University of Washington
Seattle, WA

View more

Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
EMBEDED SYSTEMS PROGRAMMER Req #:202994Department:APPLIED PHYSICS LABORATORY Job Location: Seattle Campus Posting Date:02/12/2022 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 an Embedded Systems Programmer to work on mission critical - command and control software 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 state of the art cabled, real time, ocean-based data collection systems. The candidate will be responsible for all phases of the development, testing and deployment of embedded control and data collection systems running on subsea instrumentation. Platforms will range from 8-bit micro-controllers with RS-232 serial interfaces to Arm processor-based Linux systems with GigE long range fiber optic interfaces.

The successful candidate must be able to operate independently and will be responsible for all phases of software development from requirements gathering, system definition, implementation, testing, releases and life cycle maintenance. The candidate should be well versed in software development and testing tools such as version control tools, bug tracking tools, performance and system monitoring tools, debugging tools and strategies. The candidate will be expected to be disciplined in using the project defined coding conventions and interface documentation techniques. The systems are mission critical - controlling motors, high voltage power switching and collecting important data in real time and therefore must be designed to be highly reliable and stable and are deployed for years at a time with no chance for repair or recovery.


•Proposes software architecture to meet requirements and presents to team members and sponsor and incorporates feedback.
•Creates detailed software designs including networking architecture, component breakdown, system interfaces, performance analysis and toolchains.
•Implements software design, providing incremental releases to the integration team to facilitate overall system testing.
•Works closely with the electrical engineering design team to ensure software design is appropriate for hardware being developed.
•Creates and supports software test tools a needed for test team to exercise hardware components under test.
•Performs formal release testing of full system functionality before releases are made to the customer in order to identify issues early before the system is fielded to operations.
•Supports on-site customer installations at test facilities as well as operations center.
•Provides technical support to customer during the testing and operation phases of the project.
•Creates end user documentation of software applications


Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering or related engineering field AND 10 or more years of experience designing software systems, with 6 or more of those years of experience specific to designing embedded software systems
•US Citizen.
•Eligible to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.
•Proficient in real time programming techniques and testing.
•Proficient in TCP/IP network interface programming.
•Proficient in the C programming language.
•Solid understanding of Linux based operating systems.
•Full understanding of multi-threaded programming techniques.
•Solid software documentation and testing skills.
•Demonstrated excellent organizational skills, including:
oDocumentation and configuration control.
oAttention to detail - to ensure the system is operated at a high level of availability and in a reliable and consistent manner.
oCommunication skills - to support all members of the team on a daily basis and to be able to effectively work in high pressure situations dealing with operations or quickly troubleshooting systems in collaboration with all members of the diverse team.
•Time management – to effectively prioritize diverse task list and operational needs of the team.

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


•Current active DoD security clearance.
•MS in Computer Engineering or related engineering field.
•Excellent Java and Python programming skills.
•Experience with designing for low power applications.
•Conversant with Subversion and GIT software revision control systems.
•Experience with Eclipse for both development and debugging.
•Experience with system and application performance monitoring tools.


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.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert