Opportunity

Ocean Career: Electrical Engineer at WHOI

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is currently searching for an Electrical Engineer to join the Alvin Submersible Engineering and Operations Group. This is a regular, full-time, exempt position and is eligible for full benefits.

Alvin is the world’s most renowned human occupied submersible, continually operating since its commissioning in 1964. For over five decades, and 5000+ dives Alvin has advanced our understanding of the Earth’s ocean environments, uncovering many significant scientific discoveries along the way. Alvin was recently certified to 6500m and now has the ability to explore over 98% of the ocean floor.

The Alvin Group is currently seeking a highly motivated, technically competent and responsible Electronics/Electrical Engineer to join our operations team. With supervision, a successful candidate applies electronic/electrical aptitude and acquired knowledge of established procedures to the maintenance, troubleshooting and repair of vehicle related equipment used in the operation and support of the Alvin submersible.

This is a physically demanding position requiring the ability and willingness to spend six-to-eight months per year at sea. The remainder of the year’s workload would be at the institution and may require a local residence. After an initial training period, the position would allow for minimally supervised maintenance on the vehicle, and additional qualifications to perform key submersible support roles. Exceptional candidates will be entered into the Alvin Pilot in Training program with the goal of completing qualifications as Alvin Pilot in Command.

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

The internal working title for this position is Engineer I.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

This position requires individuals to possess a strong electrical background, meticulous work habits, superb attention to detail, excellent interpersonal skills, solid work ethic, self-motivation and professionalism, which are hallmarks of Alvin engineering and operations personnel.

Specific tasks include (but not limited to):

  • Apply and follow written procedures to maintain, test, and repair submersible electronic/electrical systems and equipment associated with the operation of the submersible. Examples include digital and analog circuits, battery components, power supplies, relays and power distribution systems, motors (DC brushless) and controllers, serial data systems and networks, underwater camera and video systems, etc.
  • Preparation and interface of scientific equipment and sensors used with the submersible.
  • Maintenance and repair of fiber-optic components and equipment.
  • Use of electronic test equipment (multi-meters, oscilloscope, fiber-optic testing equipment, etc.)
  • Participate in all phases of the vehicle launch, recovery and surface support activities.
  • Complete the training required to qualify as an Alvin support technician, support swimmer, launch coordinator, and launch system operator and surface coordinator.
  • With a combination of directed training and significant self-study, complete the training program necessary to become a qualified Alvin Pilot
  • Go to sea up to 8 months a year in support of Alvin operations.
  • Applies basic research principles and standard laboratory instrumentation to engineering design effort.
  • Tests designs, calibrates instrumentation, and 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

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE

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

  • Applies basic research principles and standard laboratory instrumentation to engineering design effort.
  • Tests designs, calibrates instrumentation, and troubleshoots mechanical/electromechanical systems.
  • Participates in report writing to document instrumentation developments and tests.
  • Develops basic practical engineering skills to enhance technical competence and versatility.

Prior experience:
Bachelor's degree in Electical or Electronics Engineering 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.

  • 3-5 years of applicable experience in electrical/electronic systems maintenance. Alternatively, a BS in Electrical Engineering or similar curriculum with two years of practical experience is preferred
  • At-sea experience desired. ROV, AUV and/or manned submersible experience a plus.
  • Strong aptitude for evaluating and repairing analog and digital electrical and electronic components and systems. Must be capable of analyzing equipment problems using drawings/documentation and schematics in conjunction with test equipment and procedures.
  • Windows and Linux operating system fluency, serial and network communications protocols, embedded processor hardware development, schematic capture and CAD software.
  • Use and evaluation of electrical and electronic test equipment.
  • Basic proficiency in the use of common mechanical tools.
  • Strong aptitude in completing detailed maintenance documentation and reporting.
  • Experience with mechanical, electromechanical and battery systems is a plus.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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