Meet Dave Fratantoni, Ph.D.

SVP Research & Development

The Sailor

Dave Fratantoni joined Seatrec in 2016 after 18 years as a physical oceanographer and engineer with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). As founder and principal investigator of the WHOI Autonomous Systems Laboratory, he contributed significantly to the early development and application of profiling floats, underwater gliders, and other mobile autonomous platforms.  He is an avid sailor, pilot, and veteran of more than 45 oceanographic field expeditions. Dave served as Associate Editor (2006-2010) and Editor (2010-2015) of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology – Oceans. He has proposed and managed research and development programs supported by NSF, ONR, NOAA, NASA, DARPA and numerous private foundations and has received specific training in leadership, management, innovation, and technology via completion of the Advanced Management Program at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Dave has authored and co-authored more than 40 refereed journal articles and nearly 100 technical reports and conference presentations on varied topics in autonomy, underwater vehicles, instrument development, and physical, biological, and acoustical oceanography.

Patent awarded: Environmental Thermal Energy Conversion (US10443581, 2019)

Patent-pending: Apparatus and Method for Making Internally Finned Pressure Vessel (2019)

On Land and On Sea

Fun facts:

Dave discovered sei whales are quite polite and don't talk with their mouths full.






Sailing, flying, scuba diving


Boston Red Sox




Two teenagers

Bucket list:

  1. Canvas
  2. Plastic
  3. Wooden


Bahamas, East Caribbean

Dream Job:

Sailing aerial photographer

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."-Arthur C. Clarke