Automatic River Plastic Monitoring Intern

The Ocean Cleanup

Delft, Netherlands 🇳🇱


The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technology to extract, prevent, and intercept plastic pollution. Our goal is to initiate the largest cleanup in history by mid-2018.

We are a young organization with a mission to tackle a global problem of an unprecedented scale. What we are aiming for is not easy, and we know we need to push the limits of current technological boundaries to reach our goals. Working at The Ocean Cleanup isn’t for everyone, but we believe that through optimism, perseverance, and ingenuity we can succeed.

We are recruiting a diverse team of bright, high-performing people, who feel comfortable going off the beaten path, and who perceive setbacks merely as necessary obstacles to be taken on the route to great and lasting achievement.


The Ocean Cleanup is executing river research to provide global estimates of riverine plastic debris. For rapid and long-term monitoring, we aim to use camera footage to quantify the scale of plastic pollution in water systems. We are looking for an intern who can delve into the use of computer vision for automatic plastic monitoring based on camera footage. Your tasks will be to:

  • Develop image analysis tools for automated river debris detection;
  • Develop labelling protocols for available camera footage;
  • Test measurement accuracy of various camera setups;
  • Report on your findings, including recommendations for more research and testing.


  • You are a master’s student in, for example, computer science, applied mathematics, machine learning or similar
  • You possess working knowledge of computer vision, image analysis, image recognition or machine learning (supervised learning, unsupervised learning and/or deep learning)
  • You have working knowledge of statistics
  • You are experienced with programming in Python, OpenCV, or similar
  • You enjoy working with data (big data, experience with training data and/or data labeling)
  • Ideally, you have experience with capturing and quantifying variables in earth system or biological sciences
  • This internship can be combined with writing a master’s thesis, although we do expect you to be available for more practical tasks related to the assignment (expect roughly 60% thesis/40% other – no copying or filing tasks, promise)
  • You can start this summer (or earlier) and are available for 4 to 6 months


  • Independent work ethic (and knows when to ask for help)
  • Fast and analytical thinking
  • Practical (for example: you can fix your own bike and enjoy building things)
  • Strong command of English, verbal and written
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal

Please apply by sending your CV and motivation letter to [email protected]. For questions please email to [email protected].