Underwater Robotics Engineer - Multidisciplinary

  • Reefgen
  • San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Oct 06, 2021
Full time role Engineering: Other

Job Description

About Reefgen: 

Ocean ecosystems are in a state of decline worldwide due to rising water temperatures and a variety of other anthropogenically induced stresses. The rates of mitigation and restoration for the problems are currently orders of magnitude lower than the rates of loss. Reefgen is developing automation solutions to greatly increase the rate at which we can perform environmental interventions in the ocean. 


Culture: We care about our people and we care about our planet. We welcome all people - from unconventional and diverse backgrounds, and we also understand that people have lives and priorities outside of work. We craft roles for the mutual fit of the company and the talent that drives it.


Position Description


Reefgen is looking for a robotics engineer capable of developing and testing devices to assist with restoration efforts of coral reefs and seagrass beds.


Reefgen robots operate in nearshore ocean environments, interacting with waves, currents, and fragile environments. In this position, you will help design and build the robotic hardware systems to prepare and plant corals and seagrasses in their natural habitat.


We are seeking someone with the ability to build and test robotic systems who can bring multidisciplinary skills to the job. This position will include elements of process design, mechanism design, mechatronics, and some basic electronics and programming. 


This is a small company, so responsibilities may vary as we grow, and you may be asked to assist with other tasks as needs arise. This Robotics Engineer position will require you to do the following, among other items:


  • Design underwater hardware including actuators, robot components and handling devices for living organisms.
  • Build and test: Make or source components, build up systems, and test your designs both in the lab environment and at sea.
  • Figure it out: Help identify and create the important parts of the overall project to enable scaling up the restoration processes for the largest overall impact. 
  • Travel will be required to operate planting systems at restoration sites domestically and internationally.
  • Also, because this is a small company, you will have a part to play in defining company culture and policies. Many resources necessary to do your job will not yet be in place and you will have to find or create them. 


Desired skills: Please consider this list as a general guideline. Analogous skills or experience will be considered.  

  • Experience in marine hardware design including materials selection, understanding buoyancy and hydrostatic pressure, and typical techniques for making underwater hardware and mechanisms.
  • Experience with design for manufacturing, cost control, and serviceability
  • Experience with operating underwater robots
  • Experience with field operations on research vessels and on small boats
  • Experience with scientific instrumentation, file formats, field notes, etc.
  • Comfort working across cultures and languages. 


If you’re a motivated individual who wants to join our growing team, we’d love to hear from you (even if you do not meet all of the criteria).


Position details:


Compensation: Reefgen will provide a competitive salary based on experience level. This position will be eligible to earn equity in the company.

Position Type: Full time

Benefits: Reefgen will offer a competitive benefits and vacation package

Location: San Francisco or Long Beach California

Requirements: Permission to work in the U.S. (i.e. U.S Citizenship, Permanent resident status, etc., no visa sponsorship available)

Organization Type


Organization Size



Carbon Removal & Utilization Engineering, Ecosystems & Biodiversity