Head of Engineering Rivers

The Ocean Cleanup

Rotterdam, Netherlands


Nov 24

This job is no longer accepting applications.

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to develop advanced technology to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. To do so, we design, develop and deploy cleanup systems or partner with other solution providers to avoid plastic from reaching our oceans. You will be responsible for managing the engineering division within the Rivers Team to ensure a timely and high-quality engineering solution portfolio to close the tap. You will succeed when the engineering portfolio’s milestones and deliverables are completed accurately and on time. This will result in a portfolio of solutions to tackle the 1000 most polluting rivers in five years from rollout.

"The Ocean Cleanup is a technology-driven project, aiming to clean the world’s oceans from plastics by developing innovative technology. This role is a unique opportunity to put your leadership and engineering skills to use for a better planet. We aim to tackle 1000 rivers in the coming years. Your leadership is required to bring the technological challenges to successful completion in this limited amount of time. It's an exciting journey with direct impact to a better world!” – Ewout Eelkman Rooda, Director Rivers


Responsible for leading the Rivers engineering team and providing timely and high-quality engineering deliverables. This person will oversee the engineering portfolio, interfaces with project leads, and our engineering partners. Other responsibilities include:

  • Leading a multi-disciplinary engineering team towards timely and high-quality deliverables
  • Managing the engineering portfolio with a strong focus on “doing the right things and doing them right, quickly”
  • Leading innovation processes from ideation to real prototypes and commercialization for new and existing solutions that support our Mission
  • Initiate and create partnerships with third party solution providers to develop the right engineering portfolio quickly
  • End-responsibility for the quality assurance of our engineering solutions
  • Coaching a diverse team (i.a. design, mechanical, naval, motion control, and data engineers) that leads engineering projects


  • Master's degree in engineering
  • Minimum 10 years of relevant work experience in lead engineer roles, preferably in an innovation environment and with floating structures
  • Experience in the development and manufacturing of new solutions
  • Experience in project management of multiple projects simultaneously
  • Experienced team leader for global projects
  • Fluent in English


  • Able to perform well in a fast-paced and challenging environment
  • Structured and process-oriented
  • Team player, coaching mindset, and flexible
  • Strong communication skills
  • Excellent leadership skills
  • Entrepreneurial and creative
  • 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.



A valid European Union work permit is highly preferred for this position. However, feel free to send an open application so we can contact you if an opportunity arises in your country.

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The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.