Wanted - Some Dam Engineers!

Nancy Anderson
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OK, chill-out. I spelled that correctly. As part of my research for my series “Engineering Graduates Do What?” I ran across a current posting for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department Of Energy for the position “Supervisory Civil Engineer-Dam Safety”. Like I said, they are looking for some dam engineers.

This caught my eye because I had never heard of this engineering position. We are not talking here about civil and structural engineers to DESIGN dams; this is about evaluating and managing existing ones! Here are some excerpts from the posting, just in case this sounds boring to you.

SALARY RANGE: $118,846.00 to $154,501.00 /year
PAID TIME OFF: Ten paid holidays, 13 days of sick leave, up to 26 days vacation

Now that I have your attention, check this out!

First, you DO need to be a Degreed professional engineer from a “curriculum that must":

  1. Be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or

  2. Include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics:
    a. Statics, dynamics;
    b. strength of materials (stress-strain relationships);
    c. Fluid mechanics, hydraulics;
    d. Thermodynamics;
    e. Electrical fields and circuits;
    f. Nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and
    g. Any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.”

Combination of education and experience -- college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished:

  1. a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying professional engineering, and

  2. A good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering.” (phew!)

AND/OR, Registered as a PE in this field.

Second, your resume should clearly show possession of these competencies. The Occupational Questions are used to evaluate your relevant educational and work experience. The questions are related to competencies/knowledge, skills, and abilities such as:

  • Ability to lead subordinate staff and carry out management responsibilities to include communication, setting direction, implementation and achievement, fostering and promoting teamwork, and building trust and commitment.

  • Ability to conduct management studies and analysis of human resource requirements.

  • Ability to take appropriate action on dam safety engineering issues in the design, construction, inspection, remediation, security, operation and environmental effects of hydropower projects.

  • Knowledge of geotechnical, structural, hydrology, hydraulics, risk assessment and other civil engineering disciplines involved in dam safety.

  • Skill in developing and presenting expert and reliable dam safety information and engineering analysis.

  • Ability to make informed recommendations on safety issues and engineering analyses.

Of course, when you are ready to jump into this Dam job, there are just a few more requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen

  • Must meet specialized experience

  • One year probationary period may be required

  • Generally, male applicants must be registered with the Selective Service

  • A background investigation is required

  • Provide transcripts to document educational requirement for engineer

I actually never imagined that a PE had quite that much to do when checking out old Dams. I do know now that we all better keep on studying and:
You can do this!

By K.B. Elliott
K. B. Elliott is a freelance writer for Engineer-Jobs.com. Working related positions in the Detroit area for over 30 years gives him a unique perspective on the process. To read his blogs, please go to Engineer-Jobsblog.com, and be sure to check out the postings for jobs in nearly any industry at Nexxt


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