Job Alerts Back to career search

Marine Engineer, RV Sharp*

Apply now Job no: 499464
College / VP Area: College of Earth & Ocean Envir
Work type: Staff
Location: Lewes
Categories: Research & Laboratory, Full Time



The HUGH R SHARP (SHARP) is a University owned advanced technology floating laboratory which supports oceanographic research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Office of Naval Research (ONR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and academic intuitions throughout the U.S. The University of Delaware is a member of the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) and is one of the few institutions nationwide that operates a regional class research vessel.

Safe and efficient operation and maintenance of the ship is essential for the safety of personnel, accomplishment of research goals, and generation of revenue to cover the $2+m annual operating budget for the vessel. Under limited direction of the Chief Engineer, the Marine Engineer is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Mariner responsible for ensuring assigned engineering related systems aboard the ship are operating properly and performing routine and emergency repairs to keep the ship on mission projects. The Marine Engineer also operates deck equipment to deploy and recover research equipment over the side of the ship.

The Marine Engineer sails as relief Chief Engineer when the Chief Engineer is ashore. The Marine Engineer will generally sail up to 2/3 of the ship's maximum sailing schedule (up to 140 days per year) as well as fulfilling responsibilities ashore. They will generally sail up to half the sailing schedule as relief Chief Engineer, the remainder as Marine Engineer.

As relief Chief Engineer, takes on the lead responsibility of operating, diagnosing issues, and repairing the ship's numerous engineering systems while at sea where safety and minimal system downtown are paramount to mission success.

Oceanographic operations are inherently risky with the use of winches, cranes, and the deployment of high-value (up to $1m+) equipment into the dynamic ocean environment. The SHARP has complex navigation, propulsion, and power systems to perform precision mission support work at sea. The ship operates 24/7 when at sea and carries up to 22 personnel. Science missions are several days to over two weeks at a time, typically up to 180 days at sea per year. The Marine Engineer's decision making when repairing and operating equipment directly and immediately affects the safety of life, equipment, and the ship itself.

Decisions and work accomplishment required by the Marine Engineer must be based on a complete understanding of all of the ship's major machinery and auxiliary systems; including power management and monitoring, computer based alarm monitoring systems, hydraulic power units, oceanographic winches, windlasses, electrical propulsion, generators, HVAC systems, refrigeration bilge, fire main, fuel transfer, potable and saltwater systems, reverse osmosis water makers, marine sanitation systems, sewage, pneumatic, and tankage.

Ashore, work encompasses performing preventative maintenance and repairs, inventory management, and preparing the ship for the next cruise.


  • Assume the responsibilities of Chief Engineer at sea when the Chief Engineer is not aboard. Responsible for the condition and safe operation of the engineering, machinery, and major deck equipment onboard the vessel.
  • Stand engineering watch while underway (six hours on/six hours off), either as Chief Engineer or Marine Engineer; operate and monitor major engine room machinery, equipment, and auxiliary systems; make periodic rounds of the machinery spaces and ship. Maintain log/record books to document rounds, maintenance, and pass down information. Assist the Navigation watch as vessel look out as needed.
  • Maintain awareness of the condition of all ship's engineering systems and tank levels. Advise the Captain of issues that may impact the safety or operational capability of the vessel.
  • Perform routine maintenance, diagnose problems, and complete 'field-serviceable' repairs in diesel engines, and electrical, hydraulic, piping, and mechanical systems while at sea.
  • Oversee or assist with fueling of the ship. Schedule fueling in coordination with the ship's Captain and Chief Engineer.
  • Operate the ship's small boat and deck equipment including cranes, winches, frames, and windlasses at sea and alongside. Responsible for following protocols to keep equipment and nearby personnel safe.
  • Assist with fabrication and repair of shipboard or science related equipment.
  •  In coordination with the Mate on Watch and the Chief Scientist, deploy and recover high value, complex scientific systems at sea using ship's deck equipment. Ensure embarked science personnel assist in a safe manner.
  • Serve on Emergency Response teams (fire, flooding, medical, lifeboat, man overboard) and participate in drills and training. Maintain appropriate firefighting and medical certifications. Can be called out at any time at sea to assist with an emergency or urgent repair.
  • Perform assigned maintenance and repairs to the ship's propulsion, power generation, deck equipment, and other systems while ashore and during shipyard periods. Assist with the overhaul and repair of complex engineering systems (i.e., azimuth drives, power management systems, hydraulic cranes/frames, and ship hotel services systems) under direction of the Chief Engineer.
  • Assist with mobilization and demobilization of scientific cruises while alongside.
  • Procure pre-approved repair parts and engineering supplies. Adhere to University purchase card policies and procedures.
  • Is generally available for communications through phone and email while off the ship.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.


