University of Washington
Seattle, WA

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
PRINCIPAL ELECTRICAL ENGINEER Req #:202991Department:APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY Job Location: Seattle Campus Posting Date:05/27/2022 Closing Info:Open Until Filled Salary:Salary is commensurate with experience and education Shift:First Shift Notes:As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here. As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem-solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

The Electronic and Photonic Systems team at the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington is hiring – see yourself at APL!

The Applied Physics Laboratory is a research unit at the University of Washington. Our research expertise is in ocean physics and engineering, ocean and medical acoustics, polar science, environmental remote sensing, and signal processing. We conduct research and development that is sponsored by a variety of federal and state agencies, and take great pride in our long-standing status as a US Navy-designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). Our work takes place not only on the University of Washington campus and medical centers, but in field locations around the world – at sea, in the air, and on polar ice caps. We apply rigorous scientific inquiry and engineering excellence in pursuit of solutions to important problems for the good of our region, nation, and world.

Diversity is a core value at University of Washington and the Applied Physics Laboratory shares this commitment. We are focused on building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable research environment for all students, staff, and collaborators. We believe every member on our team enriches our community by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design and deliver solutions.

In the Electronic and Photonic System (EPS) Department, engineers work on large scale, state-of-the-art research projects to advance important scientific inquiries made by sponsors ranging from the National Science Foundation to the United States Navy. The projects focus on cabled ocean systems requiring unique power and telemetry systems to support instrumentation hundreds of kilometers offshore connected in real time with transoceanic cable technology.

The Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is hiring a Principal Electrical Engineer with Analog and Power Electronics experience to work on cutting edge applied ocean projects for a diverse set of customers and applications. The successful candidate will be part of an integrated engineering team that designs, builds, installs, operates and maintains complex electrical/mechanical systems to solve challenging problems in novel ways. The candidate will be responsible for the design, test and production of new electronics systems including low noise acoustic data collection systems, high power acoustic amplifiers and control electronics in highly integrated ocean instrument packages. This candidate will be part of the design team for building subsea cabled systems including high voltage power control systems and long-range telemetry interfaces. The candidate will be responsible for analyzing requirements, presenting material at formal design reviews and documenting designed systems.


• Designs complex circuit boards using the PADS software suite.
• Prepares and analyzes detailed electrical power budgets.
• Designs low noise, high data rate data acquisition devices.
• Manages APL technicians and external vendors in the fabrication, assembly, and bench testing of electrical sub-systems.
• Performs electrical component fabrication, assembly, integration, and bench testing as needed.
• Works closely with sponsor and APL Leadership on scope of work, oversight, and reporting.
• Approaches novel assignments and applies sophisticated research techniques, networks, and resources, and moves the project forward from inception to execution.
• As a subject matter expert, this person will be expected to work on extremely complex research endeavors which results in the creation of new concepts, applications, designs or new areas of research.
• Manages team members across various disciplines, coaches, assigns work, provides feedback, and performance manages as needed.
• Creates and presents detailed electrical subsystem designs at programmatic reviews.
• In collaboration with Program Manager, plans and manages at-sea installation, operation, maintenance, repair and recovery of systems.


Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering or related engineering field AND 12 or more years of experience in a related engineering field.
• US Citizen.
• Eligible to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.
• Proficient with FPGA design.
• Experience designing low noise data acquisition systems.
• Proficient in PCB design and layout.
• Proficient in analog electronics design both signals and power systems.
• Ability to plan and organize technical projects.
• Ability to participate in ship-based field work.
• Demonstrated excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills.
• Demonstrated organizational skills, self-motivation, flexibility, and the ability to thrive in a creative, entrepreneurial environment.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

• Experience with microcontroller interface design and programming in assembly and C.
• Experience with high voltage power transmissions systems.
• Experience with low power design techniques.
• Experience with high speed optical network interface design.


May be subject to successful completion of E-Verify process.
To be eligible for this position, proof of US citizenship must be provided and you must be able to obtain or maintain a federal security clearance.

Application Process:

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral. The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or [email protected].


Governor Inslee's Proclamation 21-14.2 requires employees of higher education and healthcare institutions to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless a medical or religious exemption is approved. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. As a condition of employment, newly hired employees will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. View the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage for information about the medical or religious exemption process for final candidates.

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