Senior Human Factors Scientist / Engineer (Team Leader)

Rockville, Maryland
Mar 05, 2021
Mar 13, 2021
Engineer, IT, QA Engineer
Full Time


This position is in the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR), Division of Reactor Oversight (DRO), Operator Licensing & Human Factors Branch (IOLB), Human Factors Team (HFT). The supervisor is Christian (Chris) Cowdrey. This position is not in the Bargaining Unit. Selectee is subject to Office of Government Ethics Confidential Financial Disclosure reporting requirements.

Learn more about this agency


The incumbent will serve as an NRC technical authority and supervisory team leader responsible for performing and managing a broad range of mission-critical work associated with the specialized field of Human Factors Engineering (HFE). The incumbent is responsible for supervising, evaluating, managing and providing technically authoritative direction and advisories for the most complex aspects of HFE programs and projects with agency-wide impact. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Plans, coordinates, and conducts the review and evaluation of nuclear power plant designs and operations from the standpoint of human factors and man-machine systems interfaces.
  • Reviews current and develops new HFE guidelines for use by other expert engineers in addressing novel and unprecedented issues associated with advanced reactors.
  • Plans, coordinates, and manages the evaluation of human factors aspects of new and existing plant designs, including advanced reactors and other new types of facilities such as medical isotope facilities.
  • Plans, coordinates and conducts technical meetings with reactor vendor and utility personnel regarding matters that affect human factors aspects of designs.
  • Coordinates and conducts the evaluation of Topical Reports and Technical Reports submitted by reactor vendors, architect-engineering firms, and major components manufacturers on human-factors related subjects pertaining to control station functions and designs.
  • Prepares responses and presentations to the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, NRC Management, and outside groups on significant technical issues, concerns, or positions developed on licensing cases. Testifies, as an NRC technical authority, at public hearings.
  • Advocates for the NRR in the development of research studies and analysis of human factors.
  • Plans, coordinates, and oversees the team's preparation of Safety Evaluation Reports dealing with human factors problems that may arise in reactor design and operation.
  • Reviews and provides comments and recommendations on Regulatory Guides, Industry Standards and Commission Regulations.
  • Performs formal supervisory duties (for less than 25% of the work time) and managerial oversight of the work of the Human Factors Team members.

Travel Required

25% or less - Travel of 25% or less of duty hours.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • This is a Drug Testing position.
  • Subject to the security ownership restrictions and reporting requirements.

You must meet the qualifications for this position by no later than 30 calendar days after the closing date of this announcement and before placement in the position.


In order to qualify for this position, you must have at least one year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level (GG-14) in the Federal Service or equivalent experience in the private or public sector.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE: Experience conducting the review and evaluation of nuclear power plant designs and operations from the standpoint of human factors and man-machine systems interfaces; participating in the development of research studies and analysis of human factors associated with nuclear power plants; and/or providing specialized, technically authoritative assistance and advice in the area of human factors and man-machine-system interfaces for existing and advanced nuclear power plant designs. Examples of qualifying experience include (but are not limited to) applying the concepts of human factors and man-machine system interfaces in reviews of license amendments, facility license or design certification applications, research activities, industry standards, inspection reports, or enforcement actions.

A description of how you possess the specialized experience should be addressed in your resume, responses to the vacancy questions, and in the additional space provided for your supplemental response.


GG-0180 (Psychology Series):

Basic Requirements:

Bachelor's Degree or higher with a major (or equivalent) in psychology

GG-0801 (General Engineering Series):

Basic Requirements:
    • Degree: Engineering. To be acceptable, the program must: (1) lead to a bachelor's degree in a school of engineering with at least one program accredited by ABET; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics. OR
    • Combination of education and experience: college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by meeting additional OPM requirements.

Additional information

If additional vacancies occur, additional selections may be made.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

When the application process is complete, your application will be reviewed to determine if you meet the job requirements. You will be rated based on the information provided in your resume and responses to any vacancy questions to determine your level of knowledge, skill and ability related to the job requirements. If you are among the top candidates for this position, your application will be referred to the hiring manager.

Your resume is the key means we have for evaluating your skills, knowledge, and abilities as they relate to this position. Therefore, we encourage you to submit a thorough resume that directly relates to this position.
To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
L Access Authorization

Drug test required

Required Documents

As a NRC employee you are required to submit your most recent Rating of Record (Performance Appraisal) or a statement explaining why one is not available. You may do so either electronically, following the instructions below (preferred method), or by sending one copy by e-mail to:

Lindsey Redden, HR Specialist

All supplemental documents can now be collected electronically and should be submitted before the closing date of this vacancy announcement. File uploads are limited to 5MB in size per document. If your file size exceeds 5MB it will not upload. You can reduce the file size by using the reduce file size feature in Adobe Acrobat before upload You have three choices for submitting your supplemental documents:

1. Use the "USAJOBs" feature to download documents from your USAJOBs portfolio; or
2. use the "Upload" feature to upload documents directly from your computer. The following types of documents can be uploaded:
.gif, .jpeg, .png, .rtf, .pdf, and .doc; or
3. use the "Fax" feature to print the Fax Cover Sheet and fax it, along with your supplemental documents to 1-571-258-4052.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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