Autonomous Support Engineer

Job reference: BAS 21/143
Contract type: Full-Time
Duration: Fixed-Term Appointment (3 Years)
Salary: From £31,931 to £39,915 per annum
Benefits: We offer generous benefits
Team: British Antarctic Survey
Location: Cambridge, but with significant periods at sea or in polar regions.
Closing date: 21 November, 2021 11:59 pm


Do you want the opportunity to work in a small dynamic team of engineers and scientists to support our marine science? We are looking for an enthusiastic person who will be responsible for our growing fleet of marine autonomous vehicles and helping with our scientific mooring operations. In your role you will be responsible for the maintenance and support of our marine autonomous vehicles and some of our moorings we have currently in the water. You will be part of our engineering team but with strong links to our Polar Oceans science team.

BAS is investing into a new workshop facility for its autonomous vehicles and part of your role will be to work with all involved stakeholder to deliver this new facility.

You have to be able to work in a team with both internal staff and external collaborators as well as sub-contractors. You will have a flexible approach and be able to manage your own work load and work to tight deadlines when required.

You will be based mainly in Cambridge, but you will work for up to 3 month/year in the polar regions supporting our science programmes on our polar research vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough, any other vessel if required or at our Antarctic research station Rothera.

If you are a person who likes to work in a challenging and varied environment and have a range of engineering skills and experience with marine autonomous vehicles/moorings, we would like to hear from you.

The job will be based in Cambridge but with significant periods at sea or in polar regions. It is essential that the individual appointed to the job is flexible, able to work under their own initiative and as part of a team. The person must be physically fit and able to travel and work at sea and in the Polar Regions.


  • To coordinate and undertake maintenance and support of BAS’s marine autonomy fleet, including underwater gliders, Sailbuoys, Ecosub and a Large (currently undefined) Uncrewed Surface Vehicle.
  • To deliver autonomous vehicle and mooring support for the SO-CHIC and DECADES and OFIC projects being led by BAS Polar Oceans, and to provide support for future projects as funded.
  • To work with Estates, AME and BAS Scientists in detailed design and delivery of an effective new workshop for BAS’s marine autonomy fleet.
  • To develop and maintain equipment used in Antarctica or on board Research ships. Assist in operating such equipment on ship if required.


To ensure that the job holder has the breadth of knowledge necessary for this role, it is expected that candidates will have a formal qualification. Good knowledge in mechanical engineering together with extensive practical experience as well as a good understanding of electronic systems will be required. BAS will provide training, both on and off job where necessary.


  • Provide engineering support to deliver in situ observation in polar regions.
  • Maintain, prepare, pack and arrange delivery of equipment for deployment. Service equipment and liaise with suppliers as necessary to arrange external servicing/repairs.
  • Lead the procurement of new vehicles as resources permit.
  • Support equipment on ship and on research stations.
  • To develop scientific systems.
  • Working with and supporting engineering colleagues and scientists, delivering projects and tasks in a professional manner.
  • Assist with the development of new technology and work with engineering departments to design and manufacture new equipment.
  • Management of the preparation of documentation including reports, method statements and inter-departmental procedures. It is essential that the individual appointed to the job is able to undertake a wide range of tasks and duties.
  • Other duties as appropriate.

Interviews are scheduled to be held on Zoom on: 2 December 2021

At BAS, our vision is to be a world-leading centre for polar science and operations. Making our vision a reality depends on the excellence and diversity of our staff. We are committed to creating a workplace where all our staff can flourish and succeed. BAS is a Disability Confident employer, we are proud to hold a bronze Athena Swan award and we are a member of enei, the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion.

We appreciate the importance of achieving work-life balance and support this with a number of family and carer-friendly policies. Plus a flexible working policy for those who may wish to amend their working pattern or arrangement.

posted: 28 October 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.