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Marine Robot Engineering Internship

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  • 6 people are interested


Academic Credit or Volunteer Position

Project: Design of a Large-Scale Ocean Plastic Debris Collection Subsystem

Timeframe: ASAP - May 30, 2020

Organization. Clear Blue Sea (CBSea) is a San Diego nonprofit startup dedicated to cleansing the oceans of plastic pollution. Over 8M metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans every year, accumulating in massive garbage patches in the ocean gyres. Our solution is a solar-powered, semi-autonomous Floating Robot for Eliminating Debris (FRED). Clear Blue Sea has built two small-scale prototypes, is constructing a mid-scale prototype, and will be developing an architectural design of a large-scale FRED Prototype.

Internship Description. Clear Blue Sea is seeking interns to assist in this marine robot design project during the 2019-2020 academic year. Our large-scale FRED architecture is catamaran based, at 50 feet long and 25 feet wide, which is solar-powered, semi-autonomous, and performs ocean cleanup operations on a daily basis. Clear Blue Sea implements a system engineering life cycle methodology and project management practices for all student internship teams. All research and engineering analysis work will be driven by Clear Blue Sea’s system requirements definition for FRED’s Debris Collection Subsystem (DCS). These requirements include:

  • Guide floating debris to capture capability
  • Capture floating plastic down to 6 feet
  • Capture floating plastic in size from 5mm to15 meters
  • Capture 90% of the plastic debris it directly encounters
  • Capture ocean debris autonomously
  • Capture ocean debris via remote control
  • Sense when ocean debris has jammed the collection system
  • Stop debris collection when jam detected
  • Reverse debris collection direction when jam detected
  • Store 90% of debris that is captured
  • Drain ocean plastic debris during cleanup
  • Alert marine animals that debris collection is occurring
  • Operate at 95% reliability (MTBF)
  • Operate at 95 availability (% probability system works during mission)
  • Operate at 95% maintainability (MTTR)
  • Be capable of integration into a catamaran vessel architecture
  • Batten down during high seas or severe weather
  • Provide quantitative metrics on debris collection performance
  • Provide visual data on debris collection performance
  • Resist corrosion and rust in salt water

Required Skills, Knowledge, and Tasks

  • Research and evaluation of potential design solutions for comparative analysis
  • CAD/CAE Renderings of System Designs
  • Design Documentation including graphics, text, drawings, and requirements traceability
  • Effective written/verbal communications, creative thinking, collaboration, and teamwork
  • Use of Excel to create Bill of Materials for final design based on multiple supplier evaluations
  • Commitment to high quality work and accountability for assignments

To apply, please fill out the form below.

Please contact Susan Baer, Executive Director, Clear Blue Sea with any questions at susanb@clearbluesea.org and review Clear Blue Sea’s website at clearbluesea.org.

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Mission Statement

Clear Blue Sea's mission is to cleanse the oceans of floating plastic pollution by operating fleets of unmanned marine robots powered by renewable energy.


Clear Blue Sea was founded in 2016 to address the problem of ocean plastic pollution. We are a nonprofit startup working with students and volunteers to achieve our mission with community collaboration. Our robotic solution is called "FRED" - the Floating Robot for Eliminating Debris.

Clear Blue Sea has developed FRED’s preliminary design and prototyped small-scale versions of FRED subsystems for test and evaluation. In addition to securing our 501c3 nonprofit designation, developing our Business Plan, and establishing our Board of Directors, we have sponsored 16 student interns working on projects relevant to our long term goals. Our near term goals include building a larger-scale prototype for testing off the coast of San Diego and raising awareness of the problems with ocean plastic pollution in San Diego.

Computers & Technology


We'll work with your schedule.


7939 Silverton Avenue, Unit 807San Diego, CA 92126



  • System Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Robotics




  • Must be at least 18
  • 8-20 Hours

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