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The Alvin Group at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is seeking two (2) Engineering Assistant II/III - Electronics Technicians in support of manned submersible diving operations. These are exciting opportunities for highly motivated, technically competent, responsible individuals interested in working with the United States’ premier deep diving manned submersible. The positions includes the potential designation as Alvin Pilot in Training and eventual certification as Alvin Pilot in Command. These position are full-time, non-exempt, and are eligible for benefits.
With supervision, applies electronic/electrical aptitude and acquired knowledge of established procedures to the maintenance, troubleshooting and repair of vehicle related equipment used in the operation and support of the Alvin submersible.
After an initial period, the new hire(s) will train for promotion to a position allowing minimally supervised maintenance on the vehicle and qualification to perform key submersible support roles. Successful candidates will be entered into the Pilot training program with the goal of completing qualification as Alvin Pilot in Command.
These are physically demanding positions requiring the ability and willingness to spend up to eight months per year at sea. When possible, these position include a flexible rotation schedule of approximately four months at-sea and two months of time off (vacation/shore-leave). Pilot certification carries a promotion and re-classification with pay and rotation adjustments.
  • Apply and follow written procedures to maintain, test, and repair submersible electronic/electrical systems and equipment associated with the operation of the submersible. Examples include: digital and analog circuits, battery components, power supplies, relays and power distribution systems, motors (DC brushless) and controllers, underwater lighting and sensors, underwater cabling and connectors, computers, serial data systems and networks, underwater camera and video systems, etc.
  • Preparation and interface of scientific equipment and sensors used with the submersible.
  • Maintenance and repair of fiber-optic components and equipment.
  • Use of electronic test equipment (multi-meters, oscilloscope, fiber-optic testing equipment, etc).
  • Participate in all phases of the vehicle launch, recovery and surface support activities.
  • Complete the training required to qualify as an Alvin support technician, support swimmer, launch coordinator, launch system operator and surface coordinator - this effort is expected to require one year of time with the program.
  • With a combination of directed training and significant self-study, complete the training program necessary to become a qualified Alvin Pilot - this effort is expected to require an additional six to twelve months.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned by supervisor.
Engineering Assistant II Level*
  • High School or equivalent plus three years' mechanical or electronics experience, or Technical School training plus one year related experience, or one to two years' progress toward an engineering or related degree.
Engineering Assistant III Level*
  • High School diploma or equivalent plus six years' mechanical or electronics experience, or Technical School training plus four years' practical experience, or two to three years' progress toward an engineering or related degree.
Both Levels
  • Five years of applicable experience in electrical/electronic systems maintenance is strongly desired. Alternatively, a BS in Electrical Engineering or similar curriculum with two years of practical experience is preferred.
  • At-sea experience desired. ROV, AUV, and/or manned submersible experience a plus.
  • Motivated individuals with meticulous work habits, superb attention to detail and broad electrical/electronic skills.
  • Strong aptitude for evaluating and repairing analog and digital electrical and electronic components and systems. Must be capable of analyzing equipment problems using drawings/documentation and schematics in conjunction with test equipment and procedures.
  • Ideal candidates will possess strong computer skills including the programming and maintenance of digital computers (PC’s) that utilize the Windows and Linux operating systems, serial and network communications protocols, embedded processor hardware development, schematic capture and CAD software.
  • Experienced in the use and evaluation of electrical and electronic test equipment.
  • Experience with mechanical, electromechanical and battery systems is a plus.
  • Basic proficiency in the use of common mechanical tools.
  • Strong aptitude in completing detailed maintenance documentation and reporting. Experience with certification documentation (US NAVY, American Bureau of Ships) a plus.
*Position level will be determined by the selected candidate’s level of education & experience.
  • United States citizen or permanent resident.
  • Current US passport holder.
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) card.
  • Ability to swim with mask/snorkel and dive fins in an open ocean environment is required.
  • Entry into the Pilot training program requires the candidate pass a specific dive physical (equivalent to an aircraft private pilot 3rd class medical examination). Pilot candidates must not have any condition likely to cause incapacitation during a dive.
Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to lifting and carrying up to 50 lbs independently; Visual abilities include depth perception, ability to see peripherally, far and near vision, ability to distinguish basic colors. Normal hearing and talking ability to communicate. The ability to work around and with others. Travel 75% of the time. Occasional/frequent prolonged standing/walking, use of hands for fine/basic grasping/manipulation, occasional reaching above/below the shoulders, stooping, bending, kneeling, twisting, climbing ladders/stools, pushing and pulling. May be exposed to excessive heat/humidity, dust or other irritants, grease and oils, hazardous substances or specimens, electrical/mechanical/power equipment hazards, odorous chemicals or specimens, high locations, severe weather conditions, extended periods at sea, prolonged work hours.
The submersible’s payload and interior arrangement require that Alvin pilots be limited to a weight of no more than 230 pounds. Dive personnel must be capable of remaining within a confined space for extended periods (average of 10 hours). Must be capable of routine shipboard activities including the ability to ascend/descend a vertical ladder through a 20" diameter hatch opening.
Physical duties are subject to change.
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 a member of the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC). We are sensitive to the issues of dual career candidates and we will work with applicants to address them. Please visit HERC - for more information.

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.