Electrical Power Systems Research Engineer

Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
21 Nov 2017
End of advertisement period
19 Dec 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Description of Work Unit

The Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) at Colorado State University offers a curriculum that integrates exceptional classroom learning and in-depth engineering practice for an unparalleled educational experience. Made up of 38 faculty members, 8 staff members, 1200 undergraduate students, and 150 graduate students, mechanical engineering is one of the largest departments on CSU’s campus. State-of-the-art labs provide unmatched, hands-on experience to help undergraduate students conceptualize industry environments; and, $7.5M in annual research funding, provides groundbreaking opportunities focusing on health, materials, and energy, for graduate students to enhance their educational concentrations. Award-winning faculty offer industry and academic perspective, equipping each graduate with the tools needed to obtain leading positions in advanced technology fields.

Further information about the Department can be found at www.engr.colostate.edu/me/.

Position Summary

With a strong multi-disciplinary focus, the Systems Engineering Program at CSU includes faculty from diverse departments with the university such as Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical, and Biomedical Engineering. In this position, the research engineer will be fortunate to work with some of the best students and faculty across the university and in collaboration with industrial partners to support research on innovative and transformative projects to help solve the world’s most pressing energy challenges.

In this role, the research engineer will provide a key role in helping to build and expand CSU’s power system laboratory capabilities, standardize test procedures and data collection, provide information for technical reports, ensure safe operation of the laboratory, and provide mentoring and supervision for undergraduate and graduate students in the laboratory. The research engineer will be a key liaison for interactions with external partners conducting research experiments in the laboratory. It is also expected that the research engineer will contribute to research that will result in co-authorship on scholarly publications.

Required Job Qualifications

  1. Hold a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, or equivalent, from an ABET accredited university; 

  2. Self-driven and able to work independently with minimal supervision;
  3. Demonstrated hands-on experience with instrumentation for electrical power testing and measurement (e.g., oscilloscopes, ac and dc power supplies, power analyzers, voltage/current probes, load banks, electrical machines and dynos, etc.); 

  4. Demonstrated experience creating and using software for data collection, visualization and control such as Matlab, Python, and Labview;
  5. Excellent writing and report-generation abilities;
  6. Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills;

  7. Ability to physically move lab equipment, tools and materials when necessary.

Preferred Job Qualifications

  1. Master’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, or equivalent, from an ABET accredited university, with a power engineering focus;
  2. Minimum three years of relevant industry or academic experience in an experimental power laboratory; 

  3. Strong interest in coding for stand-alone and embedded applications using high-level and compiled languages, and desire to learn new computer languages;
  4. Experience using version control software in a team environment.
  5. Experience with power-electronic drive systems for electrical machines;
  6. Ability to interpret and create detailed electrical drawings using software such as AutoCAD Electrical;
  7. Experience using National Instruments systems such as C-RIO, SB-RIO and PXI;
  8. Ability to design, create and test Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) for applications as needed, such as creating interface, amplifier and driver-boards;
  9. Experience using real-time simulators such as Opal-RT, RTDS or Typhoon;
  10. Experience with design for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), specification and/or interpretation of electromagnetic interference (EMI) testing;

  11. Desire to publish in scholarly journals and present research findings to the academic, government and industrial communities;
  12. Ability to work with various groups of people including students, faculty, staff and other collaborators both within the University and external to the University;
  13. Strong desire to work on projects with environmental sustainability and humanitarian goals;
  14. Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects and priorities. 

Diversity Statement

Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Lab Operations Duty/Responsibility

  • Assist in conducting experimentation in the power laboratory for faculty, graduate students and industrial partners;
  • Specify new laboratory instrumentation and installation needs for expanding power testing capabilities, such as ac and dc power supplies, load banks, battery energy storage systems, power-electronic converters, and motor/dyno sets;
  • Specify new laboratory instrumentation needed for expanding data acquisition and management, such as low and high-frequency data acquisition boards/modules, networking equipment; voltage and current sensing amplifiers, probes and cabling;
  • Install, create and maintain Graphical User Interface (GUI) software for data visualization and instrumentation controls;
  • Maintain organized data repository from test measurements and maintain a system for creating standardized and repeatable on-line and paper test-reports, which may include interfacing to or creating code in languages such as Python, Matlab, and Labview;
  • Create, maintain and enforce standardized laboratory test procedures for conducting repeatable experimentation;
  • Maintain accurate drawings, wiring diagrams and pin-outs of the laboratory and specify modifications needed for the installation of new/replaced/upgraded equipment;
  • Install and validate the proper operation of new equipment as needed;
  • Ensure laboratory space is organized and professional;
  • Assist when needed in conducting tours for visitors to the laboratory and helping to provide informational posters and other materials to highlight lab capabilities;
  • Assist when necessary to support other Department/Program’s research labs.

Percentage Of Time 60 Job Duty Category Research Duty/Responsibility

  • Working with Systems Engineering faculty, conduct innovate research to pursue new research ideas and perform experimentation for concept validation;
  • Contribute data, plots and writing for scholarly publications;
  • Assist when needed in presenting research findings. 

Percentage Of Time 20 Job Duty Category Mentoring Duty/Responsibility

  • Work closely with Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) and researchers/analysts in partner organizations to ensure experimentation is conducted correctly and safely; 

  • Provide supervision of users of the laboratory to ensure safe operations.

Percentage Of Time 5 Job Duty Category Inventory Management Duty/Responsibility

  • Manage all dedicated laboratory equipment and any equipment on loan;
  • Track, execute and document equipment calibrations; 

  • Maintain and update capital equipment inventory list; 

  • Execute proper disposal of excess, defective or obsolete equipment; 

  • Manage inventory of consumables, test samples, sensors, probes, cabling, electrical and electronic spares, etc.

Percentage Of Time 15

Application Details

Special Instructions to Applicants

References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates

Conditions of Employment

Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires)

Search Contact Stephanie Rosso, stephanie.rosso@colostate.edu

EEO Statement

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Title IX Coordinator is the Executive Director of the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523 -2026, (970) 491-7407.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Capital, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

Background Check Policy Statement

Colorado State University (CSU) strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal (felony and misdemeanor) history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the university, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.