Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Salary Range
$63,400 - $103,100 / Year
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Mon-Fri

#117205 Mechanical Oceanographic Engineer

Extended Deadline: Wed 8/17/2022

For the safety and well-being of the entire university community, the University of California requires, with few exceptions, that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and influenza before they will be allowed on campus or in a facility or office. For more information visit: Flu Vaccine Mandate / COVID Vaccine Policy

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 6/30/22 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 7/11/22. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.

Job posting will remain open until a suitable candidate has been identified.


Under direction, design mechanical components of oceanographic moorings and instruments, and coordinate the construction, preparation, testing, deployment, and recovery of oceanographic instrument systems and moorings. Work independently on multi-faceted and special assignments with engineers, programmers and researchers and coordinate the activities of a team of technicians. Design and model underwater mechanical components using a range of materials and taking into account static and cyclic loading and corrosion. Create and maintain cost estimates, schedules, and budgets, inter-organization coordination of projects, and documentation of procedures and designs. Develop procedures for the overall project needs and use engineering and system-engineering principles to solve developing problems. Participate in the fabrication and testing of hardware and other hands-on lab activities.

Direct the procurement of materials, components, supplies and tools used in assembly of mooring systems. Design and direct the testing and quality-control of mooring sub-assemblies, sensors, and controllers. Oversee the shipping of material to and from the deployment site. Design deployment strategies, design the layout of deck equipment, and coordinate the stowage of equipment to conform to safety and ship stability standards. Participate in, and coordinate or direct, if needed, the deployment and recovery operations of oceanographic equipment at sea. Contribute to Health and Safety procedures in the lab. Candidates must possess interactive, cooperative, communicative, and written skills to interact with all team members and outside partners efficiently, and have a positive and respectful team working attitude.

Uses skills as a seasoned, experienced engineering professional in a specialized engineering field on a major training and/or research effort. Assignments typically require concentration in a field of application where knowledge relevant to research objectives and methodology is of great value in understanding and establishing engineering design criteria. Demonstrates good judgment in selecting methods and techniques for obtaining solutions.


  • Graduation from college with major work in Engineering and three years of engineering experience in the planning, design, development, construction, or deployment of oceanographic instruments; or an equivalent combination of additional education and experience.

  • Thorough knowledge and experience with engineering principles and methods to independently perform the full range of engineering professional design work.

  • Thorough knowledge necessary to apply principles, practices and procedures in the completion of assignments.

  • Demonstrated organizational and decision-making abilities to prioritize competing work assignments in order to meet deadlines and adherence to quality standards.

  • Strong analytical and judgment skills to independently conduct analyses and develop appropriate recommendations.

  • Effective written and verbal communication and presentation skills.

  • Ability to work in a collaborative manner; identify challenges and barriers and recommend resolutions.

  • Ability to lead and influence others.

  • Knowledge of mechanical engineering, commensurate with education requirements and sufficient to independently design and oversee the fabrication of oceanographic instrumentation and mooring/buoy assemblies (excluding design of electronics). Includes use of engineering software for mechanical design and generation of industry-standard engineering drawings. Includes knowledge of materials and their properties commonly used for oceanographic instrumentation. Includes generation of technical documents such as assembly instructions.

  • Basic knowledge of systems engineering principles, sufficient to organize and oversee the design and fabrication of oceanographic instrumentation and mooring/buoy assemblies in a small team (~5 technical staff), and evaluate system performance throughout the life cycles of the instruments/assemblies. Includes definition of technical requirements, and coordination of the mechanical design with the following: electronics design, data generation and management, project scheduling, and failure analyses as needed. Includes generation of technical documents such as reports and operating procedures.

  • Basic knowledge of project management, including: Generation of project schedules and work plans for a small team (~5 technical staff) working on multiple (~10) projects concurrently, identifying and solving schedule conflicts through proactive scheduling of resources (incl. materials as well as human resources), actively assisting principal investigators with meeting project deadlines. Includes coordination of fabrication (on land) schedules with field work (deployments at sea) schedules.

  • Knowledge of the English language, spoken and written, sufficient to give instructions to a team of technicians and to independently produce technical reports and documents of a quality commensurate with a college degree in engineering. Implies at least basic knowledge of current office computer software, such as Microsoft Office products or Google suite of products, to produce such documents.

  • Knowledge of specialized computer software and programming languages, as presently used by the principal investigator’s group: Solidworks, ProteusDS, MatLab, Python, Linux operating system. Ability to use these (or equivalents) efficiently for an engineering task at hand, and to identify needs for other software as appropriate.

  • Knowledge of engineering challenges specific to the marine environment, and the industry-standard approaches to addressing them. Includes exposure of instrumentation to weather extremes, waves and other cyclic mechanical loads, vibration, galvanic corrosion, and bio-fouling.

  • Understanding of operating procedures to deploy and recover oceanographic instrumentation from research vessels. Includes use of cranes and winches, communicating technical requirements to a ship crew (e.g., equipment weights and sizes to comply with deck load and ship stability limits), and transportation of equipment to/from remote locations. Includes working in adverse weather conditions. Implies an understanding of international shipments and shipments of hazardous materials. Implies an understanding of permitting and notification requirements to communicate operations to government authorities and mariners. Incumbent participates in these deployment activities at sea, and is expected to assume a leadership role in these over time.

  • Ability to organize, and participate in, field work in remote locations other than on research vessels. Implies planning availability of materials with contingency plans, travel arrangements, addressing safety concerns (e.g. medical prophylaxis) as appropriate. Requires physical ability, basic legal requirements (passport), and willingness to travel, depending on location.

  • Knowledge of laboratory safety, including hazards from operating machinery and chemicals and how to address them. Participation in regular safety training and audits is required. Over time, the incumbent is expected to grow this knowledge to a level commensurate for a lab safety coordinator.

  • Ability to maintain the principal investigator’s shop and laboratory spaces in good working conditions, fully equipped with the required tools and materials. Lead, coordinate, and participate in maintenance of work areas and ordering supplies and materials. Initiate lab meetings and maintenance requests, as needed, to coordinate these activities with other group members and the university facility management.


  1. Passport required for seagoing operations and travel to foreign ports.
  2. California driver's license.
  3. Ability to obtain forklift driver certification
  4. Occasional overtime and irregular hours.
  5. Will spend from one to two months at sea each year in remote locations and under adverse weather conditions.
  6. Ability to lift minimum of 75 pounds.
  7. Must possess, or be able to acquire, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).
  8. Must actively be, or be able to be, certified by IATA (International Air Transport Association) and IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods) sanctioned affiliates to ship hazardous materials (UN 3090, UN 3091).

Job offer is contingent on successful engagement in the UC COVID-19 Vaccination program (fully vaccinated with documented proof or approved exception/deferral).

To foster the best possible working and learning environment, UC San Diego strives to cultivate a rich and diverse environment, inclusive and supportive of all students, faculty, staff and visitors. For more information, please visit UC San Diego Principles of Community.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit for more information.

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