Research Engineer I, II, III or Senior

Apply now Job no: 506547
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 194100 - Advanced Composites Institute
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

The Advanced Composites Institute is seeking a Research Engineer. The exact title and rank will depend on the candidate's education and experience.

Salary Grade:  15

Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges.  For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.

Department Profile:

The Advanced Composites Institute, or ACI, focuses on pioneering transformational composite
technologies in a variety of critical sectors, including aerospace, civil, military, energy, automotive and other emerging markets. It was created at MSU with the donation of a revolutionary stitched composite process and equipment originally developed at NASA by pioneering scientist Marvin B. Dow.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Engineer I
1. Using accepted methods and techniques, solves well-defined problems and performs specific and limited portions of broader projects, under technical guidance of an experienced engineer.
2. Applies standard practices and techniques in specific situations, adjusts and correlates data, recognizes discrepancies in results, and follows operations through a series of related detailed steps or processes.
3. Defines and improves practices from experiences on small projects.
4. Conducts experiments/tests in the laboratory field that include taking measurements and recording observations, collecting, compiling, and processing data.
5. Contributes data/findings for use in reports, documents, or oral/written presentations.
6. Interacts in a collaborative manner with other team members to accomplish organizational goals. May provide ideas to improve efficiency at group level.
7. Networks primarily within own technical peer group.
8. In the process of learning methods for planning, including assessment of cost, scope, and schedule against plan.
9. No defined role in identifying/securing research funding; however, successful performance of project related tasks contribute to on-going funding efforts.
10. Performs related duties as required.

Engineer II
1. Performs work that involves conventional types of plans, investigations, systems, structures, or equipment with relatively few complex features or for which there are precedents.
2. Performs tasks/projects of a larger scope.
3. May lead specific tasks within the project scope.
4. Scopes task and develops approaches for moderately difficult tasks.
5. Takes responsibility for assuring quality, cost effectiveness, and timeliness for small projects.
6. Assists in preparation of reports, papers, presentations, new proposals, etc., and may collaborate on some proposals.
7. Presents papers at technical meetings.
8. Continues to enhance capabilities for project planning, including assessment of cost, scope, and schedule against plan.
9. Implements new systems/approaches for moderately difficult tasks/projects.
10. Establishes networks in internal peer group; starts becoming part of identifiable external peer network.
11. Interacts in a collaborative manner with other team members to accomplish organizational goals.
12. Provides ideas to improve efficiency at group level. Participates in procurement of additional/new funding through contributions to technical proposal preparation and/or presentations.
13. Contributes to positive co-workers/customers/investigators relationships through efficient interaction on current grants/projects.

Engineer III
1. Manages multiple or significant projects which may require the use of sophisticated project planning techniques.
2. Plans, schedules, conducts, or coordinates detailed phases of the work of a major project or in a total project of moderate scope.
3. Makes substantial contributions to determining feasibility of goals/objectives.
4. May evaluate proposed or ongoing projects.
5. Interfaces with client/customer project managers and MSU research/engineering management for existing or proposed projects.
6. Creates opportunities to enhance technical methodology or content through expansion of existing, or development of, new efforts.
7. May extend technology into new application areas.
8. Contributes or leads I major intellectual development activities.
9. Chairs sessions at technical meetings; gives invited papers; participates in external seminars, workshops, professional societies and committees.
10. Provides innovative problem-solving approaches to enhance organizational capabilities.
11. Uses peer network to expand technical capabilities and identify new research opportunities.
12. Understands broad strategic objectives and contributes to them.
13. Nurtures and maintains relationships with major customers/grantors of external research and development grant funding.
14. Identifies grant/project extensions and persuades customers/grantors to fund; impacts customer decisions and strategies.
15. May initiate new project concepts and seek funding; develops technical proposals and makes presentations to potential customers/grant sponsors.

Senior Research Engineer
One or more of the following:

1. As an individual contributor, conceives, plans and conducts research in problem areas of considerable scope and complexity.
2. Problems must be thoroughly approached through a series of complete and conceptually related studies, are difficult to define, require unconventional or novel approaches, and require sophisticated research techniques.
3. Incumbent demonstrates superior scope and breadth of research through the creation of new concepts, applications, processes, designs or the identification of new areas of research.
4. Available guides and precedents contain critical gaps, are only partially related to the problem, or may be largely lacking due to the novel character of the project.
5. At this level, the individual researcher generally will have contributed inventions, new designs, or techniques that are of mutual significance in the solution of important problems.
6. In a supervisory capacity, plans, develops, coordinates, and directs a number of large and significant projects or a project of major scope. Supervisory responsibilities usually encompasses subordinate supervisors or team leaders (3-5) with at least one in a position comparable to the Research Engineer Level III.
7. As a staff specialist, serves as the technical lead for the unit in the application of advanced theories, concepts, principles, and processes for an assigned area of responsibility (i.e., subject matter, function, type of facility or equipment, or product).
8. Stays abreast of new technical methods and developments affecting the unit for the purpose of recommending changes in emphasis of programs or new programs warranted by such developments.
9. Proposes and leads new initiatives; guides programs of national or international significance.
10. Primary resource to MSU and customers in identifying future problems, research trends, and opportunities.
11. Presents papers, leads symposia and chairs committees.
12. Participates on advisory/policy boards, journals and societies.
13. Serves as peer reviewer of major technical programs; networks nationally and internationally.
14. Contributions enhance Department/MSU staff, business volume, and facilities/equipment.
15. Plays a lead role in the development and implementation of new and/or expanded technical capabilities that will impact future research projects.
16. Reputation leads to ability to attract major funding.
17. Typically would direct and/or participate in major proposal preparation and presentation.

Minimum Qualifications:

Research Engineer I B. S. Engineering Less than one year in a related area
Research Engineer II B. S. Engineering Two years professional experience in a related area; requires two years at previous level or equivalent
Research Engineer III B. S. Engineering Four years professional experience in a related area – requires two years at previous level or equivalent
Senior Research Engineer B. S. Engineering Six or more years professional experience in a related area – requires two years at previous level or equivalent

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Engineer I
1. Knows and effectively uses the fundamental concepts, practices, and procedures of a particular field of specialization.
2. Continues development of technical expertise and knowledge through experience and application.

Engineer II
1. Knows and effectively uses the fundamental concepts, practices and procedures of a particular field of specialization.
2. Continues development of technical expertise and knowledge through experience and application.

Engineer III
1. Has established technical expertise.
2. Serves as a resource to research unit/department/college.
3. Possesses and applies a comprehensive knowledge of a particular field of specialization to the completion of complex assignments.
4. Advances state-of-the-art research in field of specialization.

Senior Research Engineer
1. Recognized as a national or international authority.
2. Applies extensive and advanced principles, theories, and concepts.
3. Contributes to the development of solutions to complex problems that require innovation and ingenuity.

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply:

Apply online by submitting a cover letter, resume, and a copy of your transcript(s).

Restricted Clause:

Position is contingent upon continued availability of funding.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

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If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact the Department of Human Resources Management at (662) 325-3713 or Upon request, sections of this job listing are available in large print, and readers are available to assist the visually impaired.

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