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University of Washington
Seattle, WA

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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ASSISTANT PROJECT MANAGER Req #:202996Department:APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY Job Location: Seattle Campus Posting Date:02/15/2022 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.

APL is hiring an Assistant Program Manager to help execute the creation of world class applied ocean projects to solve important and challenging problems. The successful candidate will be part of a management team running engineering projects to design, build, install, and maintain complex large scale subsea electrical/mechanical systems. The candidate will be responsible for all phases of program management including contracting, budgeting, schedule maintenance and overall reporting. The ideal candidate will have experience on large scale engineering projects especially managing all phases of vendor subcontracts including RFPs, contract negotiation and monitoring vendor progress. Experience with ocean engineering projects for the US Navy is also extremely helpful but not required.

The successful candidate in this position will be independently responsible for technical leadership and oversight of a multidisciplinary team of experienced engineers in designing, building and deploying complex ocean-based systems in harsh environments. The candidate should have a strength in program management, ensuring timely completion of deliverables within the established budget, and coordinating analysis post-delivery. Other key responsibilities include stimulating novel approaches to solving engineering issues, utilizing systems engineering techniques while helping to create a collaborative environment between team members and stakeholders. Working independently with limited direction from the Principal Investigator (PI) and the Program Manager (PM) the incumbent will perform the following duties and responsibilities:


Project Management:
•Works with engineering team to prepare detailed, resource loaded project schedules across all phases.
•Develops strategies and systems to monitor and track progress, maintains updated working schedule and adjusts as needed, and leads effective decision-making, ensuring that technical details are considered appropriately and decisions facilitate product quality and timely delivery.
•Performs schedule analysis including identifying critical paths and proposing mitigation strategies to execute to program milestones.
•Prepares detailed project budgets supported by basis of estimates from engineering team.
•Uses financial tools to create updated budget reports to be used by the management team and sponsors to track program progress. Escalates risks, issues, key decisions, etc. to the PIs; documents these items; manages risks and issues as needed.
•Organizes and runs internal and external programmatic meetings and formal reviews.
•Actively participates in routine conference calls and meetings to apprise the project teams of progress; communicates issues, risks, and possible mitigation strategies.
•Assembles required status and budget reports as needed for sponsors, and ensures timely submission.
•Prepares Request for Quote (RFQ) documentation for multiple multimillion-dollar acquisitions.
•Executes RFQ process through analyzing responses contract negotiation and award.
•Manages contracts through full execution including the requirement and change management process.

Engineering Technical Leadership:
•Use broad engineering expertise to perform detailed analysis of design alternatives to management and sponsors for key technical decisions as needed throughout the projects. Designs approaches and consults on high risk developments that require novel and innovative solutions.
•Engages deeply in the technical aspects of the project including subsea housing design, high voltage power system and low noise data acquisition systems.
•Performs engineering and scientific research to support novel technical solutions to issues as they arise during the program design.
•Develops detailed deployment plans for complex electro-mechanical systems and moorings at sea.
•Provides team leadership while participating in at sea field operations, including solving challenging engineering problems in a timely manner as unexpected issues arise during operations.
•Ensures best engineering practices are consistently used throughout the program and that systems are fully and consistently documented.


Bachelor’s degree in an engineering field and 11 years of relevant experience including at least 3 in program management.
•Eligible to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.
•US Citizen.
•Strong technical background in an engineering discipline.
•Proven leadership ability.
•Experience with contract management and Federal/State Procurement processes.
•Proven ability to plan and organize technical projects.
•Experience with Earned Value Management Systems (EVMS).
•Experience with Microsoft Project.
•Proficient in the use of Microsoft Excel, Word and Power Point.
•Demonstrated excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills.
•Demonstrated organizational skills, self-motivation, flexibility, and the ability to thrive in a creative, entrepreneurial environment.
•Ability to meet the physical requirements necessary to work at sea in small to large vessels for extended periods and willing to perform the required duties aboard ships.
•Ability to work independently, and as part of a research team, interacting cooperatively with people from diverse backgrounds, academic levels, and nationalities.

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


•Completed a certified System Engineering Degree or INCOSE Systems Engineering Certification.
•MS in a technical field or MBA.
•Familiarity with Ocean Engineering Programs.
•Experience with Federal/State Procurement processes and regulations.
•Experience working on US Government Contracts.

Conditions of Employment

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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