Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Pay Scale
$59,700 - $103,100 / Year
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Mon-Fri (with occasional weekends/holidays)

#124422 R&D Engineer 2 or 3

Extended Deadline: Wed 4/17/2024

UC San Diego values equity, diversity, and inclusion. If you are interested in being part of our team, possess the needed licensure and certifications, and feel that you have most of the qualifications and/or transferable skills for a job opening, we strongly encourage you to apply.

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 8/2/23 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 8/14/23. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.

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

This position will be filled as an R&D Engineer 2 or R&D Engineer 3 level based on the qualifications and experience of the candidate identified for hire. Salary commensurate with education and experience


Must be able and willing to work at sea for up to three months per year. Occasional overtime and long hours (usually during at-sea experiments)

The Marine Physical Laboratory division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography is seeking to hire a Research and Development Engineer (Level 2 or 3). As a member of an applied research and development and field research group, the R&D Engineer shall perform electrical/electronic and mechanical design and development of oceanographic instrumentation systems specific to underwater acoustics research and actively take part in the performance of at-sea experiments.

Additional duties shall involve:

  • Responsible for the design, construction, assembly and testing of complex experimental oceanographic equipment and instrumentation systems.

  • Participate in the maintenance, modification and operation of existing instrumentation systems as well as the deployment and recovery of instrumentation at sea. Existing systems include but are not limited to a 512 channel autonomously deployed hydrophone array and recording system, a ship-towed acoustic sound source system, an autonomously deployed array of acoustic sound sources, and a 32 or 64 channel ship-towed hydrophone array.

  • Future projects are likely to include deep water seafloor moored hydrophone arrays and sound sources and hydrophone arrays towed behind remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

  • Design the electrical and mechanical components for oceanographic instrumentation systems and coordinate the fabrication of these components with outside vendors and the MPL machine shop staff.

  • Assist in all aspects of at-sea experiments aboard research vessels including organizing, packing and shipping equipment, loading and securing equipment aboard ship, and testing, deploying, operating and recovering equipment.

  • Support all aspects of an operating research and development laboratory including defining and ordering supplies, maintaining and testing lab equipment, and maintaining laboratory facilities.

  • Participate in the preparation of technical reports, scientific publications, journal papers, budget reports and oral presentations.

  • Use 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 subject matter knowledge relevant to research objectives and methodology is of great value in understanding and establishing engineering design criteria.

  • Demonstrate good judgment in selecting methods and techniques for obtaining solutions.


  • Thorough knowledge and experience with engineering principles and methods to independently perform the full range of engineering professional design work. The focus of this position will be on electrical/electronic and mechanical design of oceanographic instrumentation and systems specific to acoustics research.

  • Thorough knowledge necessary to apply principles, practices and procedures in the completion of assignments. Demonstrated knowledge of commonly accepted and effective electrical and mechanical design practices.

  • Ability to work in remote locations and under adverse conditions for extended periods (up to five (5) weeks per experiment).

  • 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. Demonstrated ability to read, create and understand electrical schematics, mechanical drawings, spec sheets, MSDS sheets and other technical documents.

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

  • Demonstrated experience designing custom mechanical components using SolidWorks.

  • Demonstrated understanding of digital and analog electric circuit theory and experience with circuit board design and fabrication methods and software (Altium specifically).

  • Demonstrated knowledge of physics and mechanical engineering principles as applied to oceanographic research (force analysis for moorings and deployments, strengths of materials and corrosion properties for aluminum pressure cases and array structures, drag and strum of deployed lines and instruments, working and breaking strengths of cables and synthetic lines, etc).

  • Demonstrated ability to function independently and provide innovative approaches to problem solving and process development.

  • Demonstrated experience and proficiency with computer programming principles and programming languages including LabView, Matlab and C/C++.

  • Demonstrated ability to assemble, evaluate, modify and test electrical and mechanical components on the bench. Ability to use standard electronic test equipment such as multi-meters, oscilloscopes, frequency counters and spectrum analyzers.


  • Ability to work at sea for up to three months per year and function under adverse conditions

  • Must have valid US Passport

  • Ability to operate forklift and obtain operator certification

  • Must have unexpired California driver’s license

  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds

  • Ability to obtain secret security clearance

  • Offer of employment is contingent upon candidate clearing the background check.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $82,500 - $151,500 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $39.51 - $72.56

Factors in determining the appropriate compensation for a role include experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. The Hiring Pay Scale referenced in the job posting is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position. The Annual Full Pay Range may be broader than what the University anticipates to pay for this position, based on internal equity, budget, and collective bargaining agreements (when applicable).

If employed by the University of California, you will be required to comply with our Policy on Vaccination Programs, which may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

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.

Application Instructions

Please click on the link below to apply for this position. A new window will open and direct you to apply at our corporate careers page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Apply Online