Foothills Lab 4 – CPAESS Engineer III

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Location: Silver Spring, MD.

Application Deadline: This position will be posted until a sufficient number of applications is received.

Position Term: 1-year term with the possibility for extension.

Type: Full time, exempt.

Relocation: Relocation assistance is available for this position.

Work Authorization: UCAR/NCAR will not sponsor a work visa (e.g., J-1, H1-B, etc.) for this position. U.S. Citizenship, Permanent Residency, or other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3) is
required for this position

Hiring Range: $86,816 – $108,519
Full Range: $86,816 – $141,075

Benefits: UCAR’s rich package of employee benefits includes medical, dental, vision, education assistance, retirement, and life insurance. UCAR offers a variety of programs designed to assist with work-life balance including flexible work alternatives, paid time off and 14 weeks of paid parental leave. To learn more about our benefits, click here:

Vaccination Requirement: All employees hired by UCAR must comply with UCAR’s Covid-19 Vaccination Policy and safety protocols.


Where You Will Work:

The Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS) serves the Earth system science community in three distinct areas of service. We partner with federal agencies and businesses to hire critical scientific staff enabling a more robust workforce. Through our scientific programs we seek to edify new research with our postdoctoral programs, our visiting scientist and internship programs, along with our interagency support programs. We also help build the Earth system science community by convening and managing summer schools and institutes, conferences, and advisory committees.

What You Will Do:

This position will provide project management, oversight, and technical guidance in planning, management, and development of NOAA Ocean Exploration’s deep submergence portfolio and serve as a subject matter expert to provide guidance for Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) investments within deep submergence technology.

The Engineer will work in NOAA Ocean Exploration’s Expeditions and Explorations division coordinating engineering objectives to support remotely operated vehicle (ROV), uncrewed (UxS) and autonomous (AUV) systems, and mapping expeditions.

There will be responsibility to communicate task status and schedule changes promptly and produce monthly status reports highlighting task completion schedules, work schedule variations, and other milestones or work product deliveries.

This position will be located at the NOAA OER Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD.


  • Scope outyear planning, capability improvements and concept of operations related to OER’s current and future deep submergence assets and provide advice to OER leadership.

  • Consult and provide technical expertise as a subject matter expert on ocean engineering aspects of OER’s grants and cooperative agreement portfolio.

  • Advise on and scope requirements and possibilities and evaluate and design systems for remote command and control of offshore robotics systems from shore using enhanced telepresence capabilities, an all-in-one wired exploration sampler system, and wire-crawling systems for water column exploration.

  • Maintain working knowledge of and proficiency with marine robotics systems and cutting-edge technology, attend and present at marine technology conferences.

  • Consult and provide technical expertise on advancing OER’s concept of operations and concept of operations as it relates to deep submergence platforms, specifically the capability, design, and specifications of an AUV and/or ASV system, and evolution of capabilities of OER’s deepwater ROV systems to meet NOAA Ocean Exploration and national priorities.

  • Provide technical evaluation and feasibility assessments of new systems to be brought onboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer or other platforms supported by NOAA Ocean Exploration for technology demonstration cruises as well as new capabilities for routine operations.

  • Consult and provide technical expertise on the buildout of a dedicated vessel for ocean exploration.

What You Need:

Education & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and at least six years of engineering experience; or a Master’s degree in Engineering and at least four years of experience; or a Ph.D. degree and at least two years of experience

  • Or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Experience in leading engineering projects.

Desired, but not required:

  • Experience working with and familiarity with the ancillary systems associated with/needed to conduct deep submergence operations (such as cranes, winches, hydraulic systems, etc.) is highly desired.

  • Experience working with or as a naval architect to outfit a purpose-built ship to accommodate deep sea exploration systems is highly desired.

  • Experience working with deep submergence robotics, strong preference for experience working with deepwater ROV systems.

  • Strong preference for experience working with NOAA Ocean Exploration or other NOAA platforms and their deep submergence capabilities.

  • Preference for experience leading offshore teams responsible for deep submergence systems.


  • Advanced troubleshooting of engineering challenges in offshore environments

  • Understanding of and experience with ROV and/or AUV/ASV operations on a sea-going vessel.

  • Advanced ability in assessing capability gaps, engineering challenges, troubleshooting issues with deep submergence systems, and providing solutions as they relate to said challenges and recommendations to leadership for decision.

  • Strong project management skills including ability to clearly articulate requirements for ship operations.

  • Advanced understanding and application of the full life cycle development of remotely operated or autonomous deep submergence systems, inclusive of experience using CAD software, interfacing with machine shops, working knowledge of deep submergence components available through commercial/off the shelf vendors, quality control and quality assessment of manufactured and developed parts and systems, and overseeing integration and testing.

  • Strong communication, organization, and collaboration skills as well as an ability to work and integrate with a remote team in a collegial and professional manner while delivering product and status updates to decision makers and leadership.

  • High level of attention to detail.

  • Ability and willingness to travel to conferences and meetings as required, up to 20% of time.

  • Willing and able to go to sea for 20-80 days per year which would include deployment on a research vessel and work in a field/shipboard research environment.

Applicant Notes:

  • Please note that while the position description details both minimum requirements as well as desired skills and experience, we want to remind applicants that you do not need to have all the desired skills and experience to be considered for this role. If you have the passion for the work along with experience in a related field, you are encouraged to apply. We can provide on-the-job training for the rest.

  • For more information about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, here is the link to the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan and to the ODEI landing page.

  • This position is subject to IT system requirements for obtaining access to IT networks and applications. These requirements may include a combination of national security checks, credit checks, fingerprinting, or other security clearance requirements.

  • This is a non-risk based position:  A pre-employment screening is conducted in conjunction with an offer for employment. This screening may involve verifying or reviewing any of the following relevant information: restricted parties screening, employment verification, performance records of internal candidates, education verification, reference checks, verification of professional licenses, certifications, and Motor Vehicle Records.  UCAR complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).