Job Opportunities at Makai
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Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc. was established in 1973 as a diversified ocean engineering and naval architecture company providing service primarily in Hawaii and the Pacific. In Makai’s early years, we took a technical lead in a number of innovative projects that helped develop a unique set of skills and expertise. Deep water pipeline design for energy applications, marine vehicles and deep water cable installation software development were some of those projects.

Today Makai’s services have greatly expanded, and we are more global in nature. Our clients are found throughout the world. Makai has developed a broad spectrum of engineering expertise and provides services in research and development, design, construction engineering support, construction management, testing, and systems analysis, cable lay planning, analysis and support and other diverse operations in the marine field. Makai takes pride in providing innovative award winning design solutions to complex ocean engineering challenges. Our personnel have extensive engineering, software development and technical backgrounds and are experienced in working on new and unique projects and in the preparation of comprehensive design documentation, specifications, cost estimates, engineering reports and presentations.

Makai has developed a unique and powerful culture where creativity, intelligence, hard work, and independence are celebrated. These values are tempered with respect, humility, flexibility, and an open, cooperative demeanor. Our engineers truly love working here and they feel as though they are part of a carefully selected team of only the very best engineers.

Makai has about 30 employees, with 25 engineers who hold advanced degrees and experience in mechanical or civil engineering, computer science, physical oceanography, physics, and chemistry. We are seeking engineers who want to be the best at what they do. At Makai you’ll have the opportunity to make significant contributions that advance the state-of-the-art of your profession.

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We are looking for outstanding people for the following positions:

Recent Ocean / Aerospace / Mechanical Engineer
Makai’s design group is interested in receiving resumes from talented graduate Ocean or Mechanical engineers to fill an available position. The position is in Makai’s design group which has project responsibilities in design of innovative subsea systems including unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) design and development, tow bodies, Seawater Air Conditioning (SWAC) systems, deep seawater pipelines, and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plant components. Within the group, design responsibilities will be varied and the mechanical design engineer may have responsibilities on multiple projects simultaneously. The ideal candidate will be a trained ocean, mechanical or aerospace engineer with strong problem solving and analytical skills and skills in computer modeling (FEA, CFD) of physical systems.
Some limited travel outside Hawaii and aboard contractor vessels may be included. This is a permanent, full-time position in beautiful Waimanalo, Hawaii.


  • Possession of U.S. citizenship is required.
  • Willingness and ability to obtain a Department of Defense Security Clearance is required; persons with clearances that are active or were previously held and currently in good standing are preferred.
  • Possession of one or more graduate degrees (M.S. or Ph.D.) in ocean, mechanical, aerospace or related engineering or applied physics field is required. High GPA strongly preferred.
  • Ability to think logically and communicate and present ideas clearly and concisely verbally and in writing, including for technical reports.
  • Strong computer programming skills are a big plus. Knowledge of the following software is desirable: MATLAB, SolidWorks, ANSYS, Orcaflex, and CFD packages.
  • High level of technical curiosity to enable unique solutions to design challenges.
  • Ability & interest to learn & apply new technologies to support innovative designs.
  • Previous experience that has provided exposure to engineering design, and technical/project management (2 years or more).
  • Demonstrated record of being self-motivated and working with minimal supervision.
  • Keen interest in and demonstrated experience developing and applying numerical models to understand, predict and control behavior of complex mechanical systems is a big plus.
  • Ability to write and edit technical reports and test results in clear, concise language.
  • Experience in related fields such as electrical engineering, signal processing, optics, autonomous control or machine learning is a plus but not required.
  • High degree of intellectual curiosity, willingness to learn new technical skills and flexibility to support innovative projects that may be initially “out of your comfort zone”
  • Practical experience working in engineering, construction and/or at-sea is a plus

Candidates with many of the above qualifications will be most highly considered.

High priority will be given to candidates who are local to Hawaii or have strong connections to the islands.

Makai provides engineers and scientists with interesting and challenging projects, a competitive salary, full health and dental coverage, company matching retirement plans, excellent comp time and vacation policies, a dynamic and innovative company culture, and a beautiful and unique work atmosphere.

Makai participates in the Department of Homeland Security “E-Verify” Employment Eligibility Verification system for all new employees. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.

To apply for this position, please email the following two documents to Hermann Kugeler at

  1. Comprehensive Resume including your overall GPA in graduate and undergraduate studies, year(s) of graduation, current location, and U.S. citizenship / green card status.
  2. Cover Letter highlighting how your education, experience and training relevant to this position and why you want to work for Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc.
Makai Research PierMakai is a great place to work.


Makai Research PierOur office is on Makai Pier in gorgeous Waimanalo, Hawaii,  featured in National Geographic Magazine.


Makai Research PierOverhead view of Makai Pier from the cliffs of Makapuu.


Makai Research PierSunrise of Makapuu Point as seen from Makai’s offices.