Jobs & Internships


Ocean Instrumentation Engineer

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently searching for an Ocean Instrumentation Engineer to join the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department. This is a full-time, regular, non-exempt position, and eligible for full benefits. The initial term will be one year, renewable.

The position will focus on development, testing, deployment and maintenance of oceanographic instrumentation systems including acoustic data recorders, acoustic modems and acoustic navigation and positioning systems. In addition, the work may include system integration, operations and testing of autonomous platforms, including underwater vehicles and autonomous surface craft.

The work will require a mixture of hands-on assembly and testing, both mechanical and electrical, configuration and programming of devices, setup of instruments, download of data, basic quality control and related work. The engineer will assist others in light mechanical or electrical design work using mechanical CAD tools such as Solidworks. The ability to read and follow detailed wiring diagrams, and basic use of tools such as digital multi-meters is required.

The position will require a significant amount of time at sea, both local to Woods Hole and around the US and overseas. Previous at-sea experience on an oceanographic vessel is highly desirable, and may be augmented by experience with small boats. Familiarity with conditions experienced on the water and a demonstrated ability to work under pressure is important.

The internal working title for this position will be Engineer I.

Essential Functions

  • Hands-on assembly and testing, both mechanical and electrical
  • This is an entry level position designed to encourage the connection and application of academic training to results-oriented projects in support of scientific and research activities. Initially this position will have direct supervision to achieve structured and assigned objectives.
  • Configuration and programming of devices, setup of instruments, download of data, and basic quality control
  • Applies basic research principles and standard laboratory instrumentation to engineering design efforts
  • Tests designs, calibrates instrumentation, 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


  • As deemed necessary by supervisor

Education & Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in engineering or related discipline
  • Minimal experience required in the marine environment with oceanographic equipment
  • Previous at-sea experience on an oceanographic vessel

Special Requirements

  • Ability to obtain a TWIC card
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen

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.

To Apply: