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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 Marine Operations Supervisor / Ocean Engineer
Makai is seeking a qualified candidate for an ocean engineering and marine operations supervisor role within our Marine Services group. The position will be based at Makai’s office located in Ventura, California and involve on a wide variety of exciting and multi-disciplinary projects.

The Marine Services group is largely underpinned by the NAVFAC EXWC OMAC-3 contract, providing services to the U.S. Government that includes at-sea testing, marine construction, submarine cable installations, prototype systems development and specialty materials procurement. Primary responsibilities for this position will include technical support and fundamental engineering analysis, marine operations including project planning and oversight of vessel and equipment mobilization, technical oversight of at-sea work including systems testing and marine installations, and support for project management.

The ideal candidate will be a Bachelor level (or higher) engineer, have a keen interest in at-sea work with previous sea-going experience, and will have strong communication and problem-solving skills. Makai plans to fill the position with the intention for the qualified applicant to transition into a project management role within the group; with eventual responsibility for primary client communications, proposal and bid preparations, and project management. Hires will work directly with, and be mentored by, two of the group’s Senior Engineers who have a combined 50 years ocean engineering experience.

Some travel outside California will be included, including at-sea and aboard vessels. This is a permanent, full-time position available immediately in Ventura, California.

Minimum Applicant Requirements:

  • Undergraduate (bachelor) degree in a mechanical, aerospace, chemical, civil or related field of engineering.
  • Possession of U.S. citizenship, and a willingness and ability to obtain Department of Defense Security Clearance.
  • Prior work experience of at least 5 years.
  • Previous sea-going experience including either (1) 5 years or more of non-professional maritime experience or exposure, or (2) 2-years or more of professional maritime experience. Applicants must be willing to perform field or at-sea work for extended periods of time (typically for 1-2weeks and occasionally for 1-2 months).
  • Prior experience and an interest working with Microsoft Excel, Word, and Project Management software.
  • Applicant resumes should include education history with their GPA listed, previous work history, and at least three references. References will not be contacted prior to applicant’s consent.

Additional Desirable Applicant Qualifications:

  • Strong ability to organize, communicate and present information to Clients and team members.
  • Professional Engineering (P.E.) license in a related field.
  • Persons with clearances that are active or were previously held and currently in good standing are preferred.
  • Marine construction and/or subsea cable installation experience.
  • Applicants with higher-level graduate degrees, including Masters in Science or Masters in Business, are also encouraged to apply.

Candidates with many of the above qualifications will be most highly considered. Candidates without professional maritime experience, but with qualified engineering backgrounds and strong interest and/or related marine experience, are also strongly encouraged to apply.

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 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.