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Senior Production Test Engineer

Production | Alameda, CA | Full Time | From $150,000.00 to $170,000.00 per year

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

As our Senior Production Test Engineer you will own production line level test execution and automation feedback of Saildrone vehicle subcomponents. You will be responsible for the implementation, support and improvement of our production line testing processes, ultimately improving the build quality of Saildrone vehicles and their sub-components. This is a role that will heavily interface with Engineering test development teams in Hardware, Software, and Infrastructure, as well as other Manufacturing teams in Production, Production Engineering and Supply Chain. 

You will help scale our current production line test processes as we introduce complex electrical/mechanical components and assemblies, with an emphasis on enabling and supporting technicians to run and troubleshoot tests independently of design resources.


  • Development and implementation of the ideal assembly, bring up and test sequence for the entire electrical system and the firmware during the manufacturing process
  •  Work closely with multidisciplinary engineers to collect and interpret component requirements and to translate them into a scalable system level validation procedure to be performed during sub-assembly thru final integration process
  •  Be able to identify root causes during assembly bring up, firmware update and calibration process and work with the software and EE team on resolution
  •  Develop engineering and shop floor tools and testing rigs to support activities like software flashing, diagnostic services and engineering data exchange.
  • Work with technicians to simplify and scale production testing equipment/software to enable high volume testing and troubleshooting of components and assemblies
  • Work collaboratively with vendors to formulate and build applications and tool customizations to optimize and automate software updating process
  • Be the first point of on-site support for technicians and production support to manage system bring-up including troubleshooting of assembly systems, end-of-line testing and sensor calibration.

Required skills and experience

  • Bachelors degree in a relevant area such as Computer Science or Engineering
  •  5+ years of experience with implementing and supporting production line testing of electro-mechnical assemblies. Comparable industries might be automotive, aerospace, or industrial machinery.
  • An excellent understanding of best practice semi-automated test infrastructure layers from device level fixtures, technician interface tools, networking connectivity, and data collection tools.
  • Experience writing, implementing, or improving on end to end Manufacturing Test Plans that includes PCBA level testing, firmware/software download and configuration, system test, and runin/burnin.
  • Comfortable working with software languages like Python or Unix, and test frameworks like OpenHTF or SpinTopHTF
  • Experience with [failure analysis methodologies like FMEA and fault trees] diagnostic tools and failure analysis processes with a history of using them to permanently remove production testing bottlenecks from the shop floor.
  • Ability to understand complex manufacturing processes and systems
  • Be able to independently manage projects, and collaborate well with engineering, supply chain, and production.


Desired skills and experience

  • Knowledge in Vehicle Electrical Communication Architecture - CAN/LIN/Ethernet
  •  Fundamental understanding of electrical  circuit design, mechanical systems, sensors, and actuators as well as ECU communication
  • Strong understanding of the electrical and software architecture of automotives engines and control systems, along with remote  communication systems (RF, GPS, etc.)
  • Location: This position is in Alameda, CA. 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.