• Mechanical Engineer

    Job ID
  • Job Summary

    The Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department is searching for an Engineer I/II to join their team! This is a full time, exempt position and is eligible for benefits.


    The Sentry Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team is looking for HIGHLY motivated individuals to join a world class team in conducting both cutting edge robotics research and supporting world class ocean science. More information can be found at www.whoi.edu/main/sentry. Sentry is an operationally deployed AUV that spends 150 - 200 days per year at sea gathering data for ocean scientists. Sentry is also under continuous upgrade including pushing the boundaries of AUV sampling, new command and control systems, and new sensing systems. The successful individual will also work on other project related to AUVs including technology development projects for NSF, NOAA, Office of Naval Research, NASA, and corporations as and when needed. Successful individuals may have to independently balance several projects at any one time.


    With some supervision to achieve assigned objectives, the Engineer I position identifies and participates in engineering projects in support of scientific and research activities through the demonstration of one or more specialized skills. A candidate hired into this position level will initially have direct supervision to achieve structured and assigned objectives.

    With some supervision to achieve assigned objectives, the Engineer II position identifies and participates in engineering projects in support of scientific and research activities through the demonstration of one or more specialized skills. This position will be expected to work on tasks requiring creativity and independent thinking, along with a proven understanding of fundamental research and engineering principles.

    Essential Functions


    Specific tasks include but are certainly not limited to:

    • Join the AUV Sentry team to develop, maintain and upgrade mechanical systems.  This may include participation in at sea activities up to 120 day per year.
    • Develop brackets/fixtures/ and other related equipment for ship and instrument integration of the AUV.
    • Support documentation and modeling efforts including maintenance of as-built drawings.

    Medium to long term career potential includes:

    • Potential for electrical or software cross-training
    • Potential to conduct engineering design work, in addition to technician work
    • Potential to manage small projects.

    Education & Experience


    Engineer I Level*

    • Engineering degree or other appropriate discipline with minimal work experience, or evidence of an established, specialized engineering skill gained through experience in the absence of a formal degree.
      • Minimum of a BS in mechanical or aerospace engineering.  Ocean Engineering will NOT be considered unless accompanied by at least two years of paid design experience.  

    Engineer II Level*

    • Master's degree in an engineering or appropriate field with minimal experience, or Bachelor's degree in engineering or appropriate field with several years of relevant experience, or demonstrated competency as an Engineer I, or significant, progressive independence and skill development at the Engineering Assistant III or Senior Engineering Assistant levels or equivalent positions on the other technical ladders, or equivalent work experience in the absence of a formal degree.
      • A M.S. Degree in mechanical engineering or aerospace engineering is desired but does not replace the requirement for the BS degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering. Exceptional candidates without an engineering degree 10+ years of relevant experience may be considered but only in very exceptional cases.

    Both Levels:

    • Electrical Engineering courses/degrees/skills are strongly desired.
    • A significant commitment to success of the program and the mission will be required particularly while at sea. This is a group that is known for going to extreme measures to make a cruise succeed even in the face of significant setbacks (for example, rebuilding the entire electrical system of the vehicle, at sea, in 72 hours, after a fire and flood) and any long term part of the group will need to have the same attitude.
    • Specific experience are required/strongly desired, as follows:
      • Experience with 3D modeling systems is required. Inventor preferred but others acceptable.
      • Strong hands on skills are required.
      • Familiarity or experience with basic manufacturability is desired.
      • Electrical/Electronic debug skills are strongly desired.
      • Any prior software experience is a plus.
    • Must be highly creative when it's time to be creative but must be able to become highly focused and effective as deadlines approach.  FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION AND NEITHER ARE LATE PROJECTS.
    • This position requires an extremely strong ability to learn rapidly and independently with intermittent mentorship.
    • Must be not only willing, but eager to get out on deck and get your hands dirty when the project requires it but must also be able to sit in an office and focus when that is required.

    *Position level will be determined by the selected candidate’s level of education & experience.


    Physical Requirements

    Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to, ability to lift 25-50 lbs independently, 2-3 times per day; carry 25-50 lbs, 3-4 times per day. Visual abilities to include near, far, and peripheral vision, depth perception, ability to distinguish basic colors. Hearing requirements include the ability to hear and respond to instructions, communicate effectively in loud areas (pier/dock, warehouse). Other physical tasks include occasional prolonged standing/walking; use of hands for basic /fine grasping and manipulation, reaching above and below the shoulders, and kneeling, bending, and stooping. Will be exposed to excessive cold, heat, and/or humidity, grease and oils, hazardous substances or specimens, electrical/mechanical/power equipment hazards, prolonged work hours, and/or extended periods at sea. Physical duties are subject to change.

    Sea Duty

    May work at least 8 hours per day and, at times in excess of 12 hours per day, 7 days per week. Sleep and work hours can deviate from those on land. May be expected to work on watch schedule (such as 8 hours on and 8 hours off or 12 hours on and 8 hours off) for all or part of a cruise or to work as hours are needed to accomplish the planned work. May need to travel during holidays and for long distances to and from foreign ports. May experience rudimentary living and working conditions, with shared and basic living quarters and laboratories. May experience bad or extreme weather conditions, including heavy seas, winter weather or hot, tropical weather. Work on deck may occur in both hot and cold conditions around the clock. Sea conditions will lead to active ship motion. Should be able to climb steep and vertical ladders and able to enter and exit compartments through hatches, doors, and sills. Should be able to carry heavy gear and participate in the loading and unloading of the ship as well as in the activities on deck and in the labs during the cruise. Shipboard environment may include: confined areas, shared sleeping quarters (berths) and bathroom facilities, small and basic berthing, fixed meal times and basic menus. Modest levels of heating, cooling, ventilation, and illumination, limited or no email and internet access and limited off-duty and recreational facilities (library, lounge, movies). May be exposed to potential allergens and irritants, including paint fumes. May experience constant and intermittent loud noises, and slippery and uneven surfaces.


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