GALVESTON, Texas (March 2, 2017) – Rob Thomas’ fascination with the coast began at 17 years of age when he earned his PADI open water scuba diving certification. Eventually, his love of the water led him to pursue a career in coastal protection and restoration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District.
“I loved being in the water so much that I was first considering a career in marine biology,” said Thomas. “Later, I set my sights on maritime system engineering and while earning my degree from Texas A&M University I came across an intern position in the Cooperative Education Program with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District in 2001.”
For three years, he worked in the Planning Division and the Engineering and Construction Division as an intern then left the district to earn a Master of Science in Ocean Engineering from Texas A&M University. Shortly after, he was offered a position as a coastal engineering consultant in Corpus Christi, Texas, at HDR Engineering Inc., and remained there for four years before returning to the USACE Galveston District.
“I ultimately came back because I love coastal engineering and the Corps is the world’s largest and best coastal engineering agency,” said Thomas. “At the Corps, we help set the path for the future of coastal engineering and I wanted to help drive the Texas Coast in the right direction.”
Now the chief of the Engineering and Construction Division, Thomas describes his job as being a champion for the people who execute the district’s engineering and construction missions. In this position he oversees projects ranging from new placement areas and beaches to planning the world’s largest coastal storm risk management projects and is currently focused on ensuring the quality of Corps projects.
Aside from his job, Thomas has a passion for rebuilding old cars and is currently working on repairing a 1979 Jeep CJ-5. Still an active diver, he continues to seek diving opportunities around globe and enjoys fishing, cooking, camping and spending time with his wife and two daughters.
Release no. 17-006