  • Must hold a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential with a 'Designated Duty Engineer (500 tons/4000 HP)' endorsement or higher. At a minimum must have the eligible sea service and STCW requirements at time of hire and obtain the endorsement within twelve months of hire.
  • Bachelor's degree and three years' experience as an Engineer on diesel / diesel-electric vessels of more than 500 and less than 3000 horsepower, or an equivalent combination of experience, training, U.S. Coast Guard certification, and education.
  • Strong trouble-shooting and diagnostic skills for the repair of equipment as well as strong mechanical aptitude.
  • Working knowledge of automated engineering monitoring systems, Programmable Logic Controls (PLC), and the use of computer diagnostic tools.
  • Experience with maintenance and repair of typical ship's systems, including propulsion, diesel engines, electrical, hydraulics, HVAC, pneumatic, piping/pumps, sanitary, and potable water; diesel-electric experience preferred.
  • Experience with deployment and recovery of equipment at sea, such as oceanographic, fishing, supply, or towing vessel operations.
  • Must maintain other required certifications and training for the vessel's size and class including but not limited to STCW, PIC Tankerman, Marine Fire Fighting, First Aid & CPR, and a Transportation Workers Identification Card (TWIC).
  • Formal technical training in diesel engines, DC propulsion drives, electric generating plants, and/or hydraulic systems preferred.
  • Experience with DC motor driven Z-drive or azipod drive propulsion systems with Dynamic Positioning preferred.

OCCUPATIONAL/ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURES: The physical environment requires the employee to work exposed to all conditions found aboard a ship at sea. This includes heavy weather, extreme heat/cold, and all forms of precipitation. Occasionally required to use personal protective equipment to prevent exposure to hazardous materials (paint, solvents, etc.) and other risks during maintenance.


  • Must be able to perform normal duties aboard ship such as: climbing and descending ladders, handling mooring lines, opening, and closing watertight doors, wearing an emergency breathing apparatus, reaching, handling, grasping, and lifting lifesaving and firefighting equipment, handling moderate loads (at least 40 pounds).
  • Must meet the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) physical requirements for merchant seaman as outlined in 46 CFR and given on USCG Form CG-719K.
  • Must be able to spend extended periods away from homeport including sailing as much as 140 days (2/3 of the ship's maximum sailing schedule) and be at sea for up to three weeks at a time depending on operational demands.
  • Must be willing to work weekends and holidays at sea and in port as operations require.
  • Must have excellent decision making and interpersonal skills to interact appropriately with scientific users, direct crew, and communicate plans, risks, and operational limitations to users while maintaining a customer service and mission accomplishment environment.
  • Must be willing to be enrolled in a Department of Transportation (DOT) random drug-testing program and pass a pre-employment drug screening.
  • Must have a valid, state issued driver's license to operate ship's vehicles for crew transfers and conducting ship's business.
  • Requires the use of personal protective equipment to prevent exposure to safety hazards/hazardous materials.
  • Demonstrates an understanding and consideration of the differing needs and concerns of individuals with varying identities, cultures, and backgrounds.
  • Committed to fostering a workplace culture of belonging, where diversity is celebrated, and equity is a core value.

Notice of Non-Discrimination, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
The University of Delaware does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital status, disability, religion, age, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in its employment, educational programs and activities, admissions policies, and scholarship and loan programs as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies. The University of Delaware also prohibits unlawful harassment including sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Applications close:

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend