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Layout and PLM Engineer

Hardware Engineering | Alameda, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About Us

At Saildrone, we sustainably explore, map, and monitor the oceans to understand, preserve, and protect our world. Saildrone provides real-time access to critical data from any ocean on earth, 24/7/365, and uses proprietary software applications to transform that data into actionable insights and intelligence. Saildrone’s fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs), powered by renewable wind and solar power, have a minimal carbon footprint and operate 24/7/365, without the need for a crewed support vehicle. We work with governments, civil agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas—from sailing drones into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane to obtain new scientific storm data, mapping the ocean floor, collecting new CO2 data in hard-to-reach areas, counting biomass to establish fishing quotas, or detecting and stopping illegal fishing and drug trafficking. As a result of our work, we have been included on Fast Company’s annual list of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2022” and earned the 2022 Ocean Awards’ Innovation Award, presented by the Blue Marine Foundation. Saildrone’s hurricane mission was included as one of the New York Times "Top 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, St. Petersburg, FL, and Fall River, MA, and operate our missions worldwide. We are 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

This role is within the hardware team, working at the intersection of electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, and our supply chain team. You will take schematic designs and constraints from our electrical and mechanical engineers and do the design and release work needed to permit the supply chain team to place orders.

You'll also create new electronic library entries and take on management of our Teamcenter instance and the relationship with Siemens.

  • Work directly with design engineers to turn schematics into layouts, taking into account SI, PI, EMC, thermal, and packaging constraints.

  • Generate fabrication packages (board, assembly, bill of materials, and any associated special instructions) that get sent to vendors.

  • Answer technical vendor questions when needed.

  • Create and manage electrical library components, including symbols, footprints, and mechanical representations and make sure it remains correctly represented in the PLM system.

  • Handle product change notifications and finding candidate alternative components for library components.

  • Take over the relationship with the PLM software vendor, onboard new users, and work the supply chain team to ensure complete BOMs


Required skills and experience

  • Strong experience with Altium Designer specifically and ECAD software broadly.
  • Understanding of mechanical data interchange file formats and how to handle them and debug when imports go wrong (e.g., STEP, IGS, DXF).
  • Understanding of electrical principles that determine design strategies for:
    • High speed differential (e.g., USB SuperSpeed)
    • Single ended RF (e.g., GNSS)
    • Switching power supplies, how they couple, and what parasitics matter where and why
    • ESD and EMI avoidance and mitigation
  • Strong oral and written communication skills appropriate for both internal and external collaboration.
  • Understanding of the basic workings of a generic PLM system and a willingness to pick up the detailed workings of a new one.
  • B.S. in Electrical, Mechanical, related field of engineering, or equivalent experience


Desired skills and experience

  • 5+ years experience in Altium layout engineering
  • 2+ years experience with a PLM tool

Location: This position is fully remote. Only candidates with proper permits to work in the United States can be considered. 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'.


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents.
  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents
  • Enhanced Parental Leave Programs
  • Competitive benefits including excellent medical, life insurance, 401k plan


Catch up on the latest news about us:

An Unprecedented View Inside a Hurricane – EOS (May 6, 2022)

Meet the sailing robots trying to solve climate change – The Hill (Mar. 18, 2022)

They Sailed Into a Hurricane, Now these Unmanned Saildrones are Seeking Data on Our Carbon Uptake – CNN (Dec. 9, 2021)

Saildrone Catches a $100M C Breeze to Build More Robo-boats – TechCrunch (Oct. 18, 2021)

With A Sight, Sound And Radar Picture, Saildrone Could Build An AI Database Of Everything In The Ocean – Forbes (Aug. 16, 2021)

Changing Arctic Environment Could Also Change Technologies Needed to Protect It, Experts Say – SeaPower Magazine (Aug. 2, 2021)

Autonomous Research Vehicle Completes Ocean Crossing from San Francisco to Hawaii – Hydro International (July 13, 2021)

Saildrone Featured Videos Playlist


We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

Individuals who require employer sponsorship to remain employed in the United States now or in the future will not be considered for hire for certain positions.

In accordance with Saildrone’s mandatory employee COVID-19 vaccination policy, please be advised that all employees are required to be vaccinated and boosted to safeguard the health of our employees and their families, our customers and visitors and the community at large.


Any unsolicited resumes/candidate profiles submitted through our website or to personal email accounts of employees of Saildrone are considered property of Saildrone and are not subject to payment of agency fees.