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National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program

A research and implementation partnership


NIST Earthquake Engineering Research Position


The Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Engineering Laboratory (EL) seeks a new earthquake engineering research staff member in support of its role in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP).

An engineer with a strong background in seismic design and analysis of reinforced concrete building structures, development of seismic provisions governing reinforced concrete design for national model building codes and standards, structural dynamics and nonlinear structural analysis, performance-based seismic engineering (PBSE), experimental design and analysis, and building performance and design associated with seismic risk mitigation is sought to participate in comprehensive in-house research projects, and assist in managing extramural research projects.

NIST seeks an engineer with earthquake engineering experience in research and practice with a working knowledge of the performance issues of reinforced concrete structures subjected to earthquake ground motions, obtained through experimental and/or analytical investigation. Although not required, an advanced academic degree in the earthquake engineering field is beneficial and may be substituted for experience, subject to evaluation. One position will be filled at the NIST ZP-III, ZP≠IV, or ZP-V level, commensurate with the individual's education and experience.

This is an excellent opportunity for an individual with strong technical credentials in academia, industry, or government service, who is interested in public service leadership and challenging careers in performing cutting-edge NEHRP research.

NIST would appreciate hearing from interested individuals as soon as possible. U.S. citizenship is required for permanent NIST employee positions, but non-U.S. citizens who are employed by accredited U.S. universities may be considered for temporary assignments to NIST under provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA). Address inquiries to NEHRP Director Jack Hayes (email:, telephone: 301-975-5640).

General information regarding NIST employment is listed below.

Employment Information

  • NIST History
    The NIST staff includes four Nobel laureates, a MacArthur Fellow winner, a National Medal of Science winner, an astronaut who has flown twice on the Space Shuttle as a mission specialist, and several members of the National Academies. Through its measurement-focused research and services, EL supplies critical enabling solutions to U.S. manufacturers, construction industry, and the broad array of businesses and other organizations that build, own, operate, or maintain the nationís vast physical infrastructure. EL has statutory responsibilities for fire prevention and control, earthquake risk reduction, windstorm impact reduction, disaster and failure studies, sustainable manufacturing and construction, manufacturing enterprise integration, and building and fire safety investigations.
  • NIST Location
    NIST is located on a 578-acre campus in Gaithersburg, MD (Montgomery County), about 25 miles from the center of Washington, D.C., just off Interstate 270. NIST has free parking on site and is well connected to the Metro (subway) system via a free NIST shuttle service for official visitors and staff. Local public schools are among the finest in the Nation.
  • Salary and Bonuses
    Salary will be determined based on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. The 2012 annual salary ranges are: ZP-V positions (GS-15), from $123,758 to $155,500; ZP-IV (GS 13/14) positions, from $89,033 to $136,771; and ZP-III positions, from $62,467 to $97,333. NIST employees are considered for performance-related pay increases and bonuses as part of the annual performance appraisal process. NIST also has authority to provide new employee recruitment bonuses under certain circumstances.
  • Benefits
    Federal employees are offered a generous benefits package. This includes a wide choice of health insurance plans, group life insurance, flexible spending accounts for dependent care and medical care, health savings accounts, long-term care insurance, and retirement plan (with a tax-deferred 401K savings plan). Detailed information on these benefit programs may be found at Annual and sick leave benefits are provided in accordance with established federal policies. A state-of-the-art child care center is available on the NIST campus.
  • Relocation Expenses
    Where appropriate, NIST will cover relocation expenses in accordance with federal regulations, such as moving household goods, travel to NIST for the employee and immediate family members, house hunting trip, and temporary living quarters and per diem expenses. NIST will not cover costs associated with real estate transactions such as the purchase or sale of a house.
  • Additional Information
    For additional information, interested individuals may visit NIST EL Careers. To learn more about current vacancies at NIST, visit USAJOBS.
  • Equal Opportunity Employment
    The U.S. Department of Commerce/NIST is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. NIST values, celebrates, and thrives on the rich diversity, abilities, and perspectives of its staff. NIST pledges equal access to employment, facilities, and programs regardless of race, color, religion, gender, disability status, age, national origin, or veteran status.

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