Job Listings

Senior Scientific Specialist, Water Resources Engineering - Illinois State Water Survey, PRI, Illino

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Job Location:
Urbana, 61820
Laboratory and Research


Water Resources Engineer
Illinois State Water Survey
Prairie Research Institute
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is seeking to hire an experienced Water Resources Engineer (Official Title: Senior Scientific Specialist, Water Resources Engineering) to conduct applied research by developing and reviewing hydrologic and hydraulic studies and summarizing results to produce reports, technical memorandum, presentations, databases, and mapping products for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (Risk MAP) grants and other projects as assigned within the Coordinated Hazard Assessment and Mapping Program (CHAMP).

The ISWS CHAMP group has many funded projects that assess local flood hazards, identify high-risk areas, and engage community partners to inform, educate, and empower others to take action in preventing losses from natural hazards. CHAMP is a Cooperating Technical Partner with the Federal Emergency Management Agency creating maps and products as reflected on

ISWS is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Our research and service programs provide citizens, industries, and government agencies at all levels with timely, science-based information and analyses necessary to manage our water resources wisely for economic development and a sustainable environment. Learn more at

Job Summary
Lead and conduct applied research by developing and reviewing hydrologic and hydraulic studies and summarizing results to produce reports, technical memorandum, presentations, databases, and mapping products.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Research - 60%
    o Manage hydrologic projects. Lead and develop hydrologic studies using computer models, analysis, and research to determine riverine peak flow discharges at defined flood frequencies. Hydrologic studies will adhere to applicable standards and data capture protocols. This will involve using a variety of software including but not limited to: USGS StreamStats, PeakFQ, HEC-SSP, HEC-HMS, and ArcGIS and/or ArcPro.
    o Manage hydraulic projects. Lead and develop hydraulic studies using computer models, analysis, and research to determine flood elevations at defined flood frequencies. Hydraulic studies will adhere to applicable standards and data capture protocols. This will involve using a variety of software including, but not limited to: 1-dimensional and 2-dimensional HEC-RAS and ArcGIS and/or ArcPro.
    o Provide technical assistance to senior staff to meet project deliverable deadlines.
  • Research - Quality Assurance - 15%
    o Perform Quality Assurance reviews of models, analysis, data, and reports prepared by other engineers.
  • Research - Publication - 10%
    o Summarize and communicate results of hydrologic and hydraulic studies by preparing and/or assisting in the preparation of reports, technical memorandum, presentations, databases, and mapping products.
  • Engagement and Outreach - 10%
    o Participate in meetings with staff, external agencies, local officials, general public, and consulting engineers.
    o Prepare materials and documentation to present hydrologic and hydraulic results to non-technical audiences.
  • Other - 5%
    o Professional Development activities such as attending conferences, webinars, and giving presentations to industry professionals.
    o Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of the Survey, PRI, and the University of Illinois.
    o Keep abreast of developments in this discipline

Additional Physical Demands
The work of this position takes place primarily in an office setting. The work is sedentary and involves remaining in a stationary position for extended periods of time working at a computer, using a keyboard and mouse. Travel is required to attend meetings, workshops, conferences, and conduct site visits.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering (Civil, Water Resources, Environmental, or similar curriculum) with coursework in hydrology and hydraulics. Alternate degree fields will be considered or accepted depending upon the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to the position. Course work (or equivalent work experience) using HEC-HMS and/or HEC-RAS or similar software and familiarity with ArcGIS and/or ArcPro.

A minimum of two years of professional work experience in water resources engineering. Professional work experience using hydrologic and/or hydraulic modeling software such as HEC-HMS, HEC-RAS, or similar software.

Valid driver's license. Enrolled as Engineering Intern (EI) or Engineer in Training (EIT). Expected to obtain Illinois Professional Engineering (P.E.) license as soon as practicable. Expected to obtain Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) certificate within one year of employment.

Preferred Qualifications

Master of Science or Engineering and additional coursework in GIS, urban stormwater management, statistics, and/or engineering economics.

ArcGIS or ArcPro experience using datasets such as hydrography, topography, Digital Terrain Models (DTMs), Land Use, and/or Soils. Knowledge of HEC-HMS, HEC-RAS, and/or SWMM. Familiarity with the National Flood Insurance Program, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Studies, Letters of Map Revision, and technical guidelines beneficial.

Registered Professional Engineer. Certified Floodplain Manager.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Solid understanding of the fundamentals of surface water hydrology and hydraulics. Effective communication skills, interpersonal skills, and technical writing skills. Demonstrated ability to perform in a professional demeanor in a diverse and fast-paced work environment involving multiple projects with shifting priorities. Attention to detail, sound judgement, and strong reasoning skill required. Proficiency in commonly employed software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and Adobe Acrobat.

Appointment Information

This is a 100% full-time Academic Professional position, appointed on a 12-month basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible. Salary is commensurate with qualifications & experience, while also
considering internal equity. The minimum starting salary is $75,000.

Benefits: The University of Illinois offers a wide
variety of benefits, including paid leave and holidays

Application Procedures & Deadline Information

Applications must be received by 6:00 pm (Central Time) on Sunday August 11th 2024. Apply for this position using the Apply Now button at the top or bottom of this posting. Applications not submitted through will not be considered. Application materials must include a 1) a cover letter that clearly articulates how your qualifications and experience make you a viable candidate for this position and should address the qualifications listed above, 2) a CV or resume, and 3) the names and contact information including e-mail addresses of three professional references. All requested information and documentation must be submitted for applications to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Interviews may occur before the close date but no decisions or offers will be made until after.

For further information about this specific position, please contact Jon Freiman HR Business Partner at For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.

The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal, or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing

Requisition ID: 1025420

Job Category: Research

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