Ocean Career: Saildrone Senior Manufacturing Engineer

At Saildrone, we sustainably explore, map, and monitor the oceans to understand, protect, and preserve our world. We provide real-time access to critical data from any ocean on earth, 24/7/365, and use proprietary software applications to transform that data into actionable insights and intelligence. Our fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs), powered by renewable wind and solar power, have a minimal carbon footprint and operate without the need for a crewed support vessel. Saildrone works with governments, civil agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas—from sailing into the eye of a category 4 hurricane to obtain new data about how storms intensify, collecting new CO2 data in hard-to-reach areas, and counting fish biomass to inform sustainable fishery management, to mapping the ocean floor and reducing illegal fishing and drug trafficking. As a result of our work, Saildrone has been included on Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, earned an Ocean Awards’ Innovation Award, won Best Tech For Good from the Timmy Awards, and was recognized by Andreessen Horowitz’s American Dynamism 50 list of the Top 50 Companies Kickstarting American Renewal. Our first-annual Atlantic hurricane mission with NOAA was included as one of The New York Times’ 21 Things That Happened for the First Time in 2021 and Popular Science's 100 Greatest Innovations of 2021.

We are based in Alameda, CA, with offices in Washington DC and St. Petersburg, FL, and operate our missions worldwide. Saildrone is backed by top-tier investors in the frontier tech and sustainability sectors, including Social Capital, Capricorn, Lux Capital, BOND Capital, and Emerson Collective.

This is an exciting opportunity with a fast-growing team at the cutting-edge intersection of big data services and autonomous hardware. You will be an integral part of a high-performing multi-disciplinary delivering high impact for humanity and future generations.

The Role

Saildrone is seeking a Sr Manufacturing Engineer to bring our in-house harness manufacturing to the next level. They will be responsible for the Production system and work stations used in a high-mix, low-volume production environment. They will focus on ensuring that quality improves by implementing a QC regime and improving the work stations used to manufacture cables.


  • Responsible for lean manufacturing processes used to produce Saildrone’s wire harnessing
  • Setup workstations and production flows based on lean manufacturing best practices (5S, Visual Mgt, Plan-for-Every-Part, Kitting, etc)
  • Integrate HW & SW changes into processes by updating work instructions & mBOMs
  • Develop quality control inspections & tests to ensure that high quality products are shipped to customers
  • Define and validate “standard process times” for operations. to balance work across workstations and technicians based on capacity targets
  • Foster positive relationships with the technicians ensuring that any process changes are introduced smoothly and in collaboration with the team
  • Complete projects to improve the operation including adding automation, insourcing, & cutting-edge tooling
  • Enable vertically integration by identifying opportunities for strategic in-sourcing, reducing costs & increasing speed of iteration
  • Participate in prototype and first article builds for NPI, provide DFM & DFA feedback
  • Respond promptly to continuous improvement opportunities, work instruction improvements
  • Directly troubleshoot and provide technical support for assembly line issues to unblock production and ensure tactical goals are met
  • Ensure “virtual factory” processes are executed properly (WOs, inventory moves, kitting. etc.) and lead continuous improvement of those processes

Required Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering (Mechanical, Electrical, or similar)
  • 5+ years’ experience in an engineering role, with emphasis on supporting production activities, with evidence of increasing scope of work
  • New Production Introduction experience, have executed new product launch through capacity acceleration
  • Excellent communication (written & verbal) and cross-functional interpersonal skills

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able to lift up to 35+ lbs, spend some extended periods of time standing

Location: This position is in Alameda, CA. Our waterfront office offers beautiful views of San Francisco Bay in always sunny Alameda. Even our walls have good karma, our offices mix software development with a hardware production line in the former airplane hangar used to film 'The Matrix'.


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents
  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents
  • Enhanced Parental Leave Programs
  • Competitive benefits including excellent medical, life insurance, 401k plan

A reasonable estimate of the current range is $132,000-$172,200 annually.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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