Thomas Curtin is currently a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Adaptive Systems and a Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington. From 2008 to 2011, he served as Chief Scientist at the NATO Undersea Research Centre in La Spezia Italy. From 2007 to 2008, he was the Chief Knowledge Officer at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. From 1984 to 2007, he managed basic and applied research and programs at the United States Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Physical Oceanography, Arctic Sciences, Ocean Modeling and Prediction and Undersea Autonomous Operations. He also served as Deputy Director of ONR for Strategy and Planning (2003). From 1979 to 1984, he was an Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University and a Principal Investigator on numerous research grants and contracts. From 1969 to 1971, he served in the Peace Corps as an oceanographer at the Fisheries Research Institute in Penang, Malaysia.
Thomas Curtin received the B.S. degree in Physics from Boston College, the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physical Oceanography from Oregon State University and the University of Miami, respectively, and the M.B.A. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
His thesis topics focused on electrical fields in the ocean, coastal ocean frontal dynamics, and research management using system dynamics and real option valuation. He has been editor of IEEE and AGU journals and an Ocean Engineering Handbook (Springer), has authored 35 peer-reviewed papers, 21 technical reports and 2 patents. He has been Chief Scientist on 25 oceanographic cruises in mid-latitude and equatorial Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Arctic Ocean, the Ross Sea in Antarctica, and the South China Sea. He has been awarded the U.S. Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the U.S. Navy Superior Civilian Service Medal, the U.S. Navy Unit Commendation and the U.S. Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal.