to better serve U.S. and international clients with integrated capabilities.

DAYTON, Ohio (Feb. 3, 2022) — Woolpert has acquired eTrac Inc., 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 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, Calif., and has offices in La Porte, Texas; Port Orchard, Wash.; 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.

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, etc.—and this is just the beginning.”

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 two firms, and through our extensive industry partnerships, we now are 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.”

About Woolpert
Woolpert is the premier architecture, engineering, geospatial (AEG) and strategic consulting firm, with a vision to become one of the best companies in the world. We innovate within and across markets to effectively serve public, private and government clients worldwide. Woolpert is an ENR Top 150 Global Design Firm, recently earned its sixth-straight Great Place to Work certification, and actively nurtures a culture of growth, inclusion, diversity and respect. Founded in 1911 in Dayton, Ohio, Woolpert has been America’s fastest-growing AEG firm since 2015. The firm has more than 1,600 employees and 60 offices on four continents. For more, visit woolpert.com.

About eTrac Inc.
eTrac, Inc. was established in 2003 as a hydrographic survey, vessel positioning, and marine instrumentation firm. eTrac has quickly grown to include over 40 employees in several offices along the coastal United States, including the San Francisco Bay area, Anchorage, Pacific Northwest and the Gulf of Mexico. The firm has earned a strong reputation among many sectors of the hydrographic industry including government agencies and private industry. Its equipment fleet has also grown to include geophysical survey vessels as well as several ultra-portable, shallow water survey craft. eTrac is committed to continual reinvestment in industry leading equipment and knowledgeable staff to complete multibeam, singlebeam, sidescan, subbottom, mobile LiDAR, and water-level surveys required by our clients. For more, visit etracinc.com.

Vessel Of Opportunity “VOOP”

eTrac travels nationally and internationally for our clients & jobs. Since our field of work occasionally needs a vessel, we regularly work with “Vessels of Opportunity”, or “VOOPs” for short. VOOPs are vessels local to the jobsite where we can mobilize our equipment and use for the duration of the project. For one of our recent jobs in Freeport, TX, we utilized a local pontoon boat to survey a river! #eTrac #survey #hydrography

Safety Comes First

eTrac utilizes ISNetworld’s (ISN) Review and Verification Services for independent review and continuous improvement of our Safety Program.

As a global leader in contractor management services, ISN’s detailed and ongoing reviews of our Safety Program ensure that eTrac is exceeding industry workplace health and safety standards. Their teams review various HSEQ documents and information such as written programs, work hours, incidents and injuries to ensure compliance with regulations and client guidelines. To quantify eTrac’s success, they also provide reports that measure our health and safety performance against that of our industry.

eTrac’s commitment to utilizing effective tools for tracking our safety and training practices ensures a safe workplace and culture with a strong focus on safety and quality.

Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup has issued an extensive update on their website announcing the assembly of their first cleanup system and upcoming tow test that will take place 40 nautical miles outside of San Francisco. Just five weeks ago, The Ocean Cleanup was signing the lease on their facility and is now getting ready for their first Pacific testing phase. This is the worlds first ocean clean up system and eTrac could not be more excited to have contributed to this effort. eTrac conducted the multibeam survey at their facility, located at the former Naval Air Station in Alameda. We provided a high resolution 3D model of the lagoon where their assembly system will be launched. Thankfully, no obstructions were detected that would prevent the tow out of the system being tested. Please take the time to visit their website and keep up with their timeline and efforts; their cleanup system will be deployed in the Pacific but will have global impacts on our ocean ecosystems health and future.


Glen Canyon Dam 3D Model

This past summer, eTrac teamed up with Autodesk and R2Sonic to collect data using LiDAR, photogrammetry, and sonar technology to create a 3D model of the Glen Canyon Dam and the power plant facility. This model will be used for design, operation and management, asset management, monitoring, security, and public outreach and education. In addition, the model will give U.S. Bureau of Reclamation personnel a better overall understanding of the facility and its interrelated systems.

For more details, and to see an example of the model created by Autodesk, click here.

Beauty on the Bay

eTrac has office locations in California, Washington and Alaska where project planning, data processing, and product generation occurs. We also staff our “mobile offices”, the vessels on which data is collected and QC’d on a regular basis. We are dependent on our fleet of vessels and the employees that spend day after day on the water throughout the west coast supporting the dredging, charting and environment remediation industry. There is a dynamic relationship between data collection on the water and data processing in our office for the overall quality control of our products to our clients.

Remote Surveys at Glen Canyon Dam

eTrac has designed and built a new remotely controlled survey craft: S/V ROVer! This compact, versatile, and highly transportable Remote Operated Vessel is indeed a surveyor’s best friend. Following its first survey at the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor Hawaii in late August, it was successfully deployed for a high resolution mapping effort at the Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona.

Searching for Hidden Treasures

Recently, eTrac teamed up with the National Park Service to perform surveys around Torpedo Wharf in the San Francisco Bay in preparation for restoration efforts on the horizon. The team will perform several surveys using a variety of equipment to help provide the fullest picture of what artifacts may lay underneath the surface.

Remnants from old piers, military munitions, or even shipwrecks such as the S.S. City of Chester which sank after a collision in the bay on August 24, 1888 are some of the items expected to be found. More modern artifacts such as tires and even a golf cart are the only discoveries to date however.

To read more about the project, click here.