Autonomous vehicle Engineer



Other Engineering · Full-time
Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Posted on Friday, March 24, 2023

Job Summary:

This position is in support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL). A coastal ecosystem observation network with nodes on Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie, has been developed consisting of the Real-time Coastal Observation Network (ReCON), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), autonomous surface vehicles (ASV) and crewed and uncrewed air systems (UAS) to provide continuous observations of chemical, biological, and physical environmental parameters. The system currently supports projects addressing harmful algal bloom (HAB) detection, human health observations related to beach closures and drinking water processing concerns, rip current warnings, spill response, ice observations, ecosystem fire impact, and long-term ecosystem research.

The Engineer will provide autonomous vehicle and observing sensor, engineering, and deployment support.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Supporting the piloting and mission of GLERL's autonomous vehicles, including, but not limited to GLERL's SeaTrac and SV2 Wave Gliders
  • Carrying out pre-deployment and post deployment procedures, preparations, data archiving, and tests for deployment of GLERL's SeaTrac ASV
  • Assisting in sensor integration for GLERL's SeaTrac ASV, and other marine data acquisition systems
  • Participating in observing system support for remote data acquisition, network support, and real-time data management
  • Working with ReCON and HABs observing systems teams on engineering systems development projects
  • Working with uncrewed systems teams on mission planning, field deployment, and retrieval
  • Using material handling equipment to assist with any of the required tasks
  • Working with interfacing sensors and devices to embedded processors via digital and analog ports
  • Designing interface circuits to provide system control and switched power

Required Qualifications and Skills:

  • Bachelors' degree in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, naval architecture and marine engineering, or electronics engineering
  • The ability to obtain a Public Trust clearance
  • A willingness to work on marine vessels in the Great Lakes
  • A demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a technical team
  • Critical thinking
  • Strong interpersonal skills


  • 2+ years' experience working on in situ observing systems in aquatic environments
  • 2+ years' experience working at sea on research cruises
  • Experience piloting AUVs, or ASVs
  • Experience with autonomous vehicle deployment, retrieval, and piloting
  • Experience with programming languages such as C, C++, CRBasic, or Linux
  • Experience with serial and Ethernet communications using xterm, ssh, scp, ftp, telnet, or other protocols

Work Setting and Environment:

  • Monday - Friday, normal working hours
  • Work is to be performed at NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) facility in Ann Arbor, MI
  • Telework to be approved for tasks conducive to remote work
  • Some travel via land and vesselTravel is not anticipated to exceed 15% for the year Monday - Friday, between the hours of 6 AM and 6 PM, between 2 and 10 hours per day

How FedWriters Will Compensate and Appreciate You:

FedWriters offers team members the opportunity to gain a lasting impression in this fast-growing small business.

FedWriters provides a competitive package of salary and benefits, including medical, dental, and vision coverage; a matching 401(k) program; generous Paid Time Off (PTO); STD; LTD; life insurance; and more!

FedWriters abides by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-1.4(a), 60-300.5(a), and 60-741.5(a). These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities and discrimination against all individuals based on their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin. Moreover, these regulations require that covered prime contractors and subcontractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability.

FedWriters is committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical and/or mental disabilities. We value and encourage diversity and solicit applications from all qualified applicants without regard to race; ethnicity; religion; gender; age; national origin; marital status; sexual orientation; gender identity; family responsibilities; matriculation; physical or mental disabilities; political affiliation; genetic information; status as a protected veteran; or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. If you are interested in applying for employment with FedWriters and need special assistance or an accommodation to apply for the position, please call (703) 872-7848. Determination on requests for reasonable accommodation are made on a case-by-case basis. FedWriters is a federal contractor seeking veteran referrals.

FedWriters is an equal opportunity employer.