SDSU Research Foundation

NIWC - Graduate II (PHD) Benthic Microbial Fuel Cell Low Power Electronics Project (71-10007)

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Under general direction, incumbents can be a PhD candidate or in a Master's degree program and able to perform at a high level.


The Benthic Microbial Fuel Cell (BMFC) system is a groundbreaking technology that supports the Navy. The Navy seeks to improve the microbial fuel cell technologies to obtain more power production in deep sea and cold environments. With the use of BMFC, the Navy pursues to improve efficiencies to add in supplemental power sources.


Studying microbial data with the BMFC Team and assist in setting up and monitoring experiments. The student will research, analyze data, model, and test optimal environmental conditions for electrogenic bacteria of interest and their effect on power production in BMFCs.


Reviewing, analyzing and documenting specific operational procedures, and background literature research.

  • Reviewing, analyzing, and documenting, specific operational procedures, and complying with all safety procedures in the labs.
  • Performing literature searches and reviews; compiling and cataloging background material; and/or preparing summaries and bibliographies pertaining to benthic microbial fuel cell (BMFC) technologies.
  • Preparing technical documentation, papers, posters, or presentations.
  • Drafting Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for laboratory experiments

Designing, modeling, fabrication, testing, and analysis: exercising and testing models
utilizing simulation, emulation, numerical and statistical analyses techniques,
programing, and standard test and evaluation. Student will need to plot and model data
for electrical, environmental, genetic, or metabolic testing results

  • Performing data conversion and coding, and data analysis and data reduction.
  • Designing and setting up experiments, and preparing experimental components
  • Collecting and preparing sediment samples for analytical testing.
  • Documentation of experimental design process, diagrams, models, and data results.


Graduate Student 2: Can be a PhD candidate or in a Master's degree program and able to perform at a high level. Must be able to accomplish a minimum of 90% of the task without supervision.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Graduate Student Level 2 (Masters or PhD) : Microbiology, Microbial Biology, or Metabolic Chemistry

Required Course Work:

  • Microbiology/ Microbial Biology
  • Statistics / Experimental Statistics
  • Calc I-III
  • Organic Chemistry / Microbial Metabolism
  • General Chemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Programming, Matlab, R – a plus but not required

Desired Qualifications

Skills - Knowledge in the following:

  • Matlab / R
  • PCR, and genetic analysis
  • Technical Writing and Literature Review
  • Lab equipment: microscopes, autoclave, spectrometer
  • Experience in a microbiology lab desired but not required
  • A basic knowledge in oceanography is a plus.
  • Altium Designer (preferred)
  • Analog and Digital Circuit Design
  • Low Power Systems
  • LT Spice
  • Raspberry Pi.



  • The COVID-19 vaccine is required by the CSU for all SDSU Research Foundation employees as a condition of employment. Should you be offered a position, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination status. Individuals who obtain an approved medical or religious exemption on file will be required to complete regular COVID-19 testing
  • This position will require the employee to obtain and maintain a DoD Secret security clearance
  • Due to the regulations established by the Department of Defense, only US Citizens may qualify
  • This is a student position and is limited to working 20 hours per week
  • This position will remain open until filled
  • San Diego State University Research Foundation is an EEO/AA/Disability/Vets Employer


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