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 Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Electrical Engineering Laboratory and the AVAST (Autonomous Vehicle and Sensor Technology) program.  This role will also support the Applied Propagation Physics (APP) group in the Ocean Acoustics & Signals Laboratory (OASL) of the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering (AOP&E) Department.


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, solar and wind generation, as well as a variety of satellite based, and line of site telemetry.


The primary role of this position is that of an Electrical 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 or engineers to complete these duties.  Candidate must be familiar with a wide variety of electronics test equipment; oscilloscopes, Digital Signal Processors, Frequency generators, PCB design software and command line interfaces.  The AVAST program is an initiative providing subject matter expertise and specialized fabrication and testing spaces for multiple highly-technical projects at WHOI.


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 Research Engineer or Senior Engineer.





Essential Functions

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.
  • 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 or engineers to complete build and test requirements
  • Monitor and adjust production processes or equipment for quality and productivity.
  • Occasional sea duty may be required

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.
  • 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.

Senior Engineer:

  • All qualifications of a Research Engineer, but with more experience and capability.




  • As deemed necessary by supervisor

Education & Experience


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.


Senior Engineer:


Appropriate academic background enhanced by more than 10 years of specifically related experience. All candidates must possess demonstrated excellence within a related field, i.e., a record of superior accomplishment-such as patents, publications, or documented instrumentation or systems--which provides objective evidence of original professional contributions and/or exceptional
management skills.

Special Requirements

  • TWIC
  • Must be a US Citizen
  • Security Clearance
  • Person drives WHOI vehicle

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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