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Senior Geotechnical Engineer (Retainer), Multiple positions

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
    • Documentation and Information Management
  • Closing Date: 2020-10-25

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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.

Diversity

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 - Implementation Practices and Standards (IPS)

Within UNOPS, Implementation Practices and Standards (IPS) is responsible for the UNOPS delivery practices. IPS provides thought leadership, standards and oversight as support to the successful delivery of programmes and projects within UNOPS service lines (infrastructure, procurement, project management, human resources and financial management services).

IPS is comprised of the Infrastructure and Project Management Group (IPMG) and the Procurement Group (PG) which aims to reduce organizational risks, improve project performance, and promote excellence across UNOPS projects through the Standards Management Framework; and provides organisational oversight on the application of standards. These Groups also support the positioning of UNOPS in the UN system and development sector in Infrastructure, Project Management and Procurement. In addition, the Portfolio Support unit aims at building up and managing the organisational readiness of UNOPS and therefore support the implementation of the UNOPS global portfolio. It also provides support services to the Implementation Practices and Standards function. Last, the IPS is hosting the corporate Knowledge Management initiative.

Background Information – IPMG

UNOPS strategic focus places increased emphasis on national capacity development and sustainable approaches to project management, procurement and infrastructure services.  A key objective is to be recognized as an organization that delivers world-class infrastructure and project management, which is both economically and socially sustainable, even in the most challenging environments. To achieve this goal, UNOPS has established the Infrastructure and Project Management Group (IPMG). 

Within UNOPS, IPMG’s objectives are to serve the organization’s personnel and partners by broadening their infrastructure and project management capabilities, while disseminating best-practices in both of these areas. Through this work, the group helps facilitate the successful delivery of programmes and projects around the world.

To achieve its objectives, IPMG has established three interrelated and interdependent work streams, namely, Engagement Assurance, Strategic Initiatives, and Standards. IPMG is managed overall by the Deputy Director of IPMG. 

The Engagement Assurance (EA) team ensures an oversight function on the application of standards, guidance and best practice throughout the project cycle. This is undertaken through Infrastructure Design Review, Organizational Portfolio Management Office reviews (OPMO), Risk-based Performance Assessments (RBPA) and hosting the secretariat for the Engagement Acceptance Committee (EAC).


Background Information - Job-specific

The Engagement Assurance work stream includes the Design Review team. The Senior Geotechnical Engineer will provide the technical support services and qualifications to Design Review as part of their regular evaluation of infrastructure designs submitted by UNOPS' global project offices. The Senior Geotechnical Engineer will work in support of Engagement Assurance and Standards streams, and may also work directly on behalf of projects.

This is a home-based assignment, which may involve travel to various locations, including to remote or post-conflict/post disaster environments. The functions/duties/key results of this job description are generic and may not always be applicable, nor be comprehensive, for all missions under this job title. The specific tasks and deliverables for each retainer assignment may vary and will be detailed in the terms of reference developed for each assignment by the requesting office/unit, which IPMG will exercise an oversight on. 

All retainer assignments will be managed via the UNOPS online retainer management tool managed by Portfolio Support (PS), including the request for the retainer’s services and the provision of feedback for each assignment. 

All UNOPS personnel are required to share a common understanding of UNOPS’ and the UN’s mandate, policies and activities. To this end, UNOPS Personnel must complete a set of mandatory courses. As a UNOPS ICA retainer, you are required to complete three (3)  online courses upon signature of your contract and prior to commencing any retainer assignment related to Ethics and Integrity, the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Security awareness while on official mission. These courses are available for free on UNOPS learning platform and shall be completed within the first three months following the contract signature,  at no cost for UNOPS. 

