Software Engineer - Robotics/AI/ML (WARPLab)

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently looking for a Robotics Engineer  to join the WARPLab in the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department. This is a regular, full-time, exempt position, and is eligible for benefits.


WARPLab (  is developing novel approaches to monitor complex marine ecosystems using underwater robots, AI, and machine learning. Ideal candidates will have demonstrable experience with software development in the context of robotics and computer vision. Prior experience with marine or field robotics is desirable but not required. The main technologies used by lab include: C/C++, Python, ROS, PyTorch, and OpenCV.


Please include links to code samples with the application.


Job Summary


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.


Research Engineer:


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 experiments, 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 & 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

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 II:


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. 


An Engineer II will have demonstrated initial competence in one or more areas of engineering. The opportunity exists for assumption of increased technical and/or managerial responsibilities based on the continued development of expertise. While there is no time limit to appointment at this rank, promotion within the Technical Staff is expected. To that end, promotion consideration can occur as early as the third year in rank; formal consideration should normally occur within five or six years in rank.


Research Engineer:


Ph.D. in related engineering field, or Master's degree in an engineering or appropriate field with several years of related experience, or Bachelor's degree in an engineering or appropriate field with more than five years of related experience. In the absence of a formal degree, considerable equivalent work experience is required. Successful candidates will have demonstrated the technical skill, motivation, independence, and creativity necessary to complete difficult engineering tasks.


While there is no appropriate time limit for appointment at this rank, exceptional individuals will be promoted. Candidates should develop a mastery of specialized techniques or ingenuity and creativity in selecting and evaluating approaches to problems. They should develop the ability to apply an analytical approach to solutions and to assimilate the details and significance of various analyses, procedures, and tests prior to being considered for promotion.


Special Requirements

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 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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