• On hold
  • Closing date: 30 December 2020


The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. To do so, we need to design, develop, and deploy offshore cleanup systems that extract plastic from our oceans and close the tap on rivers. For the latter, we have developed a technology that stops plastic flowing from rivers into the ocean; these systems are called, Interceptors. Working together with government leaders, individuals, and private corporations, our goal is to tackle the 1000 most polluting rivers all over the world, in five years from rollout.

As Motion Control & Data Engineer, you will be responsible for the development of motion control and data development within the Rivers Engineering team. You will report to the Head of Engineering.

"The Ocean Cleanup is a technology-driven project, aiming to clean the world’s oceans from plastics by developing innovative technology. We are looking for a person who has a positive mindset, has a get-things-done mentality, and is able to guide us in our decisions in motion control and data. Join our Rivers Engineering team to generate those smart ideas and get the oceans clean as quickly as possible!” Arjan Verschoor, Head of Engineering


In this role, you will have to understand the functions, hardware, and software of the river plastic extraction systems (e.g. Interceptors), and have the ability to explain, give guidance, and manage third party suppliers and partners. Your other responsibilities will include:

  • Management of motion, control, and data architecture in our new developments
  • Setting up projects to improve the architecture of the systems' data and support the intelligence we will create out of the gathered data
  • Supporting ways to measure the efficiency of our technology
  • Establishing projects to measure Interceptor efficacy
  • Supporting the project team with the concept and development of new river systems
  • Helping to facilitate improvements to currently operating Interceptors and river monitoring systems
  • Managing third parties to outsource the design and production of the motion control, and data solutions
  • Running projects such as: setting up a test system with the PLC to run tests and software updates; motion control hardware/software architecture of new systems; control of livestreaming of the Interceptors; creation of survey apps; operator reporting tools


  • Master's degree in engineering, preferably electrical, mechanical, or mechatronics engineering (or comparable working experience in combination with another engineering master's degree)
  • At least three years of relevant work experience in technology development and/or a research role, preferably in an innovative environment
  • Ability to quickly build an understanding of complicated technical subjects where knowledge is limited (both internally and externally)
  • Ability to clearly present and explain solutions to a wide variety of stakeholders
  • Has the capacity to pay attention to detail, while keeping the broader picture in mind
  • Fluent in English


  • Able to quickly get to the essence of a technical challenge, and investigate the most relevant/important aspects to help direct towards a solution
  • Performs well in a fast-paced and challenging environment
  • Curious, creative, and determined to deliver
  • Flexible team player
  • Strong communication skills
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal 
  • Willingness to travel abroad

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. 

Starting from:
Work permit needed:
European Union

The job opening is currently on hold, as we might have redundancies with internal or external resources, but you may still apply to the position.