AUSTIN, Texas -Terradepth, the world’s end-to-end ocean data system, has beefed up its leadership team in recent months, as it continues to move toward virtually mapping Earth’s oceans.
The new executives position the company to build on last year’s successes that included the launch of its Ocean Data Cloud — the fundamental technology that will enable the Terradepth Virtual Ocean, the world’s first comprehensive virtual ocean. It will provide a beneath-the-sea interactive experience analogous to what Google Earth provides internet users on what the world looks like above sea level. The Ocean Data Cloud is the first platform to fuse all known types of ocean data sets: acoustic, seismic, topographical, current, chemical, environmental and others.
Terradepth’s mission is to increase ocean knowledge through autonomous, high-resolution, scalable data collection and a radically improved data experience. The company is applying autonomous robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the latest software concepts and methodologies to create the world’s first deep ocean data-as-a-service business.
Terradepth last March successfully completed its phase-one trials at Lake Travis, roughly 20 miles northwest of downtown Austin. During those trials, the company’s autonomous submersible vehicle demonstrated it could collect and process underwater data, understand features of import and automatically re-task itself with no human intervention.
“The ocean is a hard place to operate,” said Terradepth co-founder and co-CEO Joe Wolfel. “Many people have dismissed its importance or assumed it’s just a bridge too far to understand. It’s vitally important that we create the capability of collecting and using ocean data to make better decisions. We asked the team to accomplish some extraordinary goals in a very short timeframe, and they’ve delivered in excess of expectations. We’re honored to continue contributing to the current effort to better understand Earth’s ocean.”
New hires to propel Terradepth for next phase of growth
Kris Rydberg in January joined Terradepth, becoming the company’s first chief operating officer. Rydberg boasts about three decades of executive global-strategy and operations experience. His expertise includes leading teams responsible for startup innovation, scaling and growth and business turnarounds. Prior to coming aboard the Terradepth team, Rydberg served as vice president of service operations at Savigent, an industrial-internet-of-things (IIoT) company with customers such as 3M, Cargill and Seagate. There, he led solution implementation, support and training, enabling 25 percent year-over-year revenue growth. He has two U.S. patents in the respective fields of IIoT and edge computing. Rydberg earned an MBA from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from Bethel University.
Evan Martzial in December became Terradepth’s first vice president of business development responsible for commercial markets. He joins the company from QPS, a hydrographic and maritime software company, where he spent about three years overseeing the Americas region as sales and business development manager. Martzial possesses about a decade of experience working in leadership positions for marine-related companies, where he was responsible for growing revenue, developing strategic partnerships and enhancing market position. He earned a bachelor’s degree in cartography and geographic information systems from Salem State University.
Andrew Burcham in October joined Terradepth as the company’s first vice president of business development, government and defense. Burcham has roughly two decades of experience developing and monetizing unmanned vehicles and sensor solutions for national security applications. He specializes in bringing disruptive technologies to market within the maritime industry. Before coming to Terradepth, he spent more than two years serving as president of Sensor Technology Engineering, a company that supplies the federal government with tactical radiation sensors to detect nuclear weapons. Prior to that role, Burcham worked at Liquid Robotics for about 11 years, where he rose to become head of business development. He also held leadership positions there in maritime operations and program management. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Doug Lambert in July assumed the role of Terradepth’s first vice president of engineering. After about a decade working in the field, he is an engineer of uncommon versatility. With a passion for cutting-edge maritime technology, Lambert has been an electronics architect for unmanned surface vehicles, run a systems-engineering department and led multiple maritime engineering research and development departments. He comes to Terradepth after about eight and a half years at Liquid Robotics, which designs and manufactures wave- and solar-powered unmanned ocean robots, where he rose to become the company’s head of engineering. Lambert earned a master’s degree in engineering management from Dartmouth College and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Lehigh University.
“The larger trend in ocean exploration is characterized by a move to greater autonomy,” said Judson Kauffman, Terradepth co-founder and co-CEO. “There are many talented teams driving forward in the application of advanced robotics, machine learning, and edge technology to affect this paradigm shift. Terradepth is on the leading edge of this movement in the maritime domain.”
Collecting high-resolution ocean data at scale was a previously insurmountable challenge. Specialized equipment and teams could not scale. Vehicles experienced limited travel range. Research vessels have been forced to focus on localized or niche areas. Despite advances in robotics, subsea drones have been limited by battery power, depth tolerance, and other design factors.
Terradepth has overcome these design limitations through its long-range subsea “buddy” drones, which rotate between data collection and uploads to the cloud. It is the only available technology that can result in an intuitive undersea geospatial cloud experience that is navigable with Google Earth-like ease. Recently, Fast Company named Terradepth on its honorable mention list for its 2021 Innovation by Design Awards.
Potential customers include companies in the sub-sea telecommunications industry and the offshore wind sector.
“These customers are excited by the prospect of having a richer, more immersive and intuitive experience with their survey data,” Wolfel said. “The Terradepth data-collection and interaction platform promises significant cost savings, as well as reduced human-exposure risk at sea.”
Terradepth Inc. is enabling a holistic reasoning of the Earth for the first time in human history. By making high-resolution undersea mapping accessible to everyone, Terradepth is removing the barriers to understanding our ocean. From environmental understanding to new medical treatments, Terradepth’s combination of subsea drones and its Virtual Ocean are changing our relationship to the ocean for good. Co-CEOs Josef Wolfel and Judson Kauffman co-founded the Austin-headquartered company in 2018. Both are former U.S. Navy SEALs. It employs more than 30 people.
To learn more, visit Terradepth.com.