Electrical Engineer (Robotics)

Job ID
2021-1566
Category
Engineering
Type
regular
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is searching for a highly-motivated and enthusiastic Electrical Engineer (Robotics) to join the Oceanographic Systems Lab (OSL) within the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department (AOPE). This is a regular full-time, exempt position, and is eligible for full benefits.  

 

OSL is a world leader in Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) technology and operation in many complex oceanographic environments.  Military and scientific applications of AUVs are supported by OSL including biologic and physical surveys, mapping, under-ice operations, environmental anomaly detection, and filming megafauna.  OSL works with REMUS AUVs developed at WHOI and equipment designed elsewhere, expanding capabilities of the AUVs and the sensors they support.  The OSL team operates in a creative and exciting workspace from creation of ideas to deployment in the field.

 

OSL is recruiting qualified candidates for a robotics hardware engineer with a particular focus on electrical systems. This position is an Electrical Engineering role with emphasis on system and power system design.  Embedded software and microcontroller skills are a plus.  Candidates will need to be able to work broadly in computing, digital circuitry, timing, imaging, DC power, A/D systems, general communications, wiring and cabling, and other fields as needed.  The overall position tasks are split between design tasks, testing, and system integration workflows and fieldwork. 

 

The engineer will work with a small, dynamic team to develop an unconventional AUV to demonstrate a unique mission.  The work will require taking ownership of developing the new vehicle’s electrical systems while working closely with other team members to produce a coherent final product.  In parallel, testing on existing AUVs will afford opportunities to prototype and evaluate critical decisions early in the design cycle.  Depending on the candidate’s skillset, future work will include one or more of: board-level design, microcontroller-based systems and their firmware, high-capacity battery systems, and motors and their control.  The position will also involve both local and at-sea operations to support data collection, experimentation, post-processing and analysis.

 

A successful candidate, with little supervision, works creatively and independently to establish objectives, meet deadlines, and complete difficult engineering assignments by demonstrating full competency in one or more engineering areas; assists substantively in planning technical aspects of new developments, as well as design, testing, and use of major system components.

 

The internal working title for this position could be either Engineer II or Research Engineer.  The final level of the position will be determined commensurate with the selected candidate’s level of education and experience.

Essential Functions

Engineer II:

  • Conceptualizes solutions to engineering problems;
  • Develops, calibrates, and tests new designs and techniques;
  • Develops computer code, microprocessor code, and uses CAD, CAE tools;
  • Troubleshoots electronic/mechanical systems;
  • Participates in report writing to document developments and tests. May single-author reports and articles;
  • May supervise other personnel.

 Research Engineer:

  • Develops major portions of electronic or mechanical systems with supervision consisting primarily of milestone progress reviews; frequently acts as Project Engineer on major projects;
  • Conducts hardware developments such as new sensor techniques, autonomous battery-powered instrumentation, control systems for manned and robotic submersibles, etc.;
  • Writes complex computer code for use in instrumentation, system modeling, and electronic design;
  • Develops new sampling methods involving complex mechanical, electrical, or electronic instrumentation;
  • Plays a significant role in report writing and proposal preparation and may single-author results;
  • Interacts with scientific and technical staff colleagues to foster research ideas, develop and hone research/experimental skills;
  • May supervise one or more Engineering Assistants and/or Engineers.

Non-essential Functions:

  • As deemed necessary by supervisor.

Education & Experience

Engineer II:

  • Bachelor's or Master’s degree in engineering or appropriate field with 3-5 years of relevant experience.

 Research Engineer:

  • Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or computer science with at least five to seven years of related experience, or Ph.D. or Master's degree in electrical engineering or computer science with several years of related experience.

 Required skills for both position levels include:

  • Excellent working knowledge of C and/or C++, and several other programming languages, including one or more of: Python, Perl, Linux/Unix shell, or Matlab/Octave.
  • Electronic design skills, both analog and digital, including schematic-level design, Spice simulation, basic circuit board layout, and troubleshooting.
  • Experience with programming and debugging embedded systems.
  • Experience with CPLD/FPGAs and Verilog.

Other skills that are desirable include:

  • Experience working with oceanographic systems, including autonomous underwater vehicles.
  • Experience with version control within a team software development environment.
  • Experience with Linux operating system programming and administration.
  • Experience with Orcad design tools.
  • Experience with data analysis.
  • Experience with field experiment planning and execution.
  • Experience working at sea.

Special Requirements

  • Must be US Citizen
  • Must qualify to get a TWIC
  • Must be capable of getting a US Security Clearance
  • Must have valid driver's license
  • WHOI is a federal contractor required to comply with Executive Order 14042. As such, WHOI has enacted a Mandated COVID19 vaccination policy effective December 8, 2021 where you must register your vaccination status in order to begin your employment. The registration process entails confidentially submitting a vaccination card and/or your vaccination status or requesting to engage in the interactive exemption process for either a medical or religious reason.  

Physical Requirements

Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to, ability to lift less than 25 lbs independently, 2 times per day; carry 10-25 lbs, 2 times per day. Visual abilities to include near, far, peripheral, depth perception, and 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, repetitive motion, reaching above and below the shoulders, pushing, pulling, kneeling, bending, twisting, and stooping. Other occupational requirements include talking, traveling, working around others, and with others. Will be exposed to dust or other irritants and electrical/mechanical/power equipment hazards. 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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