University of Washington
Seattle, WA

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
RESEARCH SCIENTIST/ENGINEER 4 Req #:203361Department:SCHOOL OF OCEANOGRAPHYJob Location: Seattle Campus Posting Date:02/18/2022 Closing Info:Open Until Filled Salary:Salary is commensurate with education and experience 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 College of the Environment has an outstanding opportunity for a Research Scientist/Engineer 4.

The purpose of the research project that this position supports is to manage the processes involved in designing, testing and deploying robotic ocean-monitoring floats that monitor the chemistry and biology of the world’s oceans for two major programs Argo and SOCCOM Combined, the Float Lab at UW manages over 600 active floats deployed around the world, a major research undertaking. This is a highly visible research program that has been funded by NSF and NOAA for over 20 years and is supported by $6 million annually in grant funds. UW is one of 4 US institutions involved in this work and is the largest in terms of floats produced and total funding. In 2014 the New York Times described this project as “…one of the scientific triumphs of the age.”


•Manage the construction and testing of approximately 100 profiling floats per year in collaboration with a staff of several other engineers and research scientists. This includes managing the flow for parts, managing the software and programming of the floats, and making sure the floats are purposefully deployed, often by making arrangements with parties outside of UW.
•Monitor the floats after deployment in the ocean and check for potential problems, and troubleshoot problems with floats in the laboratory or the field as they occur. Maintain a webpage that is updated in real-time with incoming float data, so that the data can efficiently be viewed.
•Maintenance of existing firmware and hardware designs as well as creating new float firmware and designing new hardware and incorporating new sensors as necessary.
•Examining data from floats in the field in order to determine if they are operating properly. This includes compiling data for technical reports and maintaining the transfer of float data to a global public database. This also includes a daily assessment of problematic floats via a real-time, satellite-based summary of float locations and performance.
•Participation in producing written technical reports, research papers, and contributing to writing research grants.
•Serve as the point person for technical interactions with several commercial vendors and collaborators at other research institutions that supply the hardware components and sensors for the float


•Master's degree in Oceanography, Engineering or a related field.
•At least 4 years of related experience.
•The applicant should be well-versed in mechanical engineering and design (especially using OnShape or FreeCAD), and electrical engineering and electronics (especially using Eagle or similar CAD tools), including a knowledge of microprocessors.
• The applicant should have experience with embedded systems.
• The applicant should be experienced with C and C++ programming and Linux systems and network administration.

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


•Experience with ocean sensors is desirable, as is some familiarity with basic concepts of physical and chemical oceanography.

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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