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Software and Robotics Engineer

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently searching for a Software and Robotics Engineer to join the Advanced Engineering Lab within the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department. This is a regular, full-time, non-exempt position, and is eligible for benefits. The position will be at the Engineer I or Engineer II level, depending on skills, education, and experience.
This position involves software engineering and development as well as fieldwork and at-sea testing at locations around the world. This is an excellent opportunity for someone who relishes the idea of going outside while working on interesting engineering problems. (You will probably see at least one polar bear.)
The Advanced Engineering Laboratory, located in a waterfront facility in Woods Hole, consists of engineers and technicians who work on a wide range of oceanographic systems including autonomous undersea vehicles, autonomous surface vehicles, underwater acoustics and communications, and complex sensors for physical oceanography, chemistry and biology. Within the lab, multiple groups develop cutting-edge technology for scientific and US Navy applications and take that technology from initial prototype to complete product.
Although this position is focused on software engineering and development, a breadth of engineering skills and experience across multiple fields will be helpful and is always appreciated at WHOI.
The Software and Robotics Engineer will work within an engineering team in the development, test and fielding of complex assemblies for many applications as described above, including (but certainly not limited to) robotics, instrument control, and data analysis. The work will include feature additions and maintenance within existing code bases, as well as clean-sheet designs for new projects and applications. Several projects will involve developing applications for robotic systems using the Robot Operating System (ROS), many of which use Python.
The position will include projects that take multiple forms, including working with a team that includes other engineers and a project manager or operating independently with a scientist and a group of graduate students or post-docs. Domestic and foreign travel up to several times per year for several weeks is typical, but not always required. Time at sea on small coastal vessels or large research craft will likely be required. The successful applicant will also have a strong interest in the ocean and marine environment, ocean-related sciences, and robotics for scientific and US Navy applications.

Essential Functions

The required skills of the position include:
  • Strong software engineering skills
  • Proficiency in Python
  • Familiarity with C and/or C++
  • Familiarity with Linux
  • Basic electronic troubleshooting, including reading schematics and using oscilloscopes and logic analyzers for signal tracing and decoding (e.g. SPI/RS-232 signals).
  • Experience with version control software like Git and/or SVN
  • Willingness and ability to support at-sea and field deployments.
 Deep expertise in a closely-related field with the willingness to learn can be considered in lieu of some required skills.
Other skills that are desirable for this engineering position include:
  • Experience with the Robot Operating System (ROS)
  • Embedded Linux operation and development.
  • Experience programming embedded systems using C
  • Experience with real-time operating systems (for example, FreeRTOS) or multi-threaded programming.
  • Experience with robotics.
  • Programming FPGAs in Verilog or SystemVerilog.
  • Digital signal processing, digital communications and acoustics.
  • Experience with Matlab.
  • Electrical engineering skills.
  • Experience working at sea.
As deemed necessary by supervisor

Education & Experience

Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, or a related discipline, or relevant experience.

Special Requirements

  • Able to get a Transportation Worker Identity Card (TWIC).
  • US Citizen
  • Drives WHOI vehicle.
  • Must be willing to travel and spend time in the field (several weeks per year minimum).
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.

WHOI is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer/Disabled/Veterans/M/F. We encourage Veterans and those with Disabilities to apply. Applications are reviewed confidentially. Applicants that require accommodation in the job application process are encouraged to contact us at (508) 289-2253 or email for assistance.