Optical instrumentation engineer in oceanography

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Sorbonne University (French : Sorbonne Université) is a multi-disciplinary research university established by the merger in 2018 of Paris-Sorbonne University and Pierre et Marie Curie University.

It employs 6,700 professors, research professor and researchers and 4,900 library, administrative, technical, social and health staff. Its budget is 675 M€.

Sorbonne University is headquartered in the heart of Paris, and extends its presence to more than twenty sites in the Île-de-France region. The three faculties of humanities, science & engineering and medicine have a wide-ranging autonomy in implementing the university's strategy based on a contract on “shared objectives and means”. University governance is primarily dedicated to promoting the university's strategy, steering, developing partnerships and diversifying resources.

The Faculty of Science and Engineering is composed of 79 research laboratories, 22 departments and 6 education and research units in chemistry, engineering, mathematics, physics, biology, earth environment and biodiversity. It also includes the École polytechnique universitaire, the Institut d'astrophysique de Paris and the Institut Henri Poincaré as well as 4 observatories of the sciences of the universe (Roscoff, Banyuls et Villefranche-sur-Mer, ECCE-TERRA).

It has about 21,000 students, including 2,700 doctoral students, and 3,252 staff members - professors, professor-researchers, researchers and administrative and technical staff.

Introduction to the host laboratory :

The Institut de la Mer de Villefranche (IMEV - ex-Observatoire Océanologique de Villefranche-sur-Mer) belongs to Sorbonne University. Its missions include research, dissemination of knowledge, academic training and ocean observation. The research themes carried out cover biological, chemical and physical oceanography, as well as cell and developmental biology.

The selected applicant will be part of the marine optics group of LOV (http://omtab.obs-vlfr.fr)

Location :     
Sorbonne Université
Port de la Darse - 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer


Position : Optical instrumentation engineer in oceanography
Categorie : A
Corps : Ingénieur d’études (IGE)
BAP : C – Sciences de l’Ingénieur et instrumentation scientifique
Job-type : C2B44 - Optical instrument operating engineer

The instrumentation engineer is responsible for implementing, operating and maintaining a fleet of bio-optical instruments deployed on a mooring as part of the BOUSSOLE observation program (http://www.obs-vlfr.fr/Boussole/). He/she applies quality assurance and quality control protocols and helps to develop and improve them. The position requires on-site sampling during oceanographic cruises.

Primary tasks :

  • Participate in oceanographic cruises.
  • Organize and monitor the technical, documentary and financial management of the equipment.
  • Organize and manage the planning of equipment usage and maintenance.
  • Organize and coordinate the turnover of the equipment.
  • Organize and coordinate equipment for divers’ interventions.
  • Carry out functional tests, benchmarking, calibration and inter-calibration of the instrumentation.
  • Process, validate and make the mooring data accessible.
  • Provide technical support to users of this data.
  • Write equipment deployment reports in English.
  • Write technical reports (protocols, data processing, results)
  • Provide technical advice on the conduct of experiments.
  • Manage relations with international instrument suppliers.
  • Ensure a technological watch.
  • Apply and enforce health and safety rules in laboratories and on board oceanographic vessels.

Project management : No
Supervision : No


Required skills :

  • Knowledge of oceanographic instrumentation, and particularly bio-optical and in-water radiometry instrumentation, and their deployment techniques. Main instruments: radiometers, transmissiometers, spectrophotometers, backscattering meters, fluorometers, CTDs.
  • General knowledge of marine optics and physical and biological oceanography.
  • Knowledge of sampling and processing techniques for bio-optical parameters.
  • Written and oral presentation techniques.
  • English language comprehension and written and oral expression: level B2.
  • Proficiency in spoken and written French appreciated.


  • Ability to work at sea and in the laboratory.
  • Handling of oceanographic and particularly bio-optical instrumentation.
  • Ability to identify faults and perform minor repairs on instrumentation.
  • Ability to produce mechanical parts in the lab workshop.
  • Oceanographic sampling.
  • Use of operating systems (Windows, Linux).
  • Use of oceanographic data acquisition software.
  • Use of office software (Office type).
  • Knowledge transfer.
  • Programming capacity for data processing (e.g. : R, Matlab, Fortran)


  • Decision-making capacity.
  • Accuracy and analytical skills.
  • Organization and social skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.

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