Functional Responsibilities

Reporting to IPMG’s Design Review Manager, the Senior Geotechnical Engineer will play a key role in ensuring the safety and quality of UNOPS infrastructure works. Specifically, the the Senior Geotechnical Engineer will perform the following duties and responsibilities: 
1. Technical review of design documentation 
  • Review and provide detailed comment on geotechnical design drawings and calculations, technical specifications, and bill of quantities (BOQs) in terms of accuracy and suitability to overall design objectives, identifying aspects where designs do not align with applicable, technical codes and standards and also established IPMG policies and technical design guidance. 
  • Technical evaluation and comment on design and implementation of geotechnical investigations and reports including seismic considerations, technical assessments of excavations & retaining structures, and review of foundation designs and calculations including seismic considerations for  residential & institutional buildings, slabs, linear transport infrastructure (roads, bridges, retaining walls), dams, towers, storage tanks, and green technologies (wind turbines, photovoltaic frames, irrigation canals)
2. Support to design development
  • Applying technical expertise and professional experience, the Senior Geotechnical Engineer will support projects by providing technical guidance in the development and/or implementation of geotechnical designs to achieve technical objectives through independent, 3rd party design review and also possible direct field support.
3. Application of professional judgment
  • To ensure protection of life/safety, functionality and fitness of purpose while recognizing the circumstances and constraints of the UNOPS operational context, the Senior Geotechnical Engineer will be required to apply professional judgment in the technical assessment and mitigation of project design risks and ranking of importance for recommended design adjustments.
4. Independence, integrity, and objectivity
  • In the performance of professional services, the Senior Geotechnical Engineer will act as an independent technical expert person, free of conflicts of interests, and must be able to maintain the integrity of his/her technical opinion.

Competencies

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.
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. 
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

Education

  • An advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in Geotechnical Science/Engineering is required.

  • A university degree (Bachelor's degree level) in Civil Engineering or other relevant degrees with a combination of additional 2 years of demonstrated professional experience in Geotechnical Science may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.

Experience

  • At least 7 years of progressively responsible experience in geotechnical engineering roles is required

  •  Within these 7 years, at least 3  years of experience in design and calculations of complex geotechnical systems is required (complex system could mean multi floor excavations, complex foundations, soil improvement, slope stability, etc..)

  • Experience and training in Finite Elements Analysis is a significant asset (candidates are required to demonstrate this experience in their profile, if they have it)

  • Experience in structural design of foundations and other geotechnical areas (retaining walls, soil improvement, etc) is a significant advantage 

  • Understanding of and experience with geotechnical analysis including considerations for seismic impacts and liquefaction, settlement analysis, impacts of negative skin friction on piles, and calculations of the stability, strength and rigidity of structures, including loads, stresses and safety factors, among others is highly desired

  • Understanding of and experience in applications of geotechnical engineering design within a developing country context is highly desired.

  • Knowledge of sustainable and resilient approaches to geotechnical engineering and green technologies is an asset 

  • Knowledge of seismic-resistant design and calculations is an asset.

Language

  • Fluency in English is required

  • Fluency either in Spanish or French is highly desirable 

Certifications

Professional Engineering (PE) license / certification from an internationally recognized accreditation authority is desirable

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type:  Individual Contractor Agreement (ICA) Contract level: IICA 3
Contract duration: one year, with possibility of extension


For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:
https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx 

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
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • 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.

Additional information

  • A retainer Individual Contractor Agreement (ICA) is issued for a period of time during which the services of the individual contractor may be required intermittently.

  • A retainer ICA will specify a unit price (e.g. amount per day actually worked). For budgetary purposes, a monetary limit will be specified at the time the ICA is awarded and issued.

  • UNOPS shall have no obligation to obtain any minimum quantity of Services from the Individual Contractor during the duration of the retainer ICA.

  • Payment will be made only after completion of work (if any).

  • A retainer ICA does not accord any exclusivity to the Individual Contractor with respect to the Services listed in the job description. UNOPS shall have no limitation on its right to obtain Services of the same kind from any other source at any time.

  • UNOPS Individual Contractors must comply with the standards of conduct required of a UN civil servant, when carrying out his/her official UNOPS duties and also all other times. This includes the standards of conduct set forth in the UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin of 9 October 2003 entitled “Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse” (ST/SGB/2003/13) and the UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin of 18 June 2002 entitled "Regulations Governing the Status, Basic Rights and Duties of Officials other than Secretariat Officials, and Experts on Mission" (ST/SGB/2002/9) as they may be amended from time to time.

  • UNOPS Individual Contractors must comply with all applicable UNOPS policies and instructions. This includes the obligation to declare any outside activity that could result in an actual or perceived conflict with the interests of the UN; as well as to refrain from using information gained through the UNOPS Individual Contractor Agreement contract for the Individual Contractor’s own purposes or to help a third party (unless the information is already in the public domain), in particular but not only in relation to procurement of works, goods and services.

  • UNOPS Individual Contractors must abide by UN safety and security policies, instructions, directives, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

  • The standard terms and conditions of the UNOPS ICA as of the present date can be found at https://content.unops.org/HR-Documents/ICA_contract/Annex-A-ENGLISH.pdf


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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