1+ months


University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98104


Req #: 197378
Job Location: Seattle Campus
Posting Date: 10/11/2021 
Closing Info: Open Until Filled 
Salary: Salary is commensurate with education and experience 
Shift: First Shift 
Notes: As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.  

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. 

The Applied Physics Laboratory is a research unit at the University of Washington. Our research expertise is in ocean physics and engineering, ocean and medical acoustics, polar science, environmental remote sensing, and signal processing. We conduct research and development that is sponsored by a variety of federal and state agencies, and take great pride in our long-standing status as a US Navy-designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). Our work takes place not only on the University of Washington campus and medical centers, but in field locations around the world at sea, in the air, and on polar ice caps. We apply rigorous scientific inquiry and engineering excellence in pursuit of solutions to important problems for the good of our region, nation, and world.

Diversity is a core value at University of Washington and the Applied Physics Laboratory shares this commitment. We are focused on building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable research environment for all students, staff, and collaborators. We believe every member on our team enriches our community by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design and deliver solutions.

The Environmental and Information Systems team at the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington is hiring, an Engineering Project Manager see yourself at APL! 

The person selected for this Engineering Project Manager role will be a part of a dynamic team that supports APLs wide-reaching research enterprise. Your expertise will enable the success of researchers who are clearing hazardous seafloor debris from coastal areas, developing ultrasound technologies that advance medical care, conducting fieldwork on glaciers, polar regions, and the worlds oceans, and performing robotic exploration beneath oceanic ice shelves and on space missions.

The purpose of the research projects this position supports is to develop new maritime robotic solutions that will improve and expand the capabilities for oceanographic research and defense related missions.  The successful candidate in this position will be independently responsible for technical leadership and oversight of complex multidisciplinary engineering projects in areas involving robotics and controls, as well as project management, ensuring timely completion of deliverables, and coordinating analysis post-delivery.  Other key responsibilities encompass providing subject matter expertise for unusual and novel engineering issues, key technical strategy and sought out for input in the form of overall systems engineering for the projects, collaborating with team members and stakeholders to promote consistent continual improvement processes, and providing project management support for major scheduled and ad-hoc system functionality roll-outs/activities.  Under limited direction from the Principal Investigator (PI), the incumbent will perform the following duties and responsibilities.


Engineering Solutions:

     Provide regular engineering expertise through designing and developing systems for oceanographic research and for DoD contracts.  This entails developing complex systems from conception and design, through build, integration, testing, and validation.
     Engage deeply in the technical aspects of multiple projects and systems involving complex marine robotics and other novel ocean engineering design problems.
     Design approaches and consult on high risk developments that require novel and innovative solutions, and add value to the projects through engineering subject matter expertise to quickly resolve potential delays in the design or development of engineering phases/projects.
     Provide engineering and scientific support services including oceanographic instrument and robotic system development, oversight of research fieldwork logistics, and maintenance of oceanographic equipment and systems.  Systems engineering expertise should be applied, involving and integrating input from other engineering subject matter experts (mechanical, electrical, software, etc.) on the project team.
     Provide engineering solutions to various challenges related to field programs that often require rapid, novel solutions that make use of available resources.  APL field programs operate in remote and sometimes harsh environments and with compressed schedules, such as on research vessels at sea, requiring careful and comprehensive planning for contingencies given limited access to resources while in the field.  Make recommendations to PIs, and research project leads, with a direct impact on the overall research program.
     Perform instrument/research equipment design and fabrication, using SolidWorks or other structural analysis software and empirical equations.

Engineering Strategy and Project Management:

     Prepare estimates and detailed project plans for all phases of projects, and propose ways and means to stay on track for the project milestones set by sponsors.  For as many as three projects, develop comprehensive strategies and systems to monitor and track progress.
     Lead effective decision-making, ensuring that technical details are considered appropriately and decisions facilitate product quality and timely delivery.  Participate on proposal teams to assist in developing realistic schedules and milestones and coordinate technical input.
     Coordinate with Applied Physics Laboratory Ocean Engineering machine shop and Field Engineers for the fabrication and assembly of parts.
     Manage various APL research projects with responsibility for the successful planning, design, execution, monitoring, acceptance, deployment and closure of projects; ensure both business units and primary sponsor(s) are aligned on project goals, status and deliverables.
     Create and maintain required project documentation (e.g., spreadsheets, diagrams and process maps, etc.).  Build a common process to ensure consistency across projects.  Be accountable for the project deliverables, estimates and timelines that satisfy the business vision, goals, benefits, and requirements.
     Coordinate internal research staff and external (e.g., subcontractors, suppliers) resources for the efficient and effective execution of projects.  Create a calendar for document milestones and deliverables from project staff and investigators.  Collect documents, review for completeness, and work with PIs to complete or take the lead in completing the documents/projects.
     Escalate risks, issues, key decisions, etc. to the PIs; document these items; manage risks and issues as needed.
     Assemble reports for funding agencies and investigators, and ensure timely submission; this includes writing summaries, formatting materials, completing forms as needed, and ensuring that documents align with project requirements.  Ensure that all tasks are completed on-time, within scope and within budget.  Manage changes to project scope, project schedule and project costs.
     Manage the relationship and communications with all internal and external stakeholders.  Actively participate in routine conference calls and meetings to apprise the project teams of progress; communicate issues, risks, and possible mitigation strategies.  Use tact and discretion with all communications.
     Conduct periodic retrospectives at the end of a project milestone or as needed.  Capture lessons learned, develop plans for required corrective action, and apply to subsequent projects.


     Place procurement requests and manage requests to closeout.  Approve supplier invoices and work with APL Business and Finance team to process payments.  Approve procurements and charges to budget(s).  Produce financial status reports as required (e.g., weekly, monthly).  Other duties as assigned.


Masters degree in Systems or other Engineering or related scientific field AND 8 years of related project management experience

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


          Strong technical background in an engineering discipline.
          Proven working experience in engineering project management for five or more years.
          Excellent client-facing and internal communication skills.
          Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
          Solid organizational skills including attention to detail.
          Strong proficiency with Microsoft Office and Microsoft Project.
          Proven experience with developing and tracking budgets.
          Managing multiple projects and workload to meet hard deadlines and deliverables.
          Ability to meet the physical requirements necessary to work at sea in small to large vessels for extended periods and willing to perform the required duties aboard ships.
          Ability to work independently, and as part of a research team, interacting cooperatively with people from diverse backgrounds, academic levels, and nationalities.
          Ability to acquire and maintain a Department of Defense (DoD) security clearance.

*Incumbent will be required to submit for a Department of Defense Secret-level security clearance within the first 3-6 months of employment, and once granted must maintain eligibility to hold a Secret-level clearance.*

Application Process:

May be subject to successful completion of E-Verify process.

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select Apply to this position. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your My Jobs page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or dso@uw.edu.


Governor Inslee's Proclamation 21-14.2 requires employees of higher education and healthcare institutions to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless a medical or religious exemption is approved. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. As a condition of employment, newly hired employees will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. View the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage for information about the medical or religious exemption process for final candidates.


Posted: 2021-10-12 Expires: 2021-12-03

University of Washington

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University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98104
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