General Engineer

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Posted
Dec 02, 2021
Closes
Dec 07, 2021
Function
Engineer, IT, QA Engineer
Hours
Full Time
Duties

This position is located at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), a world class national user facility regarded as the foremost neutron research center in the United States, serving over 2,000 research participants annually. This position is for an engineer to join the team responsible for operating and maintaining the NCNR cold neutron sources. The cold neutron sources are liquid hydrogen thermosiphons cooled by a 7-kW cryogenic helium refrigerator. NCNR is planning a cold source upgrade in 2023 in which one of the liquid hydrogen sources is replaced with a liquid deuterium source. The cold neutron sources moderate neutrons from a 20 MW research reactor to produce sub-thermal neutrons for research programs.

The candidate performs engineering and project management work for a system with nuclear and thermodynamic components. Engineering work includes instrument and control installation and troubleshooting, PLC ladder logic programming, operation and maintenance of a helium refrigerator, and engineering support for auxiliary nuclear and mechanical systems. Project management work includes planning, scheduling, labor and cost estimates, and other administrative support for contracted upgrades and retrofits.

As a member of the cold source team in Reactor Engineering, the candidate will work directly with other engineers and reactor operators to support the stable operation of, and periodic upgrades to, the cold neutron sources.
  • Planning and management of projects for the cryogenic cold source, in particular, the installation and commissioning of the liquid deuterium source.
  • Design, modify and maintain electronic control systems, components, and equipment within engineering design teams for non-nuclear applications.
  • Development and installation efforts of the new cold source control system components, networks and computers.
  • Perform administrative duties on cold source control systems.
  • Configuration management and electronic documentation version control for cold source control systems.
  • Review and revise engineering drawings, procedures and specifications.
  • Work with technicians for maintenance and troubleshooting activities related to cold source control systems.
  • Develop data analytics and visualization applications using PLC ladder logic, Python, VB.NET, C#, or MATLAB
  • Assist in operation and maintenance of a cryogenic helium refrigerator and hydrogen cold source to maximize performance, reliability and safety
  • Update project schedules using Microsoft Projects.
  • Prepare Statements of Work for contracts, develop cost estimates, work with Acquisitions Management Division when negotiating contracts, review design submissions and work with suppliers and contractors to execute assigned tasks. Obtain government Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) certification.
  • Participate in external reviews, workshops and conferences.


Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service
  • Suitable for Federal employment
  • Fully vaccinated against COVID-19


Qualifications

Basic Requirements:

Degree: professional engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must: (1) be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; 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 professional 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 one of the following:

- Professional registration -- Current registration as a professional engineer by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico. Absent other means of qualifying under this standard, those applicants who achieved such registration by means other than written test (e.g., State grandfather or eminence provisions) are eligible only for positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of their registration. For example, an applicant who attains registration through a State Board's eminence provision as a manufacturing engineer typically would be rated eligible only for manufacturing engineering positions.
- Written Test-- Evidence of having successfully passed the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) examination, or the written test required for professional registration, which is administered by the Boards of Engineering Examiners in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

Applicants who have passed the EIT examination and have completed all the requirements for either (a) a bachelor's degree in engineering technology (BET) from an accredited college of university that included 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences, or (b) a BET from a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) may be rated eligible for certain engineering positions at GS-5. Eligibility is limited to positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of the engineering technology program. Applicants for positions that involve highly technical research, development, or similar functions requiring an advanced level of competence in basic science must meet the basic requirements in paragraph A.

Because of the diversity in kind and quality of BET programs, graduates of other BET programs are required to complete at least 1 year of additional education or highly technical work experience of such nature as to provide reasonable assurance of the possession of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for professional engineering competence. The adequacy of this background must be demonstrated by passing the EIT examination.

- Specified academic courses -- Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences and in engineering that included the courses specified in the basic requirements. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of a professional engineering curriculum as described in paragraph A.

- Related curriculum -- Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in engineering technology or in an appropriate professional field, e.g., physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of a degree in engineering, provided the applicant has had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. Ordinarily there should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professional engineering competence, or several years of prior professional engineering-type experience, e.g., in interdisciplinary positions. (The above examples of related curricula are not all-inclusive.)

NOTE: An applicant who meets the basic requirements as specified in A or B above may qualify for positions in any branch of engineering unless selective factors indicate otherwise, or unless he/she qualifies under the provisions of B.2 related to the EIT examination or BET degree.

In addition to the basic requirements, applicants must also have one year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-9 (ZP-II at NIST) level. Specialized Experience is defined as experience in electrical or mechanical engineering design, operation and analysis in the fields of research or industrial systems and experience with analog and digital instruments and controls and object-oriented programming

OR

Master's or equivalent graduate degree as defined in the basic requirements

OR

A combination of graduate education and specialized experience as defined in the additional requirements

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done. We will credit all qualifying volunteer experience in your application.

The qualification requirements in this vacancy announcement are based on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook .

Applicant Reconsideration

Education

This position has an education requirement. Transcripts must be submitted to validate that the education requirement has been met. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted in the application package. However, an official copy will be required prior to a final offer of employment.

Education completed outside of the U.S. must be evaluated by an accredited organization to ensure that it is comparable to education received in accredited institutions in the U.S. Click here to view a listing of accredited organizations from the Department of Education's website. A copy of the foreign education evaluation (containing the results with a course by course listing) is required with your application.

Additional information

As required by Executive Order 14043 , Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee's duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination by November 22, 2021 or onboarding with the agency, if after November 22. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request of the agency a legally required exception from this requirement.

The physical worksite for this position is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. However, the NIST Center for Neutron Research is currently under a maximum telework posture due to the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, this position is currently under a 100 percent telework schedule. The position's telework schedule will likely change in the future when NIST Center for Neutron Research moves away from its maximum telework posture. At that time, the incumbent will be expected to report to the physical work site in accordance with the updated status requirements of their supervisor. The nature and scope of future telework opportunities will be subject to the unit's telework policy, any applicable bargaining unit agreements, and supervisory approval. Payment of relocation expenses, as applicable, will be paid in accordance with this Job Opportunity Announcement. Non-compliance with the supervisor's telework-schedule requirement could result in adverse action, including separation.

This position is covered under NIST's Alternative Personnel Management System (APMS). The APMS is a pay-for-performance system with excellent HR flexibilities to help NIST recruit and retain top talent. Find out more about the APMS here !

A probationary period may be required.

We may share your application package with other selecting officials at NIST with opportunities like this one. Additional selections may be made through this vacancy.

NIST strives to build a flexible and encouraging work environment to bring out the best in our employees. To help our employees balance responsibilities at home and at work, NIST offers a variety of work-life flexibilities such as:
  • Telework
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Paid parental leave
  • Paid vacation
  • Sick leave
  • Family-friendly leave
  • Child and elder-care resources
  • On-site childcare center
  • Lactation spaces
  • Wellness programs
  • Fitness center
  • Employee assistance programs


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