University of Washington - Seattle, WA4.1

Full-timeEstimated: $65,000 - $94,000 a year
As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a “Great College to Work For” for five consecutive years.

The Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at the College of Engineering has an outstanding opportunity for a Site Operations Engineer.

The Site Operations Engineer will support the National Science Foundation (NSF) NHERI (Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure) RAPID Facility at the University of Washington ( The RAPID enables state-of-the-art field collection of perishable scientific, engineering, and social science data following natural disasters. The facility includes: (i) surveying equipment such as lidar, total station, digital level, and gps\gnss, seismic equipment, ground investigation equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with image and lidar data collection capabilities, various imaging equipment including streetview and 360 degree cameras, coastal equipment including a remotely operated hydrographic survey boat, EEG headsets for social science studies, processing computers, and various other hand operated measuring equipment; (ii) software to support data collection and process collected data, including the RAPID App (RApp) which the RAPID has and continues to develop for field reconnaissance data collection; (iii) staff; and (iv) a headquarters for supporting field missions, data transfer and preliminary data analysis. RAPID is a shared use facility, and its mission is to serve the needs of reconnaissance researchers supported by NSF or other agencies.

The Site Operations Engineer will assist in carrying out the day-to-day operations of the RAPID Facility in collaboration with the facility’s Program Coordinator, and under the direction of the facility’s Operations Manager and leadership team. The position requires passion, genuine interest in the collection of perishable data following natural hazards, and communication and people skills for interacting with the various facility users. The selected candidate will be at the forefront of natural hazards reconnaissance science and will help to develop and implement the next-generation data gathering methods.

The primary responsibilities include: maintenance and calibration of the facility’s equipment (examples listed above); field deployment after natural hazard events with external research teams to operate equipment or assist with equipment use to collect perishable data; continued development of field data collection workflows with the RAPID equipment; continued development and execution of user training programs for external facility users, including on-site training during field missions; assisting with travel and shipping logistics, and asset tracking to ensure safe and timely deployment and retrieval of the facility’s equipment; equipment inspection and testing prior to and following deployments, including checking and management of data; providing facility users with assistance in archival of raw data to a national data repository; performing data processing and analysis when required or requested by facility users; potentially serving as first contact or point of contact for external users interested in using the RAPID Facility’s equipment; assisting with growing the facility’s user base through various outreach and marketing activities; assisting with continued development and execution of the facility’s and NHERI’s education and outreach activities; assisting with NSF facility performance tracking and required reporting; and assisting in continued development and improvement of internal operations and protocols. The Site Operations Engineer will also serve as backup to the Operations Manager when necessary.

  • Master's degree in civil engineering, geomatics or similar field.
  • One to three years’ experience
  • Effectively know and use the fundamental concepts, practices and procedures of a particular field of specialization; continues development of technical expertise and knowledge through experience and application:
o Significant knowledge, skills and abilities are required in at least one of the following: surveying\geomatics engineering, acquiring and processing lidar data, GPS\GNSS acquisition and processing, operating unmanned aerial vehicles and collecting geospatially located image data for use in structure from motion photogrammetry. Candidates should have experience with field data collection. The successful candidate will be willing and able to develop skills and abilities in the other areas. The candidate should also have basic programming\scripting skills. In addition, the successful candidate should demonstrate a history of collaborative research interaction and have strong interpersonal skills. Finally, candidates should be ready and willing to travel to natural hazard locations following events.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

  • Experience in some of the following areas: geotechnical field investigation techniques (e.g., CPT, etc.), storm surge and coastal damage data collection (water level loggers and acoustic beacons), social science data collection, data visualization, coding and script writing to support data processing and instrument control, and project management.
  • Experience interacting with: engineers and scientists, professors, equipment vendors, machine shop personnel to support fabrication, emergency management personnel, and with interdisciplinary teams is desired.
As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.