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Firmware and Software Engineer - Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering - Advanced Engineering Lab

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently searching for a Firmware and Software Engineer to join the Advanced Engineering Lab within the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department. This is a regular, full-time, exempt position, and is eligible for benefits.
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 position requires an engineer with significant hands-on experience with programming embedded micro-controllers and working in a Linux environment.
The Firmware and Software Engineer will work within an engineering team in the development, test and fielding of complex assemblies for many applications as described above, including acoustic signal processing, data telemetry, robotics, and instrument control. The work will include feature additions and maintenance within existing code bases, as well as clean-sheet designs for new projects and applications. In addition to software development skills, a reasonable amount of electronic hardware skills are required as well, including an understanding of wiring diagrams and schematics, experience with meters and oscilloscopes, and ideally, debugging tools such as logic analyzers and extensive use of JTAG. Engineers in this position are also expected to work with many types of sensors whose interfaces may include I2C, RS-232/485, CAN, SPI and understand the principles of DMA and interrupt service routines.
The position will include projects that take multiple forms, including working with a team that includes other engineers and a project manager, or, operating independently with a scientist and a group of graduate students or post-docs. Domestic and foreign travel up to several times per year for several weeks is typical, but not always required. Time at sea on small coastal vessels or large research craft will likely be required. The successful applicant will also have a strong interest in the ocean and marine environment, ocean-related sciences, and robotics for scientific and US Navy applications.
The internal working title for this position could be either Engineer II, or Research Engineer. The final level of the position will be determined commensurate with the selected candidate's level of education & experience. 

Essential Functions

The required skills of the position include:
  • Embedded firmware development and debugging in C.
  • Troubleshooting electronics, including reading schematics and using oscilloscopes and logic analyzers for signal tracing and decoding (e.g. SPI/RS-232 signals).
  • Embedded Linux operation and development.
  • Exposure to the Robot Operating System (ROS).
  • Willing and able to support at-sea and field deployments. 
Other skills that are desirable for this engineering position include:
  • Experience with real-time operating systems (for example, FreeRTOS) or multi-threaded programming.
  • Programming FPGAs in Verilog.
  • Digital signal processing, digital communications and acoustics.
  • Experience with Matlab and Python.
  • Basic soldering and wire crimping skills.
  • As deemed necessary by supervisor

Education & Experience

Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or related discipline, plus two to four years relevant work experience, or Masters in Engineering with some work experience (1-2 years).

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 your 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.