Saildrone – Machine Learning Team Lead and Manager

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About the job

About Us

At Saildrone, we sustainably explore, map, and monitor the oceans to understand, protect, and preserve our world. We provide real-time access to critical data from any ocean on earth, 24/7/365, and use proprietary software applications to transform that data into actionable insights and intelligence. Our fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs), powered by renewable wind and solar power, have a minimal carbon footprint and operate without the need for a crewed support vessel. Saildrone works with governments, civil agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas—from sailing into the eye of a category 4 hurricane to obtain new data about how storms intensify, collecting new CO2 data in hard-to-reach areas, and counting fish biomass to inform sustainable fishery management, to mapping the ocean floor and reducing illegal fishing and drug trafficking. As a result of our work, Saildrone has been included on Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, earned an Ocean Awards’ Innovation Award, won Best Tech For Good from the Timmy Awards, and was recognized by Andreessen Horowitz’s American Dynamism 50 list of the Top 50 Companies Kickstarting American Renewal. Our first-annual Atlantic hurricane mission with NOAA was included as one of The New York Times’ 21 Things That Happened for the First Time in 2021 and Popular Science’s 100 Greatest Innovations of 2021.

We are based in Alameda, CA, with offices in Washington DC and St. Petersburg, FL, and operate our missions worldwide. Saildrone is backed by top-tier investors in the frontier tech and sustainability sectors, including Social Capital, Capricorn, Lux Capital, BOND Capital, and Emerson Collective.

This is an exciting opportunity with a fast-growing team at the cutting-edge intersection of big data services and autonomous hardware. You will be an integral part of a high-performing multi-disciplinary delivering high impact for humanity and future generations.

The Role

As the Manager of the Machine Learning team you will oversee and grow a team of ML Engineers and ML Software Engineers to design, train, test and deploy models for machine learning applications that leverage our unique saildrone platforms and sensor suites. Example applications include visual and/or acoustic detection, localization and identification of marine traffic and marine wildlife, anomaly detection in oceanographic data measurements and improvement of raw sensor measurements. Sensors that you may work with include cameras, hydrophones, radars, bathymetric sensor suites, carbon sensors, anemometers, etc. You’ll work closely with teams designing and implementing sensor payloads on the vehicles to ensure sensor data quality and runtime performance of the models at sea. You will engage with data pipeline teams and external annotation partners to ensure proper preparation of training data. You will lead the design of our machine learning pipelines to make training, testing, and deploying models to drones a breeze.

What You’ll Do

  • Lead the Machine Learning team as we grow – contribute to decisions around new products, defining best practices for ML workflows, and implementing robust solutions.
  • Create ML systems to solve challenging problems in perception, robotics and ocean science.
  • Develop and maintain workflows for training and evaluation of models in the cloud.
  • Develop software for running ML solutions on saildrones in the field as well as in the cloud.
  • Apply deep learning for identifying objects at sea like boats, birds, and mammals through visual imagery, radar, passive acoustics, etc.
  • Productionize and harden models for real-world applications.
  • Mentor and manage the team, including participating in planning and execution of roadmap priorities.
  • Work with a diverse set of teams to establish data recording and quality standards to enable machine learning solutions.
  • Work with a diverse set of engineers and lead projects on end-to-end uses of machine learning for surround perception on-board Saildrones.

Required Skills And Experience

  • 5+ years of experience building, training and deploying machine learning products
  • 5+ years of Python experience
  • 2+ years of engineering leadership experience
  • Deep understanding of statistics and machine learning algorithms
  • Excellent communication skills
  • BS, MS or PhD in Computer Science, Data Engineering or related field.

Desired Skills And Experience

  • 3+ with PyTorch and/or other deep learning frameworks
  • 3+ with computer vision and camera systems
  • 2+ years of experience with cloud computing platforms and tools, AWS preferred
  • 2+ years of C++ experience
  • Experience with deployment to Nvidia chipsets for robotics, such as the AGX and use of TensorRT libraries
  • Experience working in robotics or autonomous vehicle industries

Location: This position is in Alameda, CA. Our waterfront office offers beautiful views of San Francisco Bay in always sunny Alameda. Even our walls have good karma, our offices mix software development with a hardware production line in the former airplane hangar used to film ‘The Matrix’.