Build Change Job Vacancy: Lead Structural Engineer - Port Au Prince, Haiti


POSITION OPENING: Lead Structural Engineer
Industry: Non-profit/International Development
Function: Technical Oversight and Management
Location: Port Au Prince, Haïti with travel to other areas of Haiti as required (Cap Haitien)
Start Date: Immediate
Term: 12 months with possibility of extension
Salary: Competitive, with emergency medical insurance benefits and housing in Haiti 

Organization Description
Founded in 2004, Build Change is a non‐profit social enterprise whose mission is to save lives in earthquakes and hurricanes. Build Change designs disaster-resistant houses and schools, trains homeowners, builders, engineers and government officials to build them, works with governments to develop and implement building standards, partners with the private sector to improve building materials quality and create jobs, and facilitates access to incentive-based capital for reconstruction and retrofitting by partnering with financing institutions and government subsidy programs. Build Change started its work in Aceh, Indonesia after the 2004 earthquake and tsunami and has since expanded to include programs in China, Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nepal, and the Philippines. Build Change has trained more than 23,000 people on earthquake-resistant design and construction techniques, created more than 11,000 jobs and provided technical assistance for more than 47,000 safer buildings, impacting an estimated 236,875 people. 

For the position of Lead Structural Engineer, Build Change is seeking an exceptionally competent structural engineer with experience designing and providing structural observation to earthquake-and hurricane-resistant buildings in locations with developed and enforced building codes and standards. Experience applying this background in the developing context is also desirable. In addition, the successful applicant will have a proven management track record, history of building relationships with partners and clients, and demonstrated ability to communicate technical terms and concepts to non-technical persons. This position reports to the Haiti Director of Programs and Partnerships and receives technical direction from the Director of Engineering.

Technical responsibilities

  • Working with a team of engineers and technical consultants, lead the technical development of Build Change Haiti’s safer school program, including the development of design resources and punctual designs for new schools and for evaluation and retrofit of existing schools, building on the past and current experiences of Build Change. 
  • Lead the engineering team in development and execution of Build Change Haiti’s technical consulting work, including technical assistance to housing and school projects, design reviews, building evaluations, resource development, engineer training and course development. 
  • Develop thorough, comprehensive understanding of the structural engineering design resources developed by Build Change for use in Haiti for confined masonry, reinforced masonry, multi-story reinforced concrete frame, timber frame, and retrofitting solutions. Propose and develop modifications as appropriate for new projects and contexts. 
  • Be responsible for controlling the quality of design information & implementation for projects in Haiti. 
  • Oversee the revision or development of new structural and architectural drawings, bills of quantity, construction checklists, and training materials as necessary, for partners and clients. 
  • Solve problems and generate solutions in the field for special cases, especially retrofits and additions to existing buildings. 
  • Ensure technologies and solutions are consistent with Build Change’s philosophy of earthquake- resistance, sustainability, and cultural appropriateness. 
  • Be willing and confident to apply engineering judgment in the absence of code-based guidance.
  •  Oversee the recruitment, selection and performance review of technical staff in the Haiti office. 
  • Oversee and coordinate the work of technical consultants for programs in Haiti, including WASH specialists, architects and Geotechnical specialists. 
  • Mentor, train and oversee Haiti-based engineering staff, local engineers, architects, drafters, and other technical staff.
Program responsibilities
  • Work with the other program technical staff and project managers to assist in implementing the project work plan. On individual projects, work with the project manager and/or Director of Programs to resolve any technical quality or staffing issues if they arise. 
  • As needed, represent Build Change in meetings and communications with project partners as coordinated with the Director of Programs and Partnerships and Director of Engineering. 
  • Support the Haiti Fund Development Officer and the Haiti Director of Programs and Partnerships in defining Levels of Efforts and project conceptions for inclusion in new proposals and concept notes. 
  • Prepare monthly reports and contribute to internal and external project reporting.


  • Minimum 8 years professional experience in structural engineering in a country with well-established building code adoption and enforcement. Experience in existing building seismic evaluation and retrofit. Additional experience in designing and supervising construction of earthquake- and hurricane- resistant buildings in a developing country is a very strong plus. 
  • Demonstrated experience working successfully in a team environment, as well as managing a team of technical staff, and delivering outcomes on time. 
  • Understanding of earthquake- and hurricane-resistant design and construction of confined masonry, reinforced masonry, and timber buildings for both new and retrofit buildings. 
  • Professional Engineering license (or equivalent) in civil (structural) engineering. 
  • Familiar with international building codes and guidelines, especially those applicable to the Latin American and Caribbean context. 
  • Cost estimating, structural design software, and AutoCAD literacy. Proficiency in Revit is a plus. 
  • Top-performing educational background in structural engineering, with strong earthquake resistant design orientation. 
  • Hands-on construction experience in masonry, reinforced concrete, and carpentry is helpful. 
  • Work experience in an elite management setting, or some kind of successful entrepreneurial experience such as starting a field program in a developing country, leading a large event, or starting a business. 
  • Project management skillset that includes ownership over milestones, work plans, reporting, using computer tools such as Excel and PowerPoint. 
  • International development experience and willingness to live and work in a post-disaster setting for at least twelve months; experience in Haiti is a strong plus. 
  • No ego, drama, or pessimism; the successful candidate will be flexible, humble, patient, and have a good sense of humor. 
  • Fluent English and functional French or Creole (written and oral).
To ApplyVisit HERE and click on the link for this position. Women and citizens of Haiti are encouraged to apply. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received and accepted until the position is filled. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. No calls please.

Closing Date: 30 Apr 2016