Electrical Engineer

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently searching for an Electrical Engineer to join the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department. This is a regular, full-time, exempt position, and is eligible for full benefits.


The role of this position consists of working in an electronics design and manufacturing environment primarily supporting the Applied Propagation Physics (APP) group in the Ocean Acoustics & Signals Laboratory (OASL) of the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering (AOP&E) Department.  This role will also support the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Electrical Engineering Laboratory and the AVAST (Autonomous Vehicle and Sensor Technology) program.  The work for the OASL-APP group would be the next phase in the development of the 3-Dimensional Acoustic Telescope (3D-AT), upgrading the data collection and signal processing components as well as the power systems. The OOI Electrical Engineering Lab is responsible for maintaining a wide array of electronics, telemetry systems, wiring harnesses, and sub-sea cables.  The electrical hardware consists of distributed embedded systems, Linux single board computers, primary, and rechargeable batteries, as well as a variety of satellite based, and line of site telemetry. The AVAST program is an initiative providing subject matter expertise and specialized fabrication and testing spaces for multiple highly-technical projects at WHOI.


The primary role of this position is that of an Electrical Test Engineer, reporting to a Lead Electrical Engineer from the individual project.  Responsibilities include, with limited supervision; design and build of components, develop and implement test procedures, troubleshooting and repair of all electronic, electrical, and computer-based equipment.  Responsibilities may include the management of technicians to complete these duties.  Candidate must be familiar with a wide variety of electronics test equipment; oscilloscopes, multi-meters, and command line interfaces. 


3D-AT:  https://www.whoi.edu/press-room/news-release/whoi-awarded-1-million-3d-acoustic-telescope/


The internal working title of this position could be Engineer I or Engineer II.


Essential Functions

  • Set up and operate electrical test equipment in accordance with current good manufacturing practices and standard operating procedures.
  • Calibrate, maintain, or adjust equipment to ensure quality production.
  • Assist lead electrical engineer in developing, and building; prototypes, new products, processes, and procedures.
  • Maintain documentation of product subassemblies, final assemblies, and wiring harnesses
  • Test products or subassemblies for functionality and quality.
  • In depth troubleshooting of problems with equipment, devices, or products down to the component level.
  • Manage technicians to complete build and test requirements
  • Monitor and adjust production processes or equipment for quality and productivity.
  • Occasional sea duty may be required

Engineer I: This is an entry level position designed to encourage the connection and application of academic training to results-oriented projects in support of scientific and research activities. Initially this position will have direct supervision to achieve structured and assigned objectives.

  • Applies basic research principles and standard laboratory instrumentation to engineering design efforts;
  • Tests designs, calibrates instrumentation, troubleshoots mechanical/electronic systems;
  • Develops computer code, microprocessor code, and uses CAD, CAE tools;
  • Participates in report writing to document instrumentation developments and tests;
  • Develops basic practical engineering skills to enhance technical competence and versatility.

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

  • 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.



  • As deemed necessary by supervisor

Education & Experience

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.


Engineer I:

Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering with minimal work experience.  This is an entry level experience.


Engineer II:

Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering with several years of demonstrated related experience or a Master’s degree in EE.


Special Requirements

  • Must be able to obtain TWIC card.
  • WHOI has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy in effect, where you must register your full vaccination status [vaccination plus booster] in order to begin your employment. The registration process is confidential and entails submitting your official vaccination records, 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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