Job Listings

Visiting Senior Scientific Spec, Environmental Engineering-IL Sustainable Technology Center(153848)

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

Visiting Senior Scientific Specialist, Environmental Engineering

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

Prairie Research Institute

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. ISTC integrates applied research, technical assistance, and information services to advance efforts in the areas of pollution prevention; water and energy conservation; and materials recycling and beneficial reuse. Learn more at

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

ISTC is seeking to hire a Visiting Senior Scientific Specialist, Environmental Engineering (up to two, depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to participate in research related to wastewater treatment, bioenergy production, carbon capture/utilization, and/or emerging contaminant issues (e.g., pharmaceuticals, per- fluorinated chemicals, disinfection by-products, algal toxins and microplastics). In particular, there is interest in developing new treatment systems using combinations of membranes, adsorbents, hydrothermal conversion processes and various specialized microorganisms (e.g., algae, anaerobes, and phosphorus-accumulating organisms) to accomplish multiple sustainability goals for food, energy, and water. This position is based in Champaign, Illinois.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Design and execute laboratory experiments for proof of scientific concepts related to research topics.
  • Conduct laboratory analysis for project sample characterization and determination of engineering parameters.
  • Operate pilot-scale reactor systems that can demonstrate process performance, resilience, and scalability.
  • Review and interpret research results to assure validity and quality control.
  • Provide technical content for project reports and scientific articles.
  • Ensure the safety of staff and equipment.
  • Identify research needs and project opportunities based on discussions with collaborators and potential funding sources.
  • Assist in developing responses to federal, state, commercial, and foundation funding opportunities announcements.
  • Obtain required clearance to attend meetings at national laboratories and government facilities.
  • Travel within and outside the state of Illinois visiting industrial sites, power plants, and wastewater treatment plants. Travel to field and test sites may include work outside of normal business hours and overnight stays.
  • Field work will involve exposure to outdoor temperatures and include lifting and moving equipment or samples (up to 40 pounds).
  • Respond to requests for information and provide technical expertise to PRI staff, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia, industry, and the general public.
  • Attend, participate in, and contribute to professional meetings, conferences, and workshops.
  • Contribute in the areas of education, outreach, and/or other service to ISTC, PRI, UIUC, and the state of Illinois. Enhance the reputation of ISTC and PRI at the state, national, and international level.
  • Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.
  • Maintain a continuing business relationship with collaborators, industry partners, and major clients as part of ongoing business development efforts.
  • Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of PRI.

Required Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in environmental, chemical, industrial, civil or mechanical engineering, or related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. At least 2 years related industry or research experience with a bachelor's degree. Effective communication, personal relations, collaboration, organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple dynamic priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills. Affinity for cooperative or interdisciplinary research with scientists at the Survey, professionals at other Surveys or other academic units, as well as governmental and other academic institutions. Proficiency in commonly employed software, databases and project management tools. Valid driver's license.

P referred Qualifications: Master's degree in environmental, chemical, industrial, civil or mechanical engineering, or related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. Engineer in Training (EIT) or Professional Engineers License (PE).

This is a full-time, visiting academic professional, grant supported, 12-month position subject to the continued availability of funding and programmatic need. Position may become a regular, non-visiting position at a later date depending on funding and programmatic need. The starting date is negotiable and the salary is commensurate with experience.

This position is funded by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). DOE requires foreign national reporting for any person who is not a US citizen by birth or naturalization and the current ruling by DOE is that no foreign national personnel can begin work on projects until approved

Applications must be received by November 2, 2021. Interviews and hiring may be conducted before the closing date due to this being a multi-hire search. To apply, please visit to complete an online profile and to upload 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 rsum/CV, and 3) the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) of three professional (not personal) references. All requested information/documentation must be submitted for applications to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For further information please contact Lori Walston-Vonderharr, Human Resources, Prairie Research Institute, at or 217-244-2401.

University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility

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