Salary: Salary and benefits are competitive. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Closing Info: Open Until Filled

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As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

RAPID Facility is searching for a Natural Hazards Data Specialist (Research Engineer – Assistant) to engage in research pertaining to natural hazards and disasters, field reconnaissance, geomatics, and civil engineering.

The Natural Hazards Reconnaissance Facility (referred to as the “RAPID Facility”) the field reconnaissance node of the NHERI network. Headquartered at the University of Washington (UW), it is a collaboration between UW, Oregon State University, Virginia Tech, and the University of Florida. The RAPID enables state-of-the-art field collection of critical scientific, engineering, and social science data following natural disasters. The facility includes: (i) surveying equipment such as lidar, total station, digital level, GNSS, seismic equipment, ground investigation equipment, uncrewed aerial systems equipped with image and lidar data collection capabilities, various imaging equipment including streetview and 360 degree cameras, coastal equipment including a remotely operated hydrographic survey boat, ADP, grab sampler, processing computers, and various other hand operated measuring equipment; (ii) software to support data collection and process collected data, including the RAPID App (RApp) which the RAPID has and continues to develop for field reconnaissance data collection; (iii) staff; and (iv) a headquarters for supporting field missions, data transfer and data analysis. This is a   shared use facility, and its mission is to serve the needs of reconnaissance researchers supported by NSF or other agencies.

Diversity is a core value at the National Science Foundation and the University of Washington. The RAPID Facility shares this commitment. We are focused on building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable research environment for all students, staff, and collaborators. We believe every member on our team enriches our community by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design and deliver solutions.

The Research Scientist/Engineer – Assistant will hold the position of Natural Hazards Data Specialist within the NHERI Rapid Facility. The applicant will assist in carrying out the day-to-day operations of the Rapid Facility in collaboration with the facility’s Operations Engineer, and under the direction of the facility’s Operations Manager and leadership team.

The Natural Hazards Data Specialist will assist RAPID Facility users to process their critical Natural hazards reconnaissance data. The selected candidate will be at the forefront of natural hazards reconnaissance science and will help to develop and implement the next-generation data processing methods. The position will be responsible for managing data from field deployments: from backing up after the field to curation on the DesignSafe Cyber Infrastructure. This will include processing geospatial and remote sensing data to meet project deadlines and data deliverables. This position requires an eagerness to learn about natural hazards and disaster data, demonstrated technical proficiency, and integrity to take responsibility for assuring quality deliverables. Extensive training on the specific instrumentation data, data workflows, and software used for processing will be provided during the first months of employment. Ability to and interest in learning data processing methods for geomatics data including lidar is critical.

The position is based on the University of Washington’s campus and will support the RAPID Facility in a broad range of tasks. Specific responsibilities include:

Data Management and Processing

  • Gain and maintain an operational knowledge of RAPID data and post-processing software.
  • Process and analyze data from RAPID deployments, initially with assistance from current RAPID staff.
  • Manage data from field deployments, including instrument download, quality control, storage, archiving, curation, and publishing under the guidance of the Operations Manager and Data Analysis Lead.
  • Provide facility users with assistance in archival and retrieval of data to the NHERI data repository.

Administration and Training

  • Actively learn post-processing software, methods, and workflows.
  • Participate and assist with preparations for the Annual NSF site visit.
  • Assist with NSF facility performance tracking and required reporting.
  • Participate in Annual performance reviews.
  • Acquire and maintain proper qualifications and credentials. (e.g., FAA Part-107 Drone Pilots license)

Workshops, Outreach, and Education

  • Assist RAPID Personnel with 4-day Workshop and specialized workshop planning, training module preparation, and logistics.
  • Participate in Undergraduate REU training and research project implementation.
  • Improve RAPID instrumentation, software, and data analysis tutorials by optimizing workflows.
  • Implement user-specific training programs on instrumentation, software, and data analysis.
  • Assist with growing the facility’s user base through various outreach, education, and marketing activities, E.g. UW Discovery Days.
  • Perform User Recruitment, Advertising, and promotion at Professional or Academic Conferences.

Facility Readiness

  • Perform instrumentation onboarding, maintenance, and tracking while assisting the RAPID Operations Engineer.
  • Maintain computing resources and software with the Operations Engineer.
  • Strengthen RAPID’s data collection protocols by providing feedback on data processing workflows.
  • Share facility organization and cleanliness with all RAPID Personnel.
  • Deployment Planning:  Assist with arranging personnel travel logistics, equipment shipping, asset tracking, and retrieval for RAPID deployments.
  • Deployments: assist with instrumentation use in collaboration with external research teams during field deployments after natural hazard events.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Civil (geotechnical, structural, etc.) engineering, geomatics, Remote Sensing, Geography (GIS), or similar.
  • Valid Driver’s License

Application Process:
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your “My Jobs” page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.