By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Lead Mechanical Engineer - Retainer

Addis Ababa

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Addis Ababa
  • Grade: LICA-10, Local Individual Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Technology, Electronics and Mechanics
    • Mechanics and Electronics (Engineering)
    • Documentation and Information Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2022-07-06

Background Information - Job-specific

Established in 2009, UNOPS Ethiopia Office has been providing services to various partners, including the government of Ethiopia, UN agencies such as WHO, UNHCR and WFP, and other international organizations. Since 2014, the UNOPS Ethiopia Multi-Country office manages and coordinates the UNOPS activities in Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti. The UNOPS Ethiopia Multi-Country office team is composed of approximately 100 national and international women and men, and offers a broad range of services such as infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial and human resources management. 

Position Background

UNOPS strategy for Ethiopia Multi Country Office is aimed at providing support to the Government and people of Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti through the delivery of projects and services in line with the governments’ own priorities and also under the UN Delivery as One initiative. The UNOPS Ethiopia Multi Country Office (ETMCO) has been established as an organizational mechanism to deliver a range of projects for which UNOPS has been appointed as the implementation agency. At present, UNOPS ETMC office is implementing and negotiating a number of projects in a range of sectors including infrastructure development, Procurement Support to Government Ministries and other UN agencies and  HR support to UN agencies. The functional objective of UNOPS ETMCO is to deliver projects in an efficient and effective manner, to achieve the development outcomes sought by the Government of Ethiopia and the donor community, where capacity building is always considered and encouraged.

Functional Responsibilities

 Under the direct supervision of Senior Programme Manager, the Lead Mechanical Engineer is responsible of the below duties
  1. General construction
  2. Feasibility/needs assessment
  3. Design Development
  4. Construction supervision
  5. Knowledge management

1. General Construction

  • Plan and coordinate work activities with the senior programme manager or head of programme.

  • Contribute to development, implementation, monitoring and updating of the project plans and strategies in order to ensure delivery is to the scope budget and time.

  • Provide expert opinion/advice to the senior programme manager on all engineering issues and in particular mechanical works that include identification and preparation of specifications for industrial and medical equipment, pumping systems, Ventilation and air conditioning systems, plumbing systems, sanitation systems etc. 

  • Provide supervision of project work progress and quality for on-time project delivery. 

2. Feasibility /needs assessment

  • Complete needs assessment and monitor/supervising consultants within their area of expertise.

  • Manage the review of requests for new construction and rehabilitation works specific to mechanical items related to power, water supply and sanitation systems.

  • Carry out assessments and prepare reports with recommendations for follow up actions within their area of expertise.

  • Redact the tender dossier, with particular focus to the technical documents (drawings, BoQ, technical specification and standards of equipment, pumping systems, generators, plumbing systems, etc).

3. Design Management

  • Applying technical expertise and professional experience, the Mechanical Engineer will support projects by providing guidance in the design development of mechanical works to achieve technical objectives. The mechanical works will include pumping systems, generators, industrial and medical equipment, gas systems, plumbing systems and sanitation, and ventilation and air conditioning systems.  

  • Review mechanical design drawings, technical specifications, and BOQs in terms of accuracy and suitability to overall design requirements, identifying aspects where designs do not comply with minimum codes and standards, and providing practical guidance for design improvement.

  • Outline design requirements (e.g. timeline) to procure design services, including concept, preliminary and final stages where applicable.

  • Prepare mechanical design calculations for projects to be developed by the UNOPS design team in the field offices and within the multi-country office.

  • Preparation of mechanical design drawings, specifications and BoQs for projects by UNOPS design team in the field offices and within the multi-country office.

  • Supporting the procurement team with technical guidance in preparation of tender documentation and bid analysis where required.

4. Supervision 

  • Supervise specific mechanical works during construction and/or installation as per the contractual provisions and the design specifications.

  • Ensure quantity/quality control and time schedule consistency.

  • Verify that works are consistent with the project technical specifications and inform promptly of eventual deviations where required.

  • Provide regular supervision of the project work progress and quality for on time delivery.

  • Ensure respect of health and safety procedures on the site and report any irregularity.

5. Knowledge management 

  • Provide training and technology transfer to national personnel and contractor’s personnel and advice on good construction practices, good environmental management practices, and appropriate health and safety standards during the design development and implementation stage.

  • Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for development planning and knowledge building.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • A Master’s Degree is required preferably in Mechanical Engineering or related fields. 
  • Professional certification in mechanical engineering is an asset.
  • A Bachelor's Degree  or equivalent in Mechanical  Engineering or related fields with  two additional years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of Master’s Degree requirement (total 7 years of experience).

  •  At least  five (5) years  of relevant experience with Masters Degree OR seven (7) years  of relevant experience with Bachelor Degree in mechanical engineering is required
  • Knowledge of industrial equipment and machinery and heating/cooling systems, particularly in the design and installation of Heating & Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems is an added advantage
  • Fluency in written and oral English and the local language (Amharic) is required
  • Knowledge of another official UNOPS language is an asset.
  • Engineering - Mechanical Engineering ( 5 years) - required
  • Infrastructure - Health - Hospital (Optional)
  • Engineering - Development infrastructure sector (Optional)
  • Environment - Green Infrastructure (Optional)
  • Contextual Skills - UN experience (Optional)


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. 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

  1. Contract type: Local Individual Contract Agreement (LICA) 
  2. Contract level: LICA-10 - Retainer
  3. Contract duration:  'One year initially, 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
  • 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.

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.