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Automation Engineer HIL

Posted 23 May 2024
Work experience
2 to 4 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
Degree level
Required languages
English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)

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Damen Shipyards Gorinchem, headquarters of the Damen Shipyards Group, is a well-known leading international shipyard. Damen Shipyards Group operates more than 32 shipyards, repair yards and related companies worldwide with a total turnover of 1.7 billion Euro.

At Damen Shipyards Gorinchem we design and build a wide range of products including tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and cargo vessels. Damen delivers more than 180 vessels each year. In fact, we have built more than 6,000 ships since 1969. Our clients include contractors, oil companies, port authorities, offshore companies and maritime service providers.


Do you want to contribute to our Research & Development projects for the short and long term and are you interested in the field of automation, system integration and autonomous shipping? Please check out our vacancy!

The Automation Engineer HIL executes research & technology development projects related to automation, digital twins, autonomous sailing and system integration of complex marine control systems. In the last years Damen has been using advanced Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) testing methods for these systems, which are often supplied by several subcontractors and integrated by Damen.

You provide expert advice in the field of automation and systems engineering on the technical performance of our Smart Ships to the relevant departments within the Damen Shipyards Group. Your main aim is that all delivered ships, both now and in the future, satisfy the specific technical requirements of all stakeholders involved. Furthermore you follow and push forward the developments both inside and outside the company and ensure that the developed knowledge and technologies are spread throughout the Damen Group.

As a Automation Engineer you will be part of the HIL team and involved in new build and improvement projects. You assist the ship designers, engineering and commissioning with designing and specifying the required control systems. You will make software simulation models in Simulink for testing of the control system. Together with (commission) engineering and suppliers, you are coordinating the required HIL tests. These methods are based on the Validation and Verification method: V&V.


Your tasks & responsibilities as Automation Engineer include:

  • Taking a leading role in evaluation and testing of control system performance by means of software and HIL simulations.
  • Assisting with the evaluation of the technical performance of ships during engineering, production and commissioning phases.
  • Being actively involved in keeping the simulation equipment and software up to date.
  • Being actively involved in developing, evaluating and managing the required simulation models.
  • Being actively involved in executing the automation Research & Smart Ship portfolio and carrying out research projects individually or with others.
  • Developing the technology required for Damen’s future ships automation systems.
  • Providing specific expert technical advice in the field of automation (hardware and software) and system integration for both existing and conceptual designs of ships. Often following requests for support in relation to specific issues and issues of a troubleshooting nature.
  • Supporting other departments with the review of automation (system) designs and component choices which have been made by our suppliers.
  • Assisting with the evaluation of the technical performance of new technologies during engineering, production and commissioning phases.
  • Supporting “automation” troubleshooting activities. In other words, you have to plan, execute and analyze measurements to come to a solution. Where required you initiate and support improvement-projects that lead to improved designs for future ships.


Do you fit our profile of Automation Engineer? You must have:

  • A Bachelor or Master degree in Electrical, Mechanical or Maritime Engineering.
  • Affinity with maritime automation systems.
  • Knowledge of industrial automation architectures, and the commonly used network and fieldbus protocols.
  • Having an interest in human factors in automation.
  • Knowledge of ship propulsion, navigation and marine system integration (is considered a plus).
  • Familiarity with classification and rules and regulations in maritime environments.
  • Experience in executing projects, taking responsibility and keeping stakeholders motivated and updated.
  • Experience programming in Python, MATLAB, Simulink or comparable (is considered a plus).
  • An independent, critical, analytical, customer-oriented thinker, with good communication skills.


Here at Damen we realize supporting and managing many talented individuals is of great essence. We understand that the key to success is to find the right person for the right job. That’s why we continually invest in your development. Damen offers you (in case of full time employment):

  • A dynamic international working environment focusing on technology and innovation;
  • A competitive salary;
  • At least 40 days of annual leave;
  • Travel allowance;
  • Profit sharing & pension allowance;
  • Continuous focus on professional and personal development through our Damen Academy (including Leadership & Management development programs);
  • An active social environment in terms of events & sports.

We’re a family company that has been building ships for almost 100 years. Our ambition is to become the most sustainable and connected maritime solutions provider there is. Working at Damen offers the best of several worlds. Active in more than 100 countries, with over 30 shipyards, we are internationally renowned for quality. We offer you an ocean of possibilities.

Marine & Offshore
Active in 101 countries
12,500 employees
70% men - 30% women
Average age is 40 years