Job Listings

Associate Research Scientist, Water Resources Engineering - Illinois State Water Survey, PRI(164581)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Job Location:
Urbana, Illinois
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Associate Research Scientist, Water Resources Engineering

Illinois State Water Surve

Prairie Research Institut

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is seeking to hire an Associate Research Scientist, Water Resources Engineering to lead and administer research activities of the Survey by developing, planning, directing, initiating, and conducting basic and applied research, with an emphasis on conducting and/or reviewing hydrologic and hydraulic studies and communicating the scientific results. Serve as Senior Engineer role to manage a staff of engineers and technical professionals.

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

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

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Serve as Project Manager for projects related to surface water resources, including oversight of planning, scheduling and communicating status/progress with project participants, staff, and Section Head.
  • Provide engineering support to meet strict standards and deadlines for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Studies (FIS).
  • Lead projects, including proposal development and submission, budget and account oversight, reporting compliance, and project coordination.
  • Prepared hydrologic and hydraulic models and engineering data
  • Attend/ lead meetings and complete additional project management responsibilities as outlined above.
  • Provide technical assistance to GIS staff for preparing tables and graphs and to ensure accurate representation of model information and floodplain mapping
  • Monitor quality assurance and quality control review of maps
  • Conduct searches for hydrologic and hydraulic models and geographic data and metadata; review and compare hydrologic/ hydraulic models for applicability
  • Perform quality and compliance review of models and data submitted for Flood Insurance Rate Map revisions.
  • Supervise assigned full -time and hourly staff; this includes task assignment, scheduling, ongoing performance monitoring and evaluation, career/position mentoring and leave / travel approval.
  • Serve on hiring committees for engineering and other technical positions
  • Represent the Illinois State Water Survey at conferences and training workshops as well as responding to inquiries and concerns from the general public, consulting engineers, USACE engineers, community representatives, and other as needed.
  • Attend meetings and assist with coordination of activities with the state and federal agencies.
  • Participate in meetings with project team, agency staff, local officials, public, and private consulting engineers.
  • Prepare technical reports with scientific results and disseminate information through publications and presentations at professional conferences/symposium.
  • Provide technical support to meet mapping and product and report deadlines.
  • Perform Quality assurance checks of models, graphics and reports.
  • Attend training and professional conferences to remain current on information, technologies, and processes. Deliver presentations at professional conferences and meetings.
  • Registration as a Certified Floodplain Manager and Registered Professional Engineer in Illinois is required to maintain position.
  • Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of PRI.
  • Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.

Required Qualifications:

Education: Master of Science degree in Engineering (Civil, Water Resources, Environmental or similar curriculum). Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending upon the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to the position.

Experience:A minimum of 10 years of progressive work in water resources engineering. A minimum of 10 years of experience leading FEMA's LOMR Delegation program in Illinois. Experience using hydrologic/ hydraulic models, FEMA guidelines and GIS. Experience with using engineering methods to interpret and analyze a variety of information including, but not limited to, topography, hydrography, land cover, soils, climate, stream flow, and hydraulic structures to characterize hydrologic and hydraulic systems, and develop models of hydrologic and hydraulic processes. Project management and supervisory experience.

Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois. Current active Driver's License. Certified Floodplain Manager or ability to obtain within one year of employment.

Knowledge requirements: Proficient understanding of surface water hydrology and hydraulics. Proficiency with HEC-RAS, HEC-HMS, ArcGIS, FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps studies and technical guidelines. Effective communication, organizational, personal relations, and technical writing skills. Demonstrated ability to perform in a professional demeanor in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities. Proficiency in commonly employed software, such as Microsoft Office Suite.

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 and changing priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills. Proficiency in commonly-employed software and databases.

Preferred Qualifications: Coursework in GIS, urban storm water management; engineering economics, statistics. Stormwater system modeling

Environmental 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 working at a computer, using a keyboard and mouse, and using repetitive hand motions. Travel is required to attend meetings, workshops, conferences, and conduct site visits.


This is a regular full-time academic professional appointment, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding. The starting date is negotiable and salary is commensurate with experience and skills.


Please complete your candidate profile at and upload a cover letter, CV/resume, and the contact information for three professional references must be received by May 20th 2022. Interviews may be conducted before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after that date. All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered.

For further information regarding application procedures, you may contact Jon Freiman at or 217-244-2687.

University of Illinois faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, you may seek approval for an exemption in accordance with applicable University processes.

University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois Systemuses E-Verifyto verifyemployment eligibility. 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, visitPolicy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment.

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