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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.

We are looking for outstanding people for the following positions:

Recent  Internship Position Available for Two UH Manoa Engineering Students

Makai is seeking talented undergraduate or graduate ocean, mechanical, or electrical engineering students at U. Hawaii at Manoa to fill two internship positions.

This is a part-time paid internship, working 20 hrs per week during the academic spring semester 2018, continuing into a full-time paid internship, working 40 hours per week during summer 2018 at Makai’s office in Waimanalo, Hawaii and a test location, most likely on Sand Island, Honolulu, Hawaii.

The position is in Makai’s Subsea Technology group which works on the design and testing of autonomous underwater vehicles, numerical modeling, and Seawater Air Conditioning (SWAC) and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) systems. Within the group, design responsibilities will be varied and the engineer may have responsibilities on multiple projects simultaneously.

The ideal candidate will be a trained ocean, mechanical or electrical engineer with strong analytical skills. Qualifications we value in candidate engineering interns include:

  • Hands-on skills and knowledge of construction/machine shop practices is required.
  • Competence with SolidWorks & Matlab or similar design/analysis software is desired.
  • Use of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software such as ANSYS is a plus.
  • Ability to think logically and express oneself in verbal and written communication.
  • Solid academic background with a high grade point average.
  • High level of technical curiosity & ability to learn, and apply, new technologies.
  • Experience with engineering design and project management is a plus.
  • Ability to work independently or with minimal supervision.
  • Makai’s work is ocean-related, so ocean experience (esp. SCUBA) is always a plus.
  • Strong preference will be given to U.S. citizens.

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 the Ocean/Mechanical Engineer position at Makai, submit the following via email to resume (including GPA), and cover letter highlighting how your education and experience meet our needs and why you want to work at Makai.

Recent  Position Available for SolidWorks Mechanical Drafter

Makai’s design group is interested in receiving resumes from talented, experienced drafters/designers proficient in using SolidWorks. The contract position is in Makai’s design group which has projects developing subsea and offshore technologies.

Applicant must be a US Citizen and able to pass a background check.

High priority will be given to candidates who are local to Hawaii or have strong ties to the islands. You will be working on a contract basis and can work from home. There may be times when you might be asked to participate in design meetings.

Office Location: Waimanalo, HI 96795
Drafter Base: $25.00-$45.00/hr (compensation will be commensurate with skill and experience)
Designer Base: $45.00 to $55.00/hr (compensation will be commensurate with skill and experience)
Type of hire: Contract – ongoing on an as-needed basis

Position Summary:

  • Create mechanical drawings based on given specifications and calculations.
  • Work with a team that engineers, manufactures, and assembles undersea autonomous vehicles.
  • Responsible for drafting of sub-systems and components from initial concept through to production release.
  • Work in a fast-paced environment while maintaining ISO9001:2008 quality control standards.

Job Requirements:

  • Experienced SolidWorks modeler and drafter with minimum 4000 hours experience.
  • Strong background in GD&T per ANSI/ASME Y14.5 drafting standards.
  • Should possess knowledge and skills in mechanical design and modern machining processes.
  • Should be able to understand and troubleshoot mechanical fabrication drawings.
  • Able to create accurate 3D cad models from cut sheets and existing equipment/hardware.
  • Must be motivated, have good communication skills, and work with minimal guidance.
  • Experience with marine and ocean-related design is a plus.
  • Design position requires additional experience and ability to originate 3D cad models based on preliminary concept designs or verbal descriptions provided by engineers.

Makai is involved in interesting and challenging ocean engineering projects and we are located in a beautiful and unique work location. Projects include design of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC) and deep sea pipelines, and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) systems.

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

  1. Comprehensive Resume including your overall GPA in graduate and undergraduate studies, year(s) of graduation, current location, country of citizenship.
  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.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.

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.