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Research Scientist for the Department of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering

Drexel University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Up to $60,000 per year + a full comprehensive benefit package
Closing date
Apr 8, 2022

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Job Details

About Drexel

Drexel is one of Philadelphia's top 10 private employers, a comprehensive global research university and a major engine for economic development in the region. With over 24,000 students, Drexel is one of America's 15 largest private universities. Drexel has committed to being the nation’s most civically engaged university, with community partnerships integrated into every aspect of service and academics.

Job Summary

Drexel University's Department of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering invites applications for a Research Scientist to assist in research, field monitoring, data analysis, and modeling related to urban climate change adaptation.

With many governmental and non-governmental partners, the Sustainable Water Resource Engineering (SWRE) Laboratory at Drexel University evaluates the ability of nature-based solutions to build climate resilience in urban communities. The lab’s current focus is on the impacts of extreme precipitation and extreme heat, with extensive background experience on green infrastructure. Our work is applied, interdisciplinary, and participatory. We primarily work with communities, utilities, and government agencies in the Northeast US, including Philadelphia, New York, Camden, and others. The lab is situated in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering and will be supervised by Dr. Franco Montalto.

Essential Functions

The Research Scientist will become integrated in all facets of the SWRE lab activities. Desired skills include remote sensing, for example using weather stations, pressure transducers, soil moisture sensors, and various data logging and transmission systems; the ability to manipulate, visualize, analyze big data sets using tools such as R and Python; basic GIS and AutoCAD experience; the ability to run hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H) models such as SWMM, PC-SWMM, 2D HEC-RAS; basic familiarity with the climate changes expected in the northeast US including extreme heat and extreme precipitation; and some basic knowledge of nature-based infrastructure solutions including green infrastructure. Due to the collaborative nature of our work, the ideal candidate would also have excellent written and spoken communication skills, feel comfortable with public speaking, and engaging a wide range of academic and non-academic partners. The position also involves some basic administrative responsibilities to keep projects on schedule, within budget, and deliverables focused.

The Research Scientist will assist in developing budgets, writing proposals, supervising student researchers, creating various academic products including papers and presentations, and otherwise assisting in the lab as necessary.

Ideal candidates will have a background in engineering, environmental science, water resources, hydrology, and climate change impacts with interdisciplinary interests and skills.

Required Qualifications

  • Possess a Masters Degree or higher in civil/environmental engineering, environmental science, climate change adaptation, or other related field OR at least three (3) years of professional work experience.
  • Valid Driver's license

Preferred Qualifications

  • Some experience working in a university or laboratory research setting
  • Some experience managing multidisciplinary teams
  • Strong interest in water resources, green infrastructure, urban sustainability, climate change adaptation, environmental justice, and related fields
  • Excellent organizational, writing, and oral communication skills. Proven ability to be self-directed and independently manage time, budgets, and expectations
  • Experience with hydrologic and hydraulic modeling
  • Experience with a wide range of sensors, including sensors from Campbell Scientific, Hobo, Stevens, and similar vendors
  • Advanced computer programming skills in languages such as R and Python
  • Comfortable managing big data sets. Machine learning skills a plus
  • Experience organizing events and community activities a plus
  • Willing and able to work outside, even in adverse weather conditions
  • Willingness to work in Philadelphia, with occasional trips to New York City and Camden


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