Ocean Engineer
Ocean Engineer


Erin Walters is an ocean engineer in the Coastal Sciences Division of the Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory (MCRL) in Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Sequim. After working for over a decade in microelectronics at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Harris Corporation, her desire to learn more about the ocean inspired her to change careers to ocean engineering. Prior to joining PNNL, she spent several years at General Dynamics Mission Systems leading shipboard operations, qualification and acceptance testing, and technical training for all three classes of Bluefin Robotics Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). Her engineering experience across both career fields includes design, fabrication, test, systems engineering, project engineering, marine operations, hazardous waste operations, and laboratory management.

At PNNL, she focusses on advancing marine energy technology and stimulating growth in the marine energy industry. She provides technical guidance and leads field deployment test efforts for marine research topics including AUVs, buoys, wave energy converters (WECs), tidal turbines, drifting hydrophones, flow noise, and environmental monitoring. Several project she works on involve developing infrastructure that will improve the depth and breadth of research and testing capabilities for marine technology at PNNL-Sequim. She also provides organizational support at PNNL-Sequim as a research vessel operator, ASV operator, scientific diver, and STEM ambassador.

Research Interest

  • Marine Energy
  • Marine Autonomy


  • MS in Ocean Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology
  • MS in Electrical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • BS in Electrical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Marine Technology Society