Jobs & Internships


Principal Engineer, Sr. Research Specialist, Senior Engineer, Research Specialist

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering department is seeking to recruit more of the world’s best to invent and develop cutting edge technology in the service of global ocean science. WHOI provides a superb environment for close collaboration between science and technology, with unparalleled access to the ocean, broad intellectual freedom, and an international reputation for excellence.

We are seeking to hire at least one candidate from technology disciplines broadly relevant to ocean science including engineering, chemistry, biology, ocean physics, geology computer science or other relevant fields. We are specifically looking for candidates who will develop and run independent applied research programs that are synergistic with the mission of the Institution, to advance understanding of the ocean and its interaction with the Earth system.

Essential Functions

Successful candidates are expected to develop an internationally recognized and externally funded applied research program with synergistic, interdisciplinary links to one or more current science departments. The potential research areas are broad, and include all aspects of data analytics, robotics, and sensors, but are not limited to these areas. Areas within marine engineering and robotics include, but are not limited to, vehicles, control, autonomy, navigation, mapping, geodesy, energy, and machine learning. The sensors area includes acoustics, optics, biochemistry, microfluidics, and many others. Data analytics and related fields include data stream integration, bioinformatics, computer vision, and data visualization or exploration.

An ideal candidate will have demonstrated applied research experience in marine environments or challenging atmospheric, terrestrial, or space environments. Applicants should have a Masters or PhD in a technical field, more than 10 years of post-graduate experience, plus a demonstrated history of successful research and/or development with appropriate publications and data products.

Candidates should be able to express a clear vision for their proposed work on new and innovative technologies, and also an understanding of how to apply and work with external funding agencies. Startup funds will be available to help bridge the gap between joining the staff and operating with financial independence.

Female and minority applicants are particularly encouraged to apply. WHOI is sensitive to the issues of dual career families and will work with applicants to identify and explore available options. WHOI’s benefits package includes vacation time, an employer contribution retirement plan, medical and dental plans, child care subsidy, flexible scheduling, and family illness days.

WHOI is the largest private, non-profit oceanographic institution in the world, with staff and students numbering approximately 1,000. Its mission is to advance our understanding of the ocean and its interaction with the Earth system, and to communicate this understanding for the benefit of society. The Institution is located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, a world-renowned center of excellence in marine, biomedical, and environmental science.


  • As deemed necessary by supervisor

Education & Experience

  • Masters or PhD in a technical field, more than 10 years of post-graduate experience, plus a demonstrated history of successful research and/or development with appropriate publications and data products.

Physical Requirements

Physical duties for this position are mostly sedentary. Visual abilities to include the ability to distinguish basic colors. Other requirements include working around others, with others, and working alone. Physical duties are subject to change.

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: