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Senior Energy Engineer

Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)
  • Grade: IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Renewable Energy sector
  • Closing Date: 2019-08-29

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Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

Background Information - Job-specific

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

Within this remit, UN Environment, in partnership with the UN Office for Project Services, acts in the role of an in-house technical assistance team that provides solutions to Field Missions in the planning, designing, budgeting and implementing of a range of actions to reduce their environmental footprint across a range of technical areas. Field Missions are mandated by the UN Security Council to operate in specific countries and parts of countries for specific periods. The operations usually take place in locations with a fragile environment and a serious lack of infrastructure.

The technical assistance team will primarily provide expertise directly to Field Missions but also strategic support to DOS Environment and Engineering both in New York and the Global Support Centre based in Brindisi, Italy. Activities will be closely co-ordinated amongst these respective entities via existing work planning and request for deployment processes, principally under the guidance of the GSC Environmental Tehcnial Support Unit.  

This vacancy announcement is for a Senior Energy Engineer to provide hands-on engineering advice to UN field missions and strategic on approaches to improve energy efficiency and transition to renewably sourced power within challenging operational contexts.

Functional Responsibilities

The scope of this assignment is can be divided into: a) Operational field mission support b) Systemic and strategic advisory, including the catalysation of change in strategic approach.

A)            Operational field mission support (at least 50%):

Visit field missions to provide on-ground Technical Assistance and / or provide desktop support on the:

  • Undertaking baseline review of Energy use patterns and developing appropriate interventions.
  • Planning, design, costing, and implementation of Energy investment programmes.
  • Troubleshooting of sourcing, constructing, commissioning and operational problems.
  • Training / capacity building of UN engineering staff and/or local contractors in Energy management.
  • Review and provide technical advice to missions on their Energy Infrastructure Management Plans.

B)            Systemic and strategic advisory

Working under the auspices of a working group on Energy, contribute to systemic and strategic initiatives for improved Energy management in the field. The output shall include:

  • Scoping the technical challenge and developing an overall technical strategy for Energy. The  respective role of out-sourcing vs in-house solutions is to be comprehensively assessed.
  • A detailed exploration of technologies appropriate for various scales and complexities of field operations.
  • In-depth guidance for each priority technology and infrastructure, covering scoping, sizing, design, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance, troubleshooting and decommissioning.
  • Technical specifications, sourcing strategies and SOWs for priority technologies and infrastructures.
  • Cost engineering data including unit rates.
  • Guidance on the end-of-life including handover and/or decommissioning/redeployment of Energy infrastructure.
  • The activities and outputs will need to consider, inter-alia, the following constraints:
  • Relatively short timeframes for planning, design, construct and commissioning and operational lifespan.
  • The capital and operating costs, in particular a rigorous method for establishing the levelised cost of energy. 
  • Complexity of contracting arrangements, such as joint UN initiatives, co-financing, PPAs etc.
  • The potential for handover to host nations / redeployment upon mission liquidation.
  • Outputs will include:
  • Provision of advice in the form of verbal, written and diagrammatic output, including face to face/VTC meetings and presentations, internal documents and associated working files to high standard. 
  • Writing and/or editing short technical and applied research reports for publication as grey literature.
  • Regular attendance and pro-active contribution to various working group and senior leadership meetings.

The Engineer will act as the technical lead and primary author. Technical, CAD and editing support will be available, however the Engineer will be responsible for co-ordinating and scheduling the support tasks, which may come from both internal teams and external partners. The Engineer may be responsible for managing the tasks of junior staff members.

Travel (up to 30%), potentially to remote locations including least developed countries, will be required. All travel expenses will be covered in accordance with UN rules and regulations.

The successful candidate will be working in a multi-stakeholder team. They would be expected to demonstrate professionalism and a strong work ethic; ability to work on their own under minimal supervision; flexibility and willingness to assist with tasks outside formal TORs.


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • Advanced University Degree (Master's or equivalent) in Electrical, Mechanical Engineering, Economics, or other relevant discipline.
  • An additional 5 years of relevant work experience in combination with a relevant first university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) may substitute for the requirement for a Master’s degree


  • At least 7 years’ technical experience in the design, planning, installation and commissioning of electrical and/or mechanical engineering projects in the energy sector.
  • At least 5 years’ experience in engineering project management and the leadership of engineering and technical teams.
  • At least 3 years’ experience in applied engineering research and technical development and the writing of technical reports.
  • Experience in solar PV grid connected and off-grid power supply systems and associated metering and monitoring technology.
  • Experience in fieldwork in remote sites, fragile states and post conflict settings.
  • Experience within the UN is desirable.
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment with respect for diversity and gender awareness.
  • Analytical skills and the ability to provide recommendations and sound business cases/justifications.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English in writing, reading and speaking is required.
  • Fluency in French is desirable.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: ICA Contract level: I-ICA 3
Contract duration: 1 year. Renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability.

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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