The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop and scale technology to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. Data is critical to achieving our objectives: we acquire data that helps us better understand the plastic pollution problem and the impact that our actions have to maximize our performance and minimize negative environmental impact.

''As a Data Engineer, you directly contribute to our mission; the data is used to increase the performance of our operations, environmental mitigations, and overall decision-making.'' Maarten van Berkel - Head of Data & IT 

As a Lead Data Engineer, you are part of an enabling team (Data & IT). You will participate and lead the team that maintains and evolves the Data Acquisition platform, supporting the Data Scientists in achieving their objectives. The role reports to the Head of Data & IT and is based in our Rotterdam office.

The Data Engineering team serves our Data Scientists and decision-makers by managing the platform and applications to acquire, process, consolidate, and visualize data. The Data Acquisition Platform consists of a few dozen single-purpose applications that are deployed onto an Azure Kubernetes Service cluster. The Data Engineers also support several Machine Learning pipelines (e.g., for detecting plastics in photos). Data from various sources (e.g., operational, financial, and CRM systems) is made available for reporting using a Data Warehouse using Data Bricks). CI/CD (bitbucket) is in place for most applications as well as monitoring (Prometheus) and exception notification (Sentry).

Your responsibilities will include : 
  • Leading a lean team of data engineers while performing a hands-on role
  • Supporting vital data gathering for the Rivers and Oceans Teams, as well as taking ownership of the raw data
  • Ensuring that financial data and operational data are centrally available to enable insights into operations
  • Manage the development and maintenance of a custom platform for chain of custody
  • Own the Data Engineering roadmap and architecture in alignment with stakeholders
  • Work with product owners to scope and prioritize the backlog
  • Evolve our data landscape and maintain a reliable production environment
  • Collaborating with IT support to resolve issues onshore and offshore
  • Support several Data Science teams by taking care of data ingestion, providing a data platform and technical support
  • Managing our cloud platform, considering security and cost
  • Project Management tasks, collaborating with external and internal stakeholders (such as data scientists from Ocean, Rivers, and Research and other enabling functions such as Supply Chain)
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in Software Development 
  • Minimum 3 years of being involved in maintaining a production environment
  • Experience with taking the lead role in a team
  • You are familiar with Agile methodologies
  • Technical skills - must-haves: 
    • Proficient in Python
    • SQL, relational databases (PostgreSQL is a pre)
    • Kubernetes
    • Networking
    • Cloud-first architectures (we use Azure)
    • Event-based infrastructure
    • Version control and CI/CD (we use git + Bitbucket pipelines)
  • Technical skills - nice to haves: 
    • Experience with IoT / edge computing
    • Experience with BI and/or data visualization tools
    • Experience with MLOps
    • Experience with tools like Sentry, Prometheus, Grafana, ELK
    • Experience with Spark, Databricks, and/or DBT
  • You are able to prioritize, taking into account value, impact, and cost
  • “Right tool for the job” know-how: you know how to create a solution and choose the best applicable technology
  • Pragmatic team player, committed to deliver tangible results
  • You thrive in a fast-paced, international environment. 
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Starting date: As soon as possible
  • Work permit: A valid European Union work permit is highly preferred for this position (The role is based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Please note because we are a non-profit, our salaries reflect that of an organization fully reliant on donations rather than that of a commercial entity. Conducting a pre-employment check is part of our recruitment process.
  • Curious to hear how it is to work at The Ocean Cleanup? Listen to our team members explain their work in our podcast.