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Engineering Technician

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently searching for an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Operator and Technician 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 Engineering Assistant II/III or Senior Engineering Assistant level, depending on skills, education, and experience.
This position involves fieldwork in the United States, in the Arctic, and other locations around the world.
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.
The AUV Operator will work with an engineering and operations group and will participate in and lead field tests. 
This position will support maintenance, testing and repairs to AUV electrical/mechanical systems including power and logic infrastructure as well as other oceanographic instrumentation and support equipment. The role also includes participation in all aspects of vehicle operations at sea including mission programming, vehicle check out, vehicle monitoring and post mission analysis, including electrical and mechanical troubleshooting in the field as required.

Essential Functions

The required skills of the position include:
  • Operating oceanographic instruments or vehicles
  • Logistics, planning, and organization skills
  • Basic electronic troubleshooting, including reading schematics
Other skills that are desirable for this position include:
  • Experience with robotic systems (REMUS AUVs in particular)
  • Experience working with Linux
  • Experience with shipping and logistics
  • Experience working at sea.
  • As deemed necessary by supervisor

Education & Experience

Relevant experience and/or a degree in a related technical field.

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.