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Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest public institutions in the west coast and one of the preeminent research universities in the world. The University of Washington is a multi-campus university comprised of three different campuses: Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell. The Seattle campus is made up of sixteen schools and colleges that serve students ranging from an undergraduate level to a doctoral level. The university is home to world-class libraries, arts, music, drama, and sports, as well as the highest quality medical care in Washington State and a world-class academic medical center. The teaching and research of the University’s many professional schools provide undergraduate and graduate students the education necessary toward achieving an excellence that will serve the state, the region, and the nation. As part of a large and diverse community, the University of Washington serves more students than any other institution in the Northwest.
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University of Washington
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As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem-solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

The Electronic and Photonic Systems team at the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington is hiring – see yourself at APL!

The Applied Physics Laboratory is a research unit at the University of Washington. Our research expertise is in ocean physics and engineering, ocean and medical acoustics, polar science, environmental remote sensing, and signal processing. We conduct research and development that is sponsored by a variety of federal and state agencies, and take great pride in our long-standing status as a US Navy-designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). Our work takes place not only on the University of Washington campus and medical centers, but in field locations around the world – at sea, in the air, and on polar ice caps. We apply rigorous scientific inquiry and engineering excellence in pursuit of solutions to important problems for the good of our region, nation, and world.

Diversity is a core value at University of Washington and the Applied Physics Laboratory shares this commitment. We are focused on building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable research environment for all students, staff, and collaborators. We believe every member on our team enriches our community by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design and deliver solutions.

APL has an outstanding opportunity for a Field Engineer 2 (FE2). This recruitment may fill additional openings.

This Field Engineer 2 (FE2) primarily supports the following programs in the Applied Physics Laboratory:

(1) Operations and Maintenance of the National Science Foundation’s Regional Cabled Array (RCA) portion of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI).  The Applied Physics Laboratory has been responsible for the design, fabrication, testing, deployment, installation, recovery, maintenance, troubleshooting, and redeployment of the majority of the instruments and platforms which now reside on the floor of the Pacific Ocean.

(2) Operations and Maintenance of the Northwest Environmental Mooring program, operated and maintained as part of the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), funded through the NOAA IOOS and Ocean Acidification Research programs, and Washington Ocean Acidification Center. The purpose of the research projects is to provide reliable, long-term, real-time, high-quality oceanographic and atmospheric observations in support of 1) long-term studies to investigate ocean acidification, hypoxia, harmful algal blooms and climate change within Washington waters, 2) rapid resource management decisions using real-time observations, and 3) Washington Coast and Salish Sea environmental modeling efforts.

The FE2 will work as a technical lead and will function as a part of a team of research scientists and engineers to support long-term oceanographic observing systems, including 6 Puget Sound moorings, 2 offshore moorings, and over 100 cabled instruments. Work will be performed in a laboratory environment and in the field aboard research vessels. The field engineer will lead regular maintenance on oceanographic instrumentation, laboratory, and field support systems. This includes maintaining safety standards, managing team schedules, planning multi-step system maintenance to meet team schedule, procurement of supplies, developing standard operating procedures and safety protocols, keeping asset and inventory records current, and documenting system operations. Other responsibilities include remote troubleshooting through data analysis, hands-on benchtop troubleshooting and repairs of electro-mechanical systems, and overseeing logistics and preparation for field operations.

Field work for this position will include 1-day operations aboard small vessels up to multi-week research cruises on global-class research vessels. This field engineer will operate small boats, APL vehicles, forklifts, cranes and overhead lift systems, and may have opportunities to conduct research diving operations. The field engineer will be responsible for ensuring that safety standards are maintained in laboratory and field work settings.


* Manage material and overall logistics related to service and refurbishment of ocean instrumentation and instrument platforms. Assist with research logistics, including: transport of equipment to remote field locations, obtaining lodging, communications, and sourcing supplies; at the conclusion of each field experiment, manage the proper storage and inventory of equipment and supplies.

* Plan and lead testing and checkout of scientific oceanographic instruments. Identify problems with the research equipment or methods, and implement solutions. Attend regular team meetings and provide operational updates to the rest of the team.

* Participate in developing and constructing custom instrument systems, and oversee instrument platform integration, assembly and testing. The FE2 will make independent decisions on minor system modifications, and will carry out system operations, repairs, maintenance, testing and calibrations of equipment used in the Laboratory and the field.

* Plan and lead maintenance of laboratory and field equipment, including test tanks and small boat/trailer maintenance. Procure supplies, keeping asset and inventory records current, and documenting system operations. Develop standard operating procedures and safety protocols as needed.

* Maintain field and laboratory safety standards in all work environments, and assume responsibility for safe and effective operation of complex experimental equipment.

* At sea maintenance and installation efforts (aboard small boats and large research vessels). Assist in all aspects of field data collection, including: small vessel operations, instrument calibration, data acquisition, and record keeping. May instruct, train, and supervise support staff on methods and procedures; Schedule and document the work of team members.


  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher in Engineering, Sciences, or closely related technical field AND at least 4 years of relevant work experience. Equivalent experience can substitute for degree requirement.
  • Able to work independently and as part of a research team, interacting cooperatively with people from diverse backgrounds, academic levels, and nationalities.
  • Experience with electromechanical system development, maintenance and troubleshooting.
  • Independently determine and communicate about the kinds of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
  • Experience with standard electrical assembly and test equipment, including soldering, connector assembly, oscilloscope, and DMMs. 
  • Strong organizational skills, and experience with inventory and/or maintenance management systems.
  • Experience with electrical communications protocols (serial, Ethernet).
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Able to operate and perform maintenance tasks on small boats.
  • Experience with Linux OS and command line computer operations.
  • Valid Driver's License.

    Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


  • SCUBA certification, and ability to become qualified as a university research diver.
  • Database and data set handling and analysis experience.
  • Programming Experience (Python, Matlab).
  • The willingness to complete a security background investigation.


    May be subject to successful completion of E-Verify process.

    Application Process:
    The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.