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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Director, Imaging Technology

Explore Company PosterThe Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) seeks to recruit a Director of Imaging Technology based in Woods Hole, MA.

About Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution:

The Mission of WHOI is the following: “WHOI is dedicated to research and education to advance understanding of the ocean and its interaction with the earth system, and to communicating this understanding for the benefit of society.”

Discovery and fundamental science at WHOI stem from a deep, broad tradition of world-class ocean scientists working closely with world-class ocean engineers and technicians. WHOI’s extraordinary blend of observation, theory, and access to the sea has produced entire chapters of oceanographic knowledge and remains a sustaining business and intellectual model for the Institution. Vision 2030 applies WHOI’s distinctive capabilities to advance ocean science for the global good at a pace commensurate with the urgency of challenges ahead. Providing transformative freedom and opportunity for staff to advance basic research, WHOI accelerates innovation, engages the world, and is committed to making WHOI and ocean science a diverse and welcoming place for all.

Vision 2030 plan is guided by core values that frame how WHOI view themselves, how they look at the world, and how they engage with the scientific community, policymakers, funders, industry, and the public. Among these are:

  • A passion for innovation and discovery.

  • The capacity to take on challenges of extraordinary scale and complexity.

  • An enduring commitment to rigorous, independent, and trusted science.

  • Distinctive capabilities in ocean science and engineering, exploration, education, and marine operations; and

  • A close-knit community of distinguished, committed, and entrepreneurial staff.

Vision 2030 envisions a decade of institutional investment in Excellence, Innovation, and Global Engagement to vigorously pursue transformative knowledge when the global need is most acute. These activities translate to greater research freedom, opportunity, and impact. Institutionally, WHOI can expand its influence and reach with strategic collaborations to drive greater engagement and relevance.

About the Position:

WHOI has received a grant to support this position, which will report directly to WHOI’s Deputy Director and Vice President for Science and Engineering. The primary role of the Director of Imaging Technology is to build on WHOI’s existing capabilities and develop new opportunities for leadership in advanced underwater imaging. While WHOI researchers presently develop and deploy a wide variety of innovative imaging technology, their imaging expertise is dispersed across departments throughout the Institution. The Director of Imaging Technology will bring together, support, and coordinate among these hubs of imaging expertise—and individual scientists, researchers, and technical staff - to drive collaboration, increase efficiencies, accelerate technological innovation, and advance WHOI science, discovery, and ocean exploration.

WHOI is committed to ensuring that the institution is at the forefront of undersea imaging technology and the long-term success of the individual who occupies this important leadership role. This position is expected to collaborate and develop new avenues of sponsored development by working with WHOI researchers to provide imaging technology solutions for grant-funded research, and/or for outside clients including government agencies, peer institutions, and private-sector ocean exploration and media companies. In addition to working closely with WHOI’s scientific, engineering, and technical staff, the Director of Imaging Technology will be responsive to the imaging needs of WHOI Advancement (Communications and Development Departments), collecting, curating, and providing high-quality visual assets (video and still imagery) to support Institutional outreach and communications efforts.

The new Director of Imaging Technology is a dynamic leader with a positive, collegial mindset who can build teams, drawing on internal and external expertise. This person should possess excellent interpersonal communication skills and high emotional intelligence, as well as broad expertise in diverse imaging technologies, data science, data management, and archiving.

The broad goals and responsibilities for the Director are as follows:


  • Develop, implement, and update a strategic plan and research agenda for the Imaging Technology Program.

  • Leverage understanding of current and future state-of-the-art, emerging, and innovative imaging technologies and their potential application to oceanography.

  • Cultivate strong, positive working relationships with WHOI leadership, scientists, engineers, technical staff, and development and communications professionals across the Institution.

  • Work collaboratively with WHOI Advancement (Communications and Development) to provide high quality imagery (video, stills) for earned media, donor cultivation, and public-facing content and events.

  • Collaborate with WHOI Communications to provide data management and archiving solutions that enable timely access WHOI image assets for public/donor engagement.

  • Develop new revenue streams by working with WHOI researchers to provide imaging technology solutions for grant-funded research, and/or for outside clients including government agencies, peer institutions, and private-sector ocean exploration and media companies.

  • Through research endeavors and the preparation of research results and reports, patentable inventions, important research techniques, and/or engineering designs significantly impact the ways various aspects of ocean science are studied.


  • Advance WHOI’s mission and vision, as described in Vision2030.

  • Work collaboratively with WHOI scientists, engineers, and technical staff to create, develop, design, construct, and advance imaging solutions for use in the field and laboratory.

  • Apply and maintain broad knowledge of a variety of technologies applicable to imaging such as software, hardware, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cameras, lighting, among others.

  • Provide engineering and system integration capabilities to scientists, engineers, and operations that drive successful new imaging solutions.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes:

The Director should ideally possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Professional Qualifications:

  •  Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering; a master’s degree or Ph.D. preferred.

  • Demonstrated leadership and  experience with Image Sensors and Image Signal Processing. Ability to demonstrate a strong portfolio of domain specific experience and independent research & proposal success.

  • Demonstrated ability to develop innovative architecture and algorithm designs.

  • Record of leadership in scientific and/or engineering research.

  • Experience in managing an academic R&D organization. Ability to inspire and organize independent scientists and engineers.

  • Proven track record in developing partnerships with industry  and government.

Personal Attributes:

  • Passionate commitment to the values and mission of WHOI.

  • Ability to lead, inspire, and work with others in a collaborative and collegial manner reflecting high emotional intelligence.

  • A team builder and an individual committed to collaboration, and volunteerism.

  • A superb professional and personal presence.

  • Ability to think strategically, tactically, and creatively.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

  • Visionary, articulate, and diplomatic.

Special Requirements:

  • Ability & willing to obtain a U.S. Government security clearance is desirable.

  • Willingness to participate in cruises as appropriate for the position.

  • WHOI has a COVID-19 vaccination policy in effect for anyone planning to participate in a cruise. Prior to boarding, all individuals sailing on WHOI vessels must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including applicable booster shots.


Compensation for the Director includes a base salary and a compelling package of health and employee benefits.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter responding specifically to the experience and qualifications required to: Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company at resumes@explorecompany.com.  Refer to WHOI/DIT in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer/Disabled Veterans/M/F. They seek a diverse pool of candidates. They value differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make employees unique.

All correspondence will remain confidential.


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