Hart has more than 20 years of hydrospatial experience and business development expertise, focusing on the integration of emerging technologies.
Washington, D.C. (March 22, 2022) — Woolpert has hired Karen Hart, a hydrographic survey specialist, as a geospatial program director. Hart will be based in the Washington, D.C., area and will support the advancement of maritime projects and technologies for Woolpert’s federal clients.
Hart has more than 20 years of experience conducting hydrographic survey operations, data processing and analysis; incorporating marine GIS applications; working with unmanned systems; and using cloud-based data storage solutions. In her most recent role as a director of business development, Hart connected customers with emerging technologies, such as integrated machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms and the fusion of lidar and sonar data.
She said she joined Woolpert due to its maritime staff and the company’s growth and investment in the hydrographic and bathymetric industries. In 2021, Woolpert acquired two firms that specialize in topographic and bathymetric lidar acquisition, AAM and Optimal GEO, and earned a patent for developing topo-bathy technologies to make high-resolution data collection safer and more efficient. In February 2022, Woolpert acquired eTrac Inc., a vessel-based hydrographic survey and marine technology firm based in California. This month, the firm opened its sixth Florida office in the St. Pete Innovation District’s Maritime and Defense Technology Hub.
“My career has focused on vessel-based hydrographic survey with lidar and sonar systems, and I really enjoyed working with Woolpert people while at my previous job. When I heard about Woolpert’s expansion in the industry, in both bathy and hydro, I knew it was time to join the firm,” Hart said. “Bathy lidar can be used for so many critical applications, like navigation and dredging to keep ports accessible, while vessel-mounted sonar complements that data by providing detailed mapping of the sea floor and underwater infrastructure, like bridge pillars.”
Hart earned her master’s degree in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island, but she was born in Woolpert’s hometown of Dayton, Ohio, and earned her bachelor’s degree in geology from The Ohio State University. She said she’s excited to expand the firm’s hydrographic capabilities internationally, specifically in Europe and Australia.
“Transporting mapping equipment and personnel for vessel-based survey and sonar across the world is challenging, and then there are the international permits to sail or fly,” Hart said. “This is why Woolpert is approaching its expansion strategically to ensure we are able to fully support clients no matter where they operate.”
Woolpert Vice President and Maritime Market Director John Gerhart said Hart’s experience, ambition and vision have made an immediate impact at Woolpert.
“The field of hydrography is small, so we all know each other pretty well,” Gerhard said. “Karen is one of those people who you always want to work with because she makes every project better and does it without much fanfare. Karen is a role model for many women in hydrography and here at Woolpert, and her knowledge and leadership are an inspiration to us all.”
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 close to 1,900 employees and more than 60 offices on four continents. For more, visit woolpert.com.