Opportunity: Research software engineer for cloud-based ocean sonar data processing

Echospace group at the University of Washington are accepting applications to a research software engineer position for cloud-based ocean sonar data processing.

Visit the Echospace website for further details and how to apply.

Date published: 2021/09/24

Research software engineer position for cloud-based ocean sonar data processing


Seattle, WA, USA

Open Date

September 6, 2021


Open until filled. Review of materials will start immediately.


We are looking for a highly motivated and independent individual to join the Echospace group at the University of Washington (UW) as a research software engineer. This will be a 12-month project appointment, with potential continuation based on funding availability and demonstration of skill developments throughout the appointment period.

The research software engineer’s primary responsibility is to develop computational and data workflows to enable efficient, open, cloud-native processing and exploration of ocean sonar data and the associated biological and environmental data. The engineer will support ongoing research projects in the group that focus on extracting biological information from the ever-growing Big Acoustic Data. This work will encompass several interconnected elements: optimizing computational operations for distributed computing, building a scalable cloud cyberinfrastructure, developing open-source software to perform specific data processing and analysis tasks, and providing tools to generate and interact with data that comply with a prescribed set of interoperable community standards.

The projects are in close collaboration with the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) with a primary goal of developing a high-throughput echosounder data analysis pipeline to contribute to fishery stock assessment and ecosystem-based management. We are sponsored by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and NOAA Fisheries, and the engineer will have the opportunity to interact with the vibrant ocean sciences and data science communities at UW and in Seattle.


  • Bachelor’s degree (earned or nearing completion of) in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), such as electrical engineering, computer science, oceanography, fisheries and aquatic sciences, environmental science, or equivalent
  • One year of related experience, including internship and research experience prior to receiving the degree.
  • Demonstrated Python software development experience, including use of core scientific computing libraries numpy, matplotlib, etc and understanding of object-oriented programming.
  • Experience with collaborative software development and data science tools such as Git/GitHub and Jupyter.
  • Experience with Python software design and development life cycle and its components, such as test frameworks, Git-based workflows, continuous integration on GitHub, and package releases.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills to work with a diverse team, and ability to work both independently and as a team member.

Desired qualification

  • Familiarity with the open-source scientific Python software ecosystem (especially pandas, xarray, scipy) and specialized visualization libraries such as seaborn and holoviz.
  • Experience with distributed and cloud computing.
  • Experience interfacing with relational database systems in Python.
  • A background or interests in acoustics, oceanography, or environmental sciences
  • Creative problem-solving skills.
  • Experience building scientific software within a research team comprised of members at different education or career stages and from diverse professional and personal backgrounds.

Application Instructions

Visit the Echospace website directly for instructions on how to apply, including a more detailed description.

Materials needed:

  • Resume, including relevant experience;
  • Cover letter with description of career goals and interests;
  • Three references and their contact information.