Commander Joseph Dituri is a retired Naval Officer and Ph.D. who enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1985. He served continuously on active service upon various ships and shore stations where he was involved in hyperbaric system maintenance, saturation diving and ship repair. In 1995 he made his way up through the ranks after earning his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of South Carolina and was commissioned into the Special Operations Officer pipeline. After serving three diving tours in this pipeline he changed designator to the Engineering Duty Officer (diver).
He then transferred to Naval Post Graduate School where he earned his Master’s degree in Astronautical Engineering. His master’s thesis topic was in Orbital Determination with an accent for life support systems. He is an invited speaker on space related and system life support engineering topics.
Following completion of his masters he was assigned as Officer-in-Charge Deep Submergence Unit (DSU) Diving Systems Detachment (DSD). Under his command DSD won the white “DS” award for deep submergence excellence and certified the 2000 feet sea water Atmospheric Diving System for fleet use. Upon fielding and initial testing, the team introduced the Submarine Rescue Diving & Recompression System into Naval service and took it on two international engagements. He transferred from DSU after fleeting up to become the Executive Officer and designing the transfer under pressure saturation diving template for Navy Submarine Rescue.
His final position in the US Navy was at Special Operations Command in Special Operations Research Development and Acquisition Center Program Executive Officer – Maritime Systems where he served as the Chief Engineer, Program Manager for Undersea Systems Technical & Certification Program as well as deputy Program Manager for Combat Craft. CDR Dituri’s personal awards include three Navy Achievement Medals, a Joint Service Achievement Medal, an Army Commendation Medal, five Navy Commendation Medals, a Joint Service Commendation Medal and a Joint Meritorious Service Medal.
After retirement from almost 28 years of active service to the United States, Joseph earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering with research areas of interest that include life support equipment design, high carbon dioxide environments as well as hyperbaric and hypobaric medicine. Joseph is a contributing author to Hyperbaric Medical Practice (4th edition), the author of numerous diver-training manuals, a co-author of the book “Tao of Survival Underwater”, as well as the Navy Diving Manual and has been published in several journals including those produced by the Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), the American Society of Naval Engineers and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dr. Dituri is a consultant for the International Board of Undersea Medicine. He is also the Director of the Undersea Oxygen Clinic and the Course Director for a UHMS approved 40-hour introductory hyperbaric course. Dr. Dituri is an associate professor at the University of South Florida. Joseph is a member of the American Bureau of Shipping Special Committee on Building and Classing Undersea Vehicles and Hyperbaric Systems and the National Offshore Advisor Committee for Commercial Diving Safety. Joseph has three grown children and enjoys writing books, skydiving and has had a lifelong goal of being a civilian astronaut.