University of Washington   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Engineering
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Posted on April 30, 2020
Req #: 179042
Job Location: Other Location
Posting Date: 04/30/2020 
Closing Info: Open Until Filled 
Salary: Salary is commensurate with education and experience. 
Shift: First Shift 

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a “Great College to Work For” for six consecutive years. 

The College of Built Environments has an outstanding opportunity for a Research Scientist Engineer 3. The college is seeking an experienced and collaborative Research Leader to help execute the mission of the Carbon Leadership Forum - to eliminate embodied carbon in buildings and infrastructure by inspiring innovation and spurring change through collective action.

Recognizing that buildings account for nearly half of global CO2 emissions, the Carbon Leadership Forum at the University of Washington is dedicated to accelerating the transformation of the building sector to radically reduce the embodied carbon in building materials and construction through collective action.

The Carbon Leadership Forum propels knowledge through its embodied carbon research and resources, collaborates through its robust network of architects, engineers, contractors, material suppliers, building owners, policymakers and associations, and spurs action by supporting and empowering its members to advance new ideas and approaches through impactful initiatives.

The Research Leader is responsible for successful execution of the Carbon Leadership Forum’s projects, including the execution of research, development of educational resources, and incubation of industry led initiatives in order to maintain and expand the Carbon Leadership Forum’s reputation as a center of technical excellence and industry engaged research.

Requiring expertise in building sector embodied carbon assessments and life cycle assessment (LCA), the Research Leader is responsible for development, testing and facilitation of adoption and application of emerging methods, data and tools, expand embodied carbon and LCA capacity within the building sector and collaborating with industry to establish standards, policy and practices that improve the methods for embodied carbon reporting, evaluation and reduction.

The position requires the ability to work independently and without direction on assigned tasks and projects to define and implement the broad programmatic goals of the Carbon Leadership Forum. Building sector integration of LCA and embodied carbon reductions are emerging disciplines and thus this position requires the ability to: plan and conduct work requiring independent judgement, implement new tools and methods, evaluate, select and substantially adapt/modify emerging LCA techniques and procedures, and devise new approaches to problems encountered. Projects are complex and include diverse scopes and teams. Requires sufficient professional experience to assure competence as a fully functional researcher/professional. This position is contingent on project funding availability.


Conduct research and development to support open access embodied carbon and LCA data and increase technical capacity within the building sector.  This includes:
  • Managing multiple projects including their planning scheduling and execution. Depending on the project scale this will require sole ownership of the project execution or the responsibility to manage and monitor the work of others to ensure the project meets project objectives.
  • Interface with clients, partners and UW research teams. Monitor the work of others and redirect efforts to achieve task/project objectives or enhance quality. Mentor junior staff in development of technical, project and business development skills.
  • Create opportunities to enhance technical methodology or content through expansion of existing, or development of, new efforts.
  • Build and develop stakeholder groups to assess and refine initiatives incubated by the Carbon Leadership Forum such as:
  • The Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3 tool) which requires the development of multiple material specific stakeholder groups including materials in structure, enclosure, and interior materials. Convene groups via quarterly conference calls, develop mechanisms to assess stakeholder adoption and concerns, and create reports of findings.
  • Develop and execute research and consulting projects that advance the state of embodied carbon/LCA practice including:?Building scale life cycle assessments with unique systems or data.
  • Novel methods to conduct whole building LCAs.
  • Integration of embodied carbon reduction strategies in practice.

    Present and publicize LCA methodologies to stakeholders and interested groups
  • Grow the CLF’s resources on LCA for building industry professionals:?Develop and deliver the technical content in CLF webinars.
  • Develop and deliver practice facing print and online resources.

  • Obtain invitations to present at webinars/events developed by external organizations.
  • Present and publicize data methodologies at regional/national and international venues including conferences, trade publications, and academic journals. Results should be visible/impactful in peer community.
  • Develop and deliver practice facing print and online resources.
  • Obtain invitations to present at webinars/events developed by external organizations.
  • Present and publicize data methodologies at regional/national and international venues including conferences, trade publications, and academic journals. Results should be visible/impactful in peer community.

    Advocate within the building sector (including green building programs, standards development bodies, government policy makers) for improved, rigorous data standards for embodied carbon reporting. This includes:
  • Identify relevant product category rule and standards development and participate on committees.
  • Serve on embodied carbon/building material advisory boards for industry NGOs and government agencies.
  • Write annual summary report of the state of the industry including both evaluation of current practices and recommendations for future development.

    Strategic Development
  • Understand broad strategic objectives of the Carbon Leadership Forum and contribute to their execution and refinement.
  • Nurture and maintain relationships with major customers/grantors of external research and development grant funding.
  • Use peer network to expand technical capabilities and identify new research opportunities.

    Lead Responsibilities:

    Conduct research related to the use of Life Cycle Assessment in the building industry. Develop industry buy-in on emerging methods and tools being incubated by the Carbon Leadership Forum.

    Supervisory Responsibilities: Manage UW staff consultants and/or volunteers supporting the execution of CLF projects

    As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs.  For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.


    Bachelor’s Degree in environmental studies, engineering, architecture, or related field.

    Experience: Minimum 3 years experience required:
  • Established technical expertise in LCA in order to serve as a technical resource to the Carbon Leadership Forum, College of Built Environments and UW.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of LCA data, methods and application and understanding of principles of relevant LCA standards.
  • Ability to analyze and visualize data using tools such as Excel, Tableau and/or other database systems.
  • Experience using, developing and/or evaluating whole building LCA software, LCA datasets and Environmental Product Declarations.
  • National reputation as demonstrated by invited or peer review presentations at national conferences and/or publications.
  • Experience leading complex projects and diverse teams with demonstrated examples of successful completion
  • Experience developing and executing educational resources such as coursework and/or practice guides.
  • Project leadership-experience mentoring and managing technical staff
  • Strong communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Understanding of the building/construction industry and experience collaborating with diverse industry stakeholders.

    Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except where there are legal requirements such as license/certification/registration.

    DESIRED– Education, work experience:
  • Master’s Degree in environmental studies, engineering, architecture, or related field.
  • Experience in the use of Life Cycle Assessment software (Gabi or SimaPro) to conduct life cycle assessments of building materials and products
  • Graphic representation skills
  • Non-profit and/or academic experience
  • Experience with grant writing and development of relationships with funding organizations
  • Advanced degree (PhD)
  • Budget management experience including fiscal management

    Application Process:
    The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
  • Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

    The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

    The University of Washington is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 / 206-543-6452 (tty) or