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Senior Electrical Engineer

Hardware Engineering | Alameda, CA | Full Time | From $132,500.00 to $190,000.00 per year

Job Description

About Us

At Saildrone, we sustainably explore, map, and monitor the oceans to understand, protect, and preserve our world. We provide real-time access to critical data from any ocean on earth, 24/7/365, and use proprietary software applications to transform that data into actionable insights and intelligence. Our fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs), powered by renewable wind and solar power, have a minimal carbon footprint and operate without the need for a crewed support vessel. Saildrone works with governments, civil agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas—from sailing into the eye of a category 4 hurricane to obtain new data about how storms intensify, collecting new CO2 data in hard-to-reach areas, and counting fish biomass to inform sustainable fishery management, to mapping the ocean floor and reducing illegal fishing and drug trafficking. As a result of our work, Saildrone has been included on Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, earned an Ocean Awards’ Innovation Award, won Best Tech For Good from the Timmy Awards, and was recognized by Andreessen Horowitz’s American Dynamism 50 list of the Top 50 Companies Kickstarting American Renewal. Our first-annual Atlantic hurricane mission with NOAA was included as one of The New York Times’ 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 and St. Petersburg, FL, and operate our missions worldwide. Saildrone is 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

We are seeking a senior electrical engineer who can design embedded systems for a diversifying set of vehicle platforms. You will work to design systems based on SOCs that provide power delivery, monitoring, storage, sensor data ingress, and networking services. In this role you are able to design new system architectures, do schematic capture and layout, work with contract manufacturers, and validate the resulting designs.

This is a broad-spectrum engineering position, where we expect a wide breadth of system design and debugging skills to find and resolve issues. You'll work primarily with other electrical engineers, software engineers, and product managers to build products that fit within stringent power budgets while delivering great utility to customers both internal and external.

This is a very hands-on position that directly impacts our ability to rapidly iterate on hardware design. You’ll be part of a small team of talented folks who are excited to send robots into some of the harshest environments on Earth.


  • Focuses on design, testing, or documentation tasks to expand features of the current platform
  • Participate in product requirement definition to ensure electrical suitability
  • Pick properly rated electrical components that achieve the system design specifications
  • Generate detailed schematics and quality PCB layouts in Altium
  • Answer and guide system design questions
  • Debug current hardware and off-the-shelf components as we add them to the vehicles
  • Maintains functionality for multiple assemblies as the responsible engineer
  • Leads technical demos and design reviews with cross functional teams
  • Mentors junior engineers through pairing on debug, design tasks, and proactive guidance
  • Effectively communicates with cross functional teams including technicians, firmware engineers, software engineers, operations, and production managers

Required skills and experience

  • 5-8 years of experience in designing electronics that went to full commercial production
  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or related field
    • Additional relevant experience may substitute for a degree
  • Schematic capture and board layout in Altium
    • Familiarity with analog, mixed-signal, and high-speed design
    • Familiarity with wired and wireless communications systems
    • Familiarity with magnetic circuits and power conversion
  • Ability to purchase and use a broad range of test equipment:
    • Programmable power supplies and loads
    • Benchtop meters and signal generators
    • Spectrum analyzers, amplifiers, field probes, and antennas
    • Oscilloscopes, current probes, high speed differential probes
    • Static discharge guns and current injection clamps
  • Prototyping and debug skills:
    • Strong solder rework skills to rapidly test proposed changes to circuitry
    • Ability to create wiring diagrams and physically crimp harnesses or coax cables
    • Familiarity and ability to apply shielding and filtering materials
  • Computing skills needed to operate devices and equipment
    • Linux & Python preferred
  • Familiarity with correctly interpreting technical documentation and successfully obtaining certification such as FCC, UL Safety, CISPR, or IEC specifications
  • Ability to dig into the design details of off-the-shelf components during integration testing

Location: This position is in Alameda, CA. 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:

The Tiny Craft Mapping Superstorms at Sea – The New York Times

Saildrone Takes the Wraps Off its Voyager Autonomous Research Vehicle – TechCrunch

An Underwater Mountain was Newly Discovered off California Coast – San Francisco Chronicle

The Quest for CO2: You Can’t Capture What You Can’t Find – Inside Unmanned Systems

Hacking the Anthropocene with Survivalist Robots [VIDEO] – Freethink

Here’s What Hurricane Fiona’s Surf Looked Like, from Atop a 50-foot Wave – The Washington Post 

An Unprecedented View Inside a Hurricane – EOS 

Meet the sailing robots trying to solve climate change – The Hill 

They Sailed Into a Hurricane, Now These Unmanned Saildrones are Seeking Data on Our Carbon Uptake – CNN 

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.

Individual compensation packages are based on geographic location, scope of the role, relevant experience, and the ability to deal with complexity and problem solve within our organization, among other factors

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.

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.