Our Team


Bruce D. Branham
Principal, Smith Mountain Solutions, LLC
Senior Technical & Policy Advisor, USCG MSC


Bruce is a U.S. Coast Guard Academy, University of Michigan and MIT educated senior executive with extensive experience in commercial vessel standards development and compliance verification, as well as financial, personnel and information resource management.  He is skilled in leading interdisciplinary, headquarters-level marine technical, strategic planning, programming, budgeting and information system development teams. He has served continuously in the U.S. Coast Guard since 1979, progressing through a series of increasingly challenging operational and staff positions. Bruce retired from Active Duty at the rank of Captain in 2008 after nearly 30 years of uniformed service and now serves as the Senior Technical & Policy Advisor to the Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center in Washington, D.C.

Brian S. Thomas, P.E.
Principal, Smith Mountain Solutions, LLC
USCG Salvage Engineering Response Team


Brian earned his undergraduate degree in Naval Architecture from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1999 and his MSEs in Naval Architecture and Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005.  He currently leads the Coast Guard Salvage Engineering Response Team, which stands ready 24 hours a day to assist Coast Guard field commanders responding to emergent vessel casualty situations.  He was hand picked by Hollywood director James Cameron to be part of his "Titanic Dream Team" to answer the question of what actually caused the Titanic to sink. Thomas' rare and highly specialized career led him to play a key role in the investigation for the National Geographic TV special, "Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron".