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Company Name:
Approximate Salary:
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Cambridge, Massachusetts
United States
Position type:
Full Time
Experience level:
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Education level:
Bachelor's Degree

Supervisory Mechanical Engineer - Division Chief for the Structures and Dynamics Division


Supervisory Mechanical Engineer - Division Chief for the Structures and Dynamics Division

 Must apply online:

The Volpe Center is seeking a Supervisory Mechanical Engineer to serve as the Division Chief for the Structures and Dynamics Division. As the Division Chief, you will oversee the work done by the Division, supervise the technical and administrative staff, and manage and expand the portfolio work. This Division’s function is to provide research services regarding the safety and performance of the ground transportation system by applying engineering expertise in the areas of vehicle-guideway dynamics, mechanics of wear, fatigue and fracture, soil mechanics, vehicle crash-worthiness and impact energy management, and other technologies and policies associated with safety.

When you work at the Volpe Center you work with people like you –talented professionals who enjoy applying their expertise in the service of others and resolving real-world transportation problems. We are located in the culturally diverse and academically rich city of Cambridge, MA (Kendall Square), and offer competitive benefits, and a flexible and family-friendly work environment including on-site child-care services.  Additional positions may be filled throughout the Volpe Center.

The ideal candidate for this assignment will have experience in providing leadership in projects that provide engineering, analytical, and research support to surface transportation decision-making at all levels of government and industry and experience leading high-performing, multi-disciplinary technical teams. The candidate will also have an in-depth knowledge of research within the surface transportation environment, working with and providing critical analytical and research support to rail, highway, truck safety, pipeline and other sponsors.  Within the railway operating environment, the candidate should have knowledge of vehicle-guideway dynamics; mechanics of wear, fatigue and fracture; soil mechanics; vehicle crash-worthiness and impact energy management; and other aspects of rail safety topics. Additionally, the candidate will have strong leadership, communication, consulting, interpersonal and problem-solving skills.  Significant experience in direct management of staff and programs is required. The candidate will have the ability to lead, direct, develop and mentor staff, to work with high-level agency officials and sponsors, and to effectively and collaboratively within a management team. Experience in a fee-for-service environment is desirable. 

Application deadline: Monday, November 6, 2017


Merit Promotion Announcement: OST.RVOLPE-2018-0001:

Public Announcement: OST.RVOLPE-2018-0002:

Informational briefing: Monday, October 30th, 2017 at 12:00pm in Conference Room 1-11-24 at the Volpe Center  in Cambridge, MA OR call-in no. 1-877-336-1839/Access Code: 6481986).  Luisa Paiewonsky, Director of the Office of Infrastructure Systems and Technology, will hold an information session at this time to describe the position and to answer any questions interested candidates may have.  Arthur Bakis from Human Resources will be there to answer questions about the application process.


  • Must apply online: 

  • Requirements

    Conditions of Employment

    • You must meet specialized experience to qualify
    • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date
    • Review Required Documents Section as documents are required by closing date
    • Announcement also advertised Status & VEOA:OST.RVOLPE-2018-0001
    • May be used to fill similar positions within 60 days for this location


    • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
    • GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD: This position involves travel. A government contractor-issued travel card will be issued and must be retained for official business only.
    • SUPERVISORY PROBATIONARY PERIOD: You must complete a one-year supervisory probationary period.
    • DEU REQUIREMENTS: Applicants selected under delegated examining procedures may be required to successfully complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).
    • EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS: Transcript required with application.


    To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must meet the Mandatory education and specialized experience requirements. Transcripts are required for proof of education.

    All applicants must meet one of the following requirements to qualify for consideration for an engineering position:

    • Successful completion of an engineering degree at an accredited university or college. OR
    • Combination of education or training: college level education, training and/or technical experience that has furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying 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.
    The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following: 

    1. Professional registration or licensure - current registration as an Engineer Intern (EI), Engineer in Training (EIT), or licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE)
    2. Written Test- Evidence of having successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination, or any other written test required for professional registration by an engineering licensure board in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
    3. Specified academic courses - Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences as described by OPM.
    4. Related curriculum - Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in an appropriate scientific field, e.g., engineering technology, physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of a bachelor's degree in engineering, provided the applicant had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. There should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professional engineering competence, or several years of prior professional engineering type experience. This must be clearly described in your resume.
    Please review the OPM page on specifics about required curriculum and for more information on qualifications, please visit GS-800: All Professional Engineering Positions qualifications at:

    To qualify for the GS-15 on Experienceyou must have one year of specialized experience equal or equivalent to the following:

    • Experience providing technical and analytical support for research initiatives and decision-making regarding the safety and performance of the ground transportation systems and then applying that research to the development of advanced processes and innovative technology solutions to reduce the frequency and consequences of rail or other transportation mode related accidents and improve operations. AND
    • Experience managing resources and leading multi-disciplinary technical team(s) in the formulation, development, analysis, and execution of research or engineering programs to create solutions such as systems, technology, policies and/or methods of operation.
    Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

    Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.


Advancing transportation innovation for the public good

The Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, a fee for service part of the US Department of Transportation in Cambridge, MA, has been helping the transportation community navigate the most challenging problems for more than 40 years. Volpe's mission is to improve transportation by anticipating and addressing emerging issues and advancing technical, operational, and institutional innovations across all modes. Working at Volpe combines the entrepreneurial drive of business consultancy, the love of knowledge and collegiality of a university campus, and the spirit of public service only found in an award-winning government agency. Visit our website to learn more:


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