The GCOOS-RA welcomes David Driver, MetOcean Engineer at BP America, Inc. and Board Member of the GCOOS-RA, as the new Board Chair. David will step into the role formerly filled by Jan van Smirren, Fugro GEOS, who will now serve as First Vice President of the Board. The GCOOS-RA sincerely thanks Jan for his leadership and many contributions to the GCOOS-RA and looks forward to continued collaboration.

David Driver is currently a MetOcean Engineer at BP America, Inc.

David Driver is currently a MetOcean Engineer at BP America, Inc.

David has been a member of the GCOOS Board since 2011. He brings a wealth of practical expertise to the Chair position, including 25 years in the offshore oil industry in the field of meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) engineering, with emphasis on the development and application of metocean design criteria. He has had responsibility for planning and coordinating metocean technology development for deepwater applications, including the development of a strategy for addressing the unique set of challenges associated with conducting operations in deepwater, particularly those associated with currents. His work in the Gulf of Mexico includes measuring and analyzing the Loop Current and Loop Current Eddies and the nature and characterization of strong bottom currents off the Sigsbee Escarpment. Recently, David’s responsibilities have expanded to providing technical authority over worldwide metocean matters within the upstream business of BP.

“Dave and I have worked closely together over the years and I am confident that he will lead the GCOOS-RA in continuing to grow the integrated ocean observing system for the Gulf of Mexico” stated Jan van Smirren, outgoing Board chair.

Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick, Executive Director for the GCOOS-RA, cited the importance of the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico and lauded David for his leadership contributions in accurate measurements and models to provide the industry with metocean data for informed decision making.

David said, “I am both honored and pleased to step into the role of Chairman of the GCOOS Board of Directors and I look forward to continuing the fine leadership that preceded me.  The work of GCOOS is critical to the health and well-being of the Gulf of Mexico and is undertaken with great enthusiasm by the volunteer Board members and GCOOS staff”.

David also offers public service experience through his eight years working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers studying wind, wave, and current conditions on U.S. coastlines. This combination of private and public sector experience is vital to the GCOOS-RA, which focuses on developing and implementing a sustainable, integrated coastal ocean observing system in the Gulf of Mexico for multiple societal benefits.

David has held several leadership roles, including serving on Advisory Boards and Technical Committees within the offshore oil and gas industry and beyond. He was Chairman or Administrator on several Joint Industry Projects, including the development of a hindcast wind, wave, and current database for the Russian Arctic, a deepwater current measurement program in the Gulf of Mexico, and a study designed to investigate methodologies for getting more reliable estimates of very low probability wave heights.

Preparation for David’s distinguished career began academically, receiving a M.S. in Physical Oceanography from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and a B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia.

The GCOOS-RA thanks David for his valuable contributions to the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System to date and looks forward to continued successes together.