Lead Geotechnical Engineer- Retainer
Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)
Background Information - Job-specific
Located in Nairobi, Kenya, the Kenya Multi Country Office manages a growing portfolio of engagements, including associated strategic and operational risks. The KEMC sub-region currently consists of an established Operation Centre in Nairobi/Kenya which manages a portfolio of engagements in multiple countries in East and South Africa. This includes transactional projects in partnership with the Nairobi based UN Agencies, UN-Habitat and UNEP, and multiple ‘operational’ projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and island states.
The Technical Services Unit (TSU) office is based in Nairobi, and has recently been structured as a standalone ‘project’ within UNOPS. The TSU engages in multidisciplinary design, assessments and advisory work, and manages relationships with other technical stakeholders such as specialist design firms for high risk structures. Recently the team has expanded its offering to include consulting services such as assessments, feasibility studies and advisory services on a wide range of infrastructure types. We want to continue and further expand technical services to our partners and clients at a wider field of operations.
The TSU currently has 15 permanent and 40+ retainer personnel including architects, civil engineers, structural engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, quantity surveyors, GIS and specialist infrastructure advisors (for dams, ICT and biomedical works) and CAD technicians as well as support personnel. Current projects are underway / imminent in Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, ESwatini, Zambia, Mozambique and Cameroon. During 2020, upwards of 70 requisitions were signed for work on the African continent.
UNOPS undertakes a number of infrastructure projects in the Africa region. The purpose of this role would be to provide advice where these projects require specialist geotechnical input.
The The Lead Geotechnical Engineer -Retainer will be prepared to travel to any site in or around the countries under KEMC as required and as UNDSS permits. He/she shall be responsible for accuracy, interpretation, analysis of all data received and for reporting on conclusion and recommendations reached. The scope of work to be carried by him/her shall broadly include but not limited to the functions detailed below:
(a) Desk Study
Desk review of available data
Define scope of field study to be undertaken
(b) Field Study
Inform geotechnical investigations to assess suitability of materials, subsurface parameters to be investigated, prescribe tests to be subjected to materials and the appropriate procedures and standards to be followed for various civil & structural projects
Review in situ field and laboratory test results and make technical recommendation to aid the design of various civil & structural projects
Guide geotechnical investigation contractors on site and in the laboratory where necessary
Analyse raw data and using relevant softwares, carry out geotechnical engineering analysis such as rock and slope stability and make technical recommendations.
Analysis and reporting:
Photos, sketches or marked up drawings to support data
Final Report of findings and recommendations
Produce any appropriate documentation identified by the project lead
Provide technical support, training and capacity building to project teams as required.
Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for development planning and knowledge building
Impact of Results
Optimized engineering of civil and structural works
High quality reporting
Improved staff capacity
Advanced university degree (Master or equivalent) in Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Geotechnics, Soil Mechanics, Engineering Geology or similar discipline is required
University Degree (Bachelor’s degree / first level) in any of the above disciplines with two (2) additional years of relevant work experience will be accepted in lieu of the educational requirement outlined above.
Minimum 5 years of experience in Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Geotechnics, Soil Mechanics, Engineering Geology or similar with at least 3 years of specific experience in Geotechnical engineering, or Materials Science or Materials Engineering field is required
Minimum of 2 years working in Africa is desirable
Registered with a recognized professional engineering regulatory body is required
|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.|
Contract type, level and duration
Contract level: ICS 10/LICA 10
Contract duration: 'One year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and the availability of funds"
For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:
- 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.
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.