Gibbs & Cox Inc., an Arlington, Va.-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm, announced yesterday the expansion of services into the Houston area. The virtual office will be led by Todd Carrico, a leading innovator in naval and offshore marine engineering technologies, the company said.

In anticipation of a continued presence in Houston, Gibbs & Cox plans to open a physical location once the Covid-19 pandemic recovery is underway. In the near term, the office will continue to be virtual, with a growing number of staff working from home in Houston.

Gibbs & Cox' vision of the Houston office is threefold: to add substantial value to the company by generating revenue in non-naval markets; developing and selling new products and/or services to non-traditional clients; and contributing to the successful completion of existing programs.

The timing for opening an office in Houston is fortuitous, the company said. Maritime, offshore oil and gas, and the naval sectors are becoming increasingly interrelated through the use of new technologies. While Houston has long been associated with the offshore energy industry, it has become more diverse in the past decade. This has resulted in a hot-bed of technology development, open innovation, collaboration possibilities across industries, and incubation of new ideas, Gibbs & Cox said. The company plans on cultivating these attributes with its expansion into emerging maritime markets. Over the last several months, the company has hired a number of staff from the Houston area and expects this trend to continue as it continues to grow with recent contract awards.

Carrico, the new director of the Houston office, was previously with SBM Offshore, where he served as technology and business development manager, focusing on early project development for SBM's Houston Regional Center. Prior to SBM, Carrico was the Seakeeping Division Model Experimentation branch head at NSWC Carderock, where he was responsible for complex model test programs, including DDG 1000 and the Orion Recovery test programs.