Research Engineer (Electrical Engineer)

Kansas Geological Survey, Univ. of Kansas   Lawrence, KS   Full-time     Engineering
Posted on June 30, 2021

Research Engineer (Electrical Engineer

LOCATION:   Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) at the University of Kansas (KU), 1930 Constant Ave, Lawrence, Kansas

POSITION TITLE:  Research Engineer (Electrical Engineer)

KU TITLE:   Research Engineer                                                               

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Review of applications will begin July 19, 2021, and continue until the position is filled.

TENTATIVE START DATE: August 30th, 2021. Exact start date is negotiable.


Using engineering background, test, maintain, refine and ready advanced geophysical equipment for field data acquisition. Provides a leadership role in training of proper use and handing of equipment. Troubleshoot electronic equipment, often in a field environment, and repair or implement replacement options.

SALARY, EMPLOYMENT STATUS, AND FRINGE BENEFITS:  Full-time position with benefits, subject to a six-month probation and annual performance reviews.   Salary is $65,000 or greater, commensurate with qualifications and experience.

KU offers great benefits to employees with up to 22 days of paid vacation earned per year, 12 days of sick leave earned per year, nine paid holidays plus one discretionary day, a retirement program, medical & dental insurance, life and disability insurance, other benefit plan options, and State of Kansas discounts offered by various vendors. KU also offers employees educational and professional development opportunities. KU is a great place to work! The University actively encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups.

EXPLORATION SERVICES SECTION:  The Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) Exploration Services (ES) section develops and uses several investigative methods to provide information about the subsurface, using both invasive and non-invasive approaches with a focus on higher resolution and accuracy while reducing cost.  

The ES section provides drilling in support of water, energy, and basic subsurface research.  It also runs a program designed to monitor changes and identify regional trends in the High Plains, Dakota, and alluvial aquifers, measuring about 1,380 wells in 47 central and western Kansas counties.  As well, the ES section is responsible for installation, maintenance, and collection of data from earthquake recording stations in Kansas—both permanent stations and several temporary networks—to detect and analyze seismic activity.

For more information about the KGS visit our website:


20%    Conceives, designs, and implements microcomputer/microcontroller systems/software as well as electronic and mechan­ical devices for the testing of advanced geophysical data acquisition and processing research.  Help eval­uate commercially available seismic instruments/components based on literature, laboratory, and field testing, fitness for KGS geophysical research, and deter­mination of potential design flaws. Participates in development, pre-planning, and excursions as necessary to ensure electronic readiness for seismic research projects.  Programming to manage data formats.  Monitors and evaluates overall fitness of seismic hardware and software for rapid deployment. 

10%    Principle oversight and facilitator in preparing, updating, delivering, and retrieving electronic field systems for KGS and collaborators working on annual waterlevel measurement program.  Programming and revising of specialized software for android devises. Perform as a field-member of the annual water level measurement program. Responsible for routine measurements, and the proper operation of all guidance and data logging hardware and software systems. Assist in troubleshooting and resolving any issues arising from electronic systems, in an in-field environment. Responsible for preliminary analysis and safeguarding the accuracy of annual water level measurements.

10%    Participate with data recording, transfer operations and data management of both temporary and permanent Kansas earthquake network.  Instruct and monitor earthquake technician on proper maintenance and installation of hardware at remote field operations.  Field oversight in cases where remote interaction is not providing the 100% operational efficiencies will be performed.

40%    Participates in research planning and development for a wide range of projects and programs using engineering background and expertise to determine optimum electronic systems and/or devices for purchase, to design, or construction, based on project goals. Projects/programs including but not limited to seismic, GPR, drilling, waterlevel, earthquake, and logging as well as other KGS section as need for expertise arises.  Responsibility for all section computers, plotters, and printers (purchasing, setup, and updates); with additional collaboration on KGS cell phones.

20%    Acting as an electronics specialist, evaluate and compare, often without the aid of schematics or other published technical information, expected versus actual performance of a variety of specialized electronic and mechanical devices. Apply­ing electronic/engineering principles in the formulation and implementation of a solution that may involve repairing, rebuilding, redesigning, or discarding the equipment. Independently investigates and determines appropriate solutions to problems with KGS electronic equip­ment Troubleshoot complex electronic systems, correct system problems or recommend options. Design, build, and implement specialized electronic components for a wide range of applications. 


  1. B.S. in Electrical/Computer Engineering plus 2 years of relevant experience.
  2. Demonstrated experience with equipment repair as evidenced by application material.
  3. Developed hardware, software, and/or firmware products as evidenced by application material.
  4. Demonstrated experience with troubleshooting electronic systems as evidenced by application material.


  1. Ability to be away from home base for around ten days at a time, averaging 50 days per year.
  2. Ability to work outdoors in challenging conditions for extended periods while performing repetitive and labor-intensive tasks over periods of several days.
  3. Ability to lift and move up to 50 pounds short distances.
  4. Ability to work independently and make decisions with remote guidance.
  5. Ability to come up with innovative or unique solutions to problems involving electronic equipment at risk in real time.
  6. The work in this position is required to be performed onsite, to include field work sites.


  1. Demonstrated experience programming in C, C++, Quick-C, and Visual Basic.
  2. Knowledge of DGPS/RTK systems and data protocols.
  3. Experience with field based telemetered data systems.
  4. Seismic acquisition systems field experience.
  5. Familiarity with programming aps on android devises.

Review begins July 19, 2021, and will continue until a qualified pool of applicants is received. For best consideration apply by the review date.


Annette Delaney, Human Resources, Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas, or 785-864-2152.

EO/AA Employer:   

Kansas Geological Survey, Univ. of Kansas

KS Geological Survey, 1930 Constant Ave
Lawrence , KS