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Electrical Engineer

Electrical Engineer

locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 12/8/2023
Full Time


Electrical Engineer

Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


Job Summary

The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) seeks an Electrical Engineer to join an unprecedented team of accomplished scientists and technologists to study the communication of sperm whales. Project CETI (CEtacean Translation Initiative) aims to provide the first-ever blueprint of another animal’s language. Over the next four years, Project CETI will seek to understand sperm whales on a level never achieved before. Using advanced machine learning and state-of-the-art non-invasive robotics, the team aims to communicate with these majestic creatures. The candidate will work with a team of engineers, computer scientists, and biologists to drive the innovation, evolution, and maintenance of a broad set of electromechanical systems used for data collection. Reporting to the Harvard Microrobotics Lab faculty PI and collaborating closely with other SEAS staff and faculty, the Electrical Engineer will develop functional and technical requirements with an engineering and biology team and interpret these into system specifications and prototypes. Their work will support the lab’s research and technology translation efforts.

The Electrical Engineer will work on campus full-time at our new Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) in Allston, MA and will travel with the team for onsite research outside of the U.S. This is a one-year term position with the possibility of renewal.

Position Description

  • Design and prototype circuits for data acquisition, signal conditioning, power management, and control of various robotic assets.
  • Test and debug these and other circuits for lab and field use.
  • Assist with preparations for field deployments of various sensor and robot technologies.
  • Assist with preparations for and implementation of demonstrations of various robot technologies.
  • Work with other members of the research group regarding analysis and documentation of sensing, power, and control circuits.
  • Develop and test firmware for various embedded systems used in robotic prototypes.

Basic Qualifications

  • BS or MS in Electrical Engineering or a related field.
  • Experience with circuit design, prototyping, and analysis beyond academic work is required. Internships, co-ops or other positions in the field of electrical engineering may count towards experience.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • MS preferred.
  • Familiarity with analog and digital electronic design principles.
  • Experience with PCB design and layout software (e.g., Eagle, Altium, KiCad).
  • Experience using standard benchtop lab instruments (e.g., multimeters, power supplies, oscilloscopes) to analyze and debug electronic circuits.
  • Experience developing and programming embedded computing systems (ideally, both off-the-shelf devices such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, and custom microcontroller circuits).
  • Familiarity with wireless communications protocols and circuits (e.g., Bluetooth, Zigbee).
  • Experience designing interfaces for various sensors and actuators (e.g., DC, brushless, and stepper motors; encoders, range finding sensors, optical sensors).

Working Conditions

Work is performed in a lab and at research sites in the field.

Additional Information

  • The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences does not provide visa sponsorship for administrative and staff positions.
  • This is a one-year term position with the possibility of renewal.
  • Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to be considered for this position. This position requires working on campus full-time in Allston, MA and will require travel to research sites outside of the U.S.
  • The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

About SEAS

The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences serves as the connector and integrator of Harvard’s teaching and research efforts in engineering, applied sciences, and technology. Our core tenets are educating broad-minded students; interdisciplinary research; integration across disciplines; and balancing theory, experimentation and practice to create an unmatched environment for learning and exploration. Through collaboration with researchers from all parts of Harvard, other universities, and industry, we bring discovery and innovation directly to bear on improving human life and society. For more information about us, please visit

Commitment to Diversity

SEAS is dedicated to building a diverse community of individuals who are committed to contributing to an inclusive environment. Some of our core values include respect for all, serving the greater good, and welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.


We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Allston

Job Code

395056 Engineer

Work Format




Salary Grade



SEAS Research Staff


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.