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Monterey Bay Aquarium

Senior Exhibit Engineer

At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that celebrates and values diversity. We firmly believe that having a team of diverse backgrounds and voices, working together, increases our capacity to serve our visitors and fulfill our mission.  We welcome people from all walks of life into our team and strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and people with disabilities to apply.


Job Summary: 

With limited oversight, guide the creation and delivery of high-quality prototypes, mechanical and electro-mechanical solutions, and fabrication of interactive exhibits across several projects. Collaborate with project management, content, design, interpretive media, and production staff to create innovative exhibit solutions that meet the goals and constraints of each project, while also contributing to the maintenance and improvement of existing exhibits, design practices, and documentation standards. Engineering Lead is a mix of engineering problem-solving, design work, project management, and exhibit fabrication, and the ratio varies by project and project phase. At times, this role will directly manage other project staff and/or have direct reports. Performs other duties as required.

The mission of Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans.  All work will be conducted in a way that promotes animal welfare, environmental sustainability, as well as a sustainable culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Core Activities:                                                                                                                                 

  • Create mechanical and electro-mechanical prototypes that meet content and design intent and are appropriate to each phase of the project.
  • Produce mechanical details and documentation for interactive components (e.g. sketches, part and assembly drawings, bills of materials, electronics and wiring schematics, etc.).
  • Construct interactive exhibits and exhibit components with complex mechanical, electrical, or plumbing systems, along with tooling and fixtures as needed, staying within design, budget, and schedule.
  • Lead cross-functional prototyping and specialty fabrication meetings, to explore, validate, and decide how to move ideas forward.
  • Perform drawing reviews by documenting and communicating technical redlines related to exhibit fabrication and mechanical solutions, incorporating input from exhibit production & maintenance.
  • Update key production and fabrication documentation throughout each project.
  • Provide support to Project Management and project teams as needed with estimating, scheduling, subcontractor research, and purchasing of materials.
  • Develop scopes of work and requests for proposals related to exhibit fabrication (e.g. interactive exhibits, rockwork, cabinetry, etc.) in coordination with project managers, designers, and selected subcontractors.
  • Oversee select exhibit fabrication, either by in-house production technicians or subcontractors, ensuring quality, safety, and design intent specifications are met through construction and installation.
  • Test and evaluate exhibit components, reporting outcomes and recommendations to the project team.
  • Create operations and maintenance manual documentation and provide training to other technicians.
  • Perform exhibit maintenance when the production or audiovisual teams require technical guidance or support.


Preferred Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSAs):

  • BA or BS, or equivalent combination of education, training and experience, preferably in mechanical engineering, mechanical design, electronics, machining, exhibit design, and/or exhibit fabrication
  • Minimum 6-7 years of fabrication, exhibit production, product development, or related experience
  • Ability to effectively communicate ideas and concepts verbally, and on paper - through hand sketching and/or computer aided drawing skills
  • Deep or mastery level knowledge of current technologies and professional standards of exhibit fabrication, including wood, metal, plastic fabrication, and electronics, using appropriate production methods, and following safety standards.
  • Deep knowledge and experience reading, interpreting, and notating architectural and technical drawings
  • Leadership qualities with strong team building, communication, and active listening skills required
  • Commitment to collaboration, iteration, and experimentation
  • High tolerance for ambiguity combined with the ability to lead teams toward clear solutions
  • Actively promotes innovation, quality, efficiency, visitor safety, and durability of exhibit solutions
  • Ability to work creatively within project management structures, project constraints and parameters
  • Ability to supervise and mentor production staff who participate in, and contribute to, exhibit fabrication projects.
  • Ability to collaborate and build positive relationships with colleagues throughout the Aquarium, leadership staff, contractors, and stakeholders, regularly providing and soliciting expertise
  • Capable of prioritizing complex workloads across multiple projects, and proactively managing project timing while using good judgment, problem-solving skills, and follow-through
  • Maintains safety standards on all fabrication and site work, including internal staff and contractors
  • Ability, with training, to work with contractors and to learn to recognize and direct remediation of common construction hazards such as elevated work, confined spaces, hazardous chemicals, the hazardous release of stored energy
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Interest in science, teaching, new technologies, design thinking, and/or facilitation a plus
  • Ability to work within, and maintain Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Core Values


Annual Compensation Range Minimum:

$86,400.00 USD annually. Starting rate will vary based on previous experience and relevant skills/knowledge set.

How to Apply

Monterey Bay Aquarium
886 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940

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