Saildrone – Vehicle Operations Technician

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About The Role

We are looking for a few good people to grow our Vehicle Operations team. You will be joining a talented, collaborative team at the forefront of exciting new ventures in the autonomous vehicle space. The key functions of this role include:

  • Drone deployment/retrieval in locations around the globe including remote locations
  • Logistics of shipping drones
  • Driving forklifts, lifting machines, crane operation
  • Creative problem solving on location, drone assembly, troubleshooting, coordination with Mission Control team
  • Excellent communicator, team player, budget conscious, adapt to issues in the field, deliver on schedule, and interact with customers (scientists, commercial)
  • Health and Safety conscious
  • Experience Driving 30+ ft twin-engine powerboat(s) with vehicles in tow, experience at sea
  • Sailing experience, a big plus


  • Assemble, QC check, test, and Commission drones at Saildrone HQ and while on remote deployments/retrievals
  • Water operations and maintenance of support vessel and all related marine operations equipment assistance – tenders, docks and launch tools (crane/forklift)
  • Operation and maintenance of Saildrone fleet assets, prototypes and associated instruments, sensors and equipment
  • Assistance with ocean testing and evaluation as well as integration support for internal & external customers
  • Pilot drones as needed
  • Assist with the coordination, development, and execution of the Saildrone Operator Training Program conducted both on-site and at remote locations worldwide
  • Participate in and lead ongoing community outreach programs with local and regional partners
  • Operation and development of a Saildrone’s systems by providing valuable feedback to internal teams
  • Participate in customer demonstrations for VIPs, for both internal and external customers
  • Apply health, security, safety and environmental (HSSE) best practices in all operational work


  • 5-10 yrs minimum experience in marine engineering, marine operations, and leadership roles
  • BS in Mechanical, Electrical, Marine, or Ocean Engineering a plus,
  • Experience with marine technology, autonomous systems, and ocean robotics
  • Familiarity with maritime best practices
  • Highly motivated and organized self-starter
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Exposure with small companies or startups is ideal, an entrepreneurial spirit is essential
  • Ability to travel in the region and internationally as required
  • A love for the ocean and technology


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents
  • Healthy lunch program provided onsite
  • Sailing and kiteboarding classes: become a certified skipper on boats up to 35ft!
  • Fun team activities including our famous monthly social taxiway BBQ
  • Waterfront office
  • A short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents
  • Enhanced paternity/maternity programs
  • Competitive benefits including discounted gym, life insurance, 401k plan

This is an exciting new opportunity to drive your function at a fast-growing post-series-B startup at the cutting edge intersection of big data services and autonomous hardware. You will be an integral part of an A+ multi-disciplinary team scaling a high-performance business while delivering high impact for humanity and future generations.

Our waterfront office offers beautiful views over San Francisco Bay in always sunny Alameda. Your commute could be a short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building. Even our walls have good karma, our offices mix software development with a hardware production line in the former airplane hangar that was once used to film ‘The Matrix’.

You can read what the press says about us:

NOAA West Coast Fisheries Survey

Follow the Saildrone

White Shark Voyage Wrap Up

Or watch the Saildrone mission being presented the TED stage