PIFSC Mechanatronics Engineering Services

Ocean Associates

Ocean Associates

Honolulu, HI, USA
Posted on Friday, May 31, 2024

If you are unable to complete this application due to a disability, contact Ocean Associates at 703-388-9548 to ask for an accommodation or an alternative application process.

Ocean Associates Inc. (OAI) is seeking an applicant to provide mechanatronics engineering services to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) in Honolulu, HI. OAI is a Virginia corporation established in 2003 that provides consulting and technical services to the U.S. government, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and the private sector. We specialize in scientific program and project management, strategic planning, professional and technical services, and stakeholder engagement, supporting government contracts. We are seeking applicants for this position prospectively, which is dependent upon contract award.


The PIFSC is part of NMFS, headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, and has taken a leading role in marine research on ecosystems, both in the insular and pelagic environments. As part of this work, PIFSC has been implementing a multidisciplinary research strategy including an ecosystem observation system, and scientific analysis to support ecosystem approaches to management and restoration of living marine resources. It conducts a wide range of activities including resource surveys and stock assessments, fishery monitoring, economic and sociological studies, oceanographic research and monitoring, critical habitat evaluation, life history and ecology studies, and advanced oceanographic and ecosystem modeling and simulations.


The Fisheries Research and Management Division has a requirement for mechatronics engineering services to design, develop and maintain marine instrumentation/equipment used by marine biologists, fisheries biologists, oceanographers, and other field personnel. Mechatronics is concerned with the blending of mechanical, electronic, software, and control topics into a unified framework. The employee will serve as an engineering/technical subject matter expert on mechatronics projects for the Marine and Applied Knowledge for Ecosystem Research (MAKER) Lab located within the PIFSC. The MAKER Lab is part of a community of practice designing and developing innovative tools, equipment, instrumentation, and other physical products to enhance ecological data sampling efforts which support the conservation and management of coastal and marine ecosystems of the Pacific Islands.


  • Gather user requirements, define functionalities, recommend design solutions related to equipment/instrumentation for marine science.
  • Assemble and/or fabricate hardware (electronics, ports, interface cables, underwater housings, auxiliary equipment, and other appurtenances) to provide for an integrated software/hardware environment to verify system functionality and performance.
  • Support fabrication and design activities by using hand tools, power tools, machine tools, and advanced tools (computer aided design, 3D printers, CNC machining, etc.) to develop components and prototypes.
  • Test system functionality in the laboratory and in the field. Participate in field trials of equipment.
  • Write code for microcontroller boards (e.g. Arduino, Teensy, etc.), single-board computers, and other controllers.
  • Identify, research, and recommend commercially available components/subassemblies/products (and sources) related to assigned projects.
  • Present information in written, graphical, and/or oral formats, ensuring that presentations are concise, appropriate, and understood by the audience.
  • Develop technical documentation (e.g., design drawings, flowcharts, layouts, diagrams, charts, end-user guides, technical user manuals, bill of materials, standard operating procedures).
  • Enhance group problem-solving with creative and innovative thinking skills that contribute to positive team dynamics.

Start Date: Contingent upon award of contract.

Location: Honolulu, HI

Travel: Travel is not anticipated.

Salary and Benefits: This is a full-time position with benefits. Salary, commensurate with experience, between $30-$55 per hour.


  • Previous work experience in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, product design, robotics or related technical discipline.
  • Experience on teams involved in mechatronics projects such as the design of underwater autonomous vehicles, an academic robotics team, or other similar work. Mechatronics is concerned with the blending of mechanical, electronic, software, and control topics into a unified framework.
  • Familiarity with computer aided design (CAD) software, such as Fusion 360.
  • Highly proficient oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Ability to operate scientific equipment and instruments while deployed on small boats or large vessels in coastal and open water conditions.
  • Ability to perform duties on sea-going vessels and/or in environments with uneven surfaces. Must be able to ascend and descend ladders, and frequently, stand, stoop, and crouch in the performance of tasks.
  • Ability to operate various power tools, soldering stations, CNC mills, lathes, 3D printers (FFF and SLA), and other fabrication equipment.
  • Ability to work on-site at the MAKER Lab, located in the NOAA Inouye Regional Center (Honolulu, Hawaii).

Highly Desirable

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from an accredited four (4) year college.
  • Three or more years of progressively responsible professional work experience in engineering or related fields. The work must have required knowledge and understanding of marine electronics principles, methods, techniques and practical applications.
  • Experience with robotic operating system (ROS).
  • Experience with integrating camera systems and image acquisition into field instrumentation.
  • 2+ years of experience with microcontrollers and single board computers.

If you are interested in being considered for this position, please APPLY THROUGH OUR ADP WEB PORTAL, AT THE LINK AT THE TOP RIGHT OF THIS PAGE.

Only qualified applicants that meet minimum experience or background requirements stated above need apply. When applying for this position you will be asked to upload your resume at the end of this online application.

Applicants should submit a resume that includes the following:

  • Cover letter that briefly describes how you meet the required and preferred qualifications listed.
  • Work history for past 10 years or since last full-time education.
  • Education.
  • Previous experience or training with similar requirements.
  • Three professional references.
  • Include your name in the document file name.
  • Upload your resume in readable, not scanned, PDF or Word format (PDF is preferred).

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States, complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire, and successfully complete a federal government background check. Ocean Associates Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable federal or state law.

OAI is a government contractor and is required by law to invite applicants to self-identify their race, gender, national origin, disability status and veteran status. OAI is required to use the information it collects as part of its future affirmative action efforts in hiring. The information is collected anonymously by computer and is not connected to your application. You will see a place to check certain boxes in OAI's online application. Even though the information is anonymous, self-identification is voluntary. You can always check the box that says you decline to self-identify.

Note: If you are not selected, your materials may be retained for present or future opportunities. We may use your resume in bidding on a project and if we are awarded the work, we will contact you before seeking further applicants. If you do not wish us to retain or use your resume to seek work for you, please let us know in the "Notes" section on the second page of the online application.