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Assistant Project Scientist - Senior Water Resources Engineer

Position overview

Position title: Senior Water Resources Engineer
Salary range: See Table 38B for the salary range for this position. A reasonable estimate for this position is $90,500
Percent time: 100
Anticipated start: June 2024
Position duration: 2 Years

Application Window

Open date: April 15, 2024

Most recent review date: Wednesday, Jul 17, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Wednesday, Apr 16, 2025 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

We are seeking a highly experienced and skilled Senior Water Resources Engineer to join our team as a Project Scientist. Under the direction of the lead investigator(s), the successful candidate will be responsible for conducting a variety of technical analyses in support of project outcomes, including but not limited to designing and developing analytical algorithms and software for water resources optimization. The optimization use cases will vary from hydropower production, environmental flow management, climate perturbation and resilience, agricultural and environmental demand mitigation, and other aspects of pressing societal concern. The incumbent will use PyWR, a Python library for water resources engineering, to develop applications of hydro-economic models related to agriculture under climate extremes with emphasis on California, as well as stakeholder interface and interaction to underlying models that inform decision making with analytical and visual outputs. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in water resources engineering, experience with programming in several languages, and specifically PyWR, in addition to cluster computing, and PYOMO libraries. The incumbent will need to possess excellent software development skills and use standard professional practice in code libraries, data repositories, and open science. The Senior Water Resources Engineer will work closely with our team to develop and implement software based analytical solutions that optimize sustainable use of water resources across a variety of hydroeconomic sectors.



  • Design and develop software for hydropower optimization using PyWR, considering factors such as water flow, power generation, and environmental impact.

  • Develop hydro-economics applications to model agricultural production and water use under climate extremes.

  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to identify project requirements and develop software solutions that meet the needs of stakeholders.

  • Conduct hydrological and hydraulic analyses, and perform model simulations to optimize hydropower system performance.

  • Develop and maintain databases and data interfaces to support software applications.

  • Ensure software compatibility with various operating systems and hardware configurations.

  • Write and maintain technical documentation, including user manuals and code documentation

  • Lead, contribute and/or collaborate in drafting manuscripts for publication in refereed journals.

  • Collaborate with QA teams to ensure software meets quality and performance standards.

  • Stay up-to-date with industry trends and emerging technologies, and apply this knowledge to improve software solutions.

  • Mentor junior engineers and provide technical guidance to the team.

  • Craft and deliver clear, engaging presentations tailored to diverse audiences, ensuring information is accessible and compelling across all levels of expertise.


Basic qualifications
  • Ph.D. in Water Resources Engineering, Civil Engineering, or a related field.

  • Minimum 5 years of experience in water resources engineering, with a focus on hydropower and/or optimization.

Additional qualifications

• Strong experience with PyWR, PYOMO libraries and Python programming.

• In-depth knowledge of hydrology, hydraulics, and hydropower engineering, and optimization algorithms.

• Excellent problem-solving skills and ability to work independently and collaboratively.

• Strong written and verbal communication skills in English, with strong record of publication.

• Experience with database management and data analysis.

• Strong understanding of software development best practices and testing methodologies.

• Experience with collaborative software development tools and version control systems, such as Git or GitHub.

• Ability to work efficiently on assigned tasks with minimal oversight.

• Demonstrated ability to consistently meet project deadlines through effective team collaboration and alignment.

Preferred qualifications
  • Experience with cloud-based platforms and containerization technologies.

  • Knowledge of machine learning and artificial intelligence applications in water resources engineering.

  • Familiarity with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing.

  • Familiarity with software development methodologies, such as Agile and Scrum.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research

  • Statement on Contributions to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion - Statement on your contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion, including information about your understanding of these topics, your record of activities to date, and your specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion. Please review the UC Merced Diversity Statement Guidelines and UC’s Commitment to Diversity

Reference requirements
  • 3-6 required (contact information only)
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About UC Merced

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students (, UC Merced is committed to interdisciplinary excellence in research and teaching as well as to diversity, equity and inclusion. Ranked as one of the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced provides outstanding educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the heart of California, the nation, and abroad. The campus has special connections to nearby Yosemite National Park; is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design; and supports the economic development of Central California. The Merced 2020 Project doubled the physical capacity of the campus, and enhanced academic distinction, student success, and research excellence (

The University of California, Merced is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

Please refer to the University of California’s Affirmative Action Policy and the University of California’s Anti-Discrimination Policy.

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements. This includes the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs:

Job location

Merced, Ca