• Open
  • Closing date: 04 December 2022


The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop and scale technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. Our Rivers team focuses on intercepting plastic in rivers to prevent it ever reaching the oceans. To do this, we need to design, develop, and deploy river cleanup systems. You will be responsible for the concept development and related research within the R&D Team to build knowledge and deliver high-quality concept designs for new river cleaning systems or for improvements to existing systems.

The R&D Engineer is part of the Integrated River Solutions team, consisting of project and test engineers, data monitoring engineers, and operations managers. In future this role is expected to develop into an R&D team of engineers and third parties. A key aspect of this position will involve working closely within our Integrated River Solutions team to test and analyze concept ideas. 

You will succeed by delivering innovative concept designs after developing the required knowledge within a short period of time. 

"Each river is unique and therefore each river has its own technical challenges when implementing solutions. Developing technology-driven solutions, that can be adjusted to local circumstances, is the main challenge. We are looking for a person who can build knowledge to improve our technology in a quick and clever way. Someone with a broad view on design and engineering, an interest in new ideas, energized by our mission with a perfect fit in our team.” Onno van de Sande, Integrated River Solutions Director  


  • Responsible for knowledge building and delivering high-quality concept designs for new river cleaning systems and for improvements to existing systems. 
  • Performing high-level calculations and simulations to understand basic principles of concept designs and to quickly assess ideas before handing them over to engineering 
  • Perform optimization studies to discover the best-performing system design: bring a concept design from the early concept phase to maturity, meeting performance criteria and scale-up requirements 
  • Manage and execute the conception process from ideation to completion of basic engineering 
  • Ensuring tight and smooth cooperation between R&D, engineering, operations and other stakeholders  
  • Preparing and monitoring work scopes for testing and assessment of concept designs and answering research questions. Work scopes include (hydrodynamic) analyses, lab tests, and field tests (in a broad sense) 
  • Keeping a record of developing knowledge within our project while defining knowledge gaps. Prioritizing and providing scopes to the engineering team or third parties to fill those knowledge gaps 
  • Feeding newly developed knowledge back into the concept development 


  • Master's degree in marine/offshore/civil engineering (or comparable working experience in combination with another engineering master's degree) 
  • 5-10 years working experience including at least three years of relevant work experience in technology development and/or a research role within the maritime/offshore sector, preferably in an innovative environment 
  • Experienced with hydrodynamics and offshore/marine operations 
  • Ability to clearly present and explain results of complex research to engineers and other non-technical stakeholders 
  • Ability to quickly build an understanding of complicated technical subjects where knowledge is limited (both internally and externally) 
  • Hands-on, practical approach to innovation, keeping the use of the product in mind throughout the design process 
  • Pays 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 and 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 
  • Fluent in English 
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal

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.

Starting from:
Work permit needed:
European Union