Location: Seattle, Washington
Type: Full Time
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The Carbon Leadership Forum, a research organization based out of the University of Washington's College of Built Environment, has an outstanding opportunity for several Research Scientist 3 positions to help execute our mission to accelerate the decarbonization of the building sector through eliminating the embodied carbon in building materials and construction through collective action.
Embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal of construction materials used in buildings, roads, and other infrastructure. We need to reduce embodied carbon by 40-65% by 2030 to meet the reduction scenarios set by the IPCC to avoid catastrophic effects of climate change, and yet current building design and construction practice is failing to adequately address embodied carbon and make meaningful progress. We believe that robust, multi-disciplinary, collaborative research on embodied carbon and decarbonization pathways paired with accessible tools and resources is critical to making progress across the building sector.
The Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) has three strategic pillars to help us reach our mission:
Advance Data and Methods: We align, assess and advance life cycle assessment data, tools, and methodology to increase access and availability of robust data for effective decision-making; and Inform Effective and Just Policy: We develop research, analysis, and model policy language and act as a technical advisor to inform policy development. Our work spans local, state, federal and corporate policy. Build Community for Impact: We build and convene a diverse network of leaders through our online forum and regional hubs to enable widespread action to reduce embodied carbon
The Researcher will be responsible for development and application of emerging research related to data, tools and frameworks that improve the methods for embodied carbon reporting, evaluation and reduction. This will include project management, development of guidance documents and educational resources, and outreach to support embodied carbon reductions in the building industry. The Researcher will work collaboratively in an integrated team with backgrounds in architecture, engineering, environmental policy, and materials manufacturing. This position will report to a Senior Researcher and be a part of the CLF’s core research team.
As a CLF researcher, you will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with our internal research team, building industry firms, partner nonprofits, and/ or policy makers focused on embodied carbon.
This position requires experience in either building performance, computation, technical project management, embodied carbon assessments, or life cycle assessment (LCA). This position will benefit from experience in architectural design, engineering or materials research, but such background is not required. Depending on level of experience the CLF will provide in-house resources and mentorship for training.
Lead research to support development of accessible, reliable, and trusted LCA tools, frameworks, methods and data, and the adoption of that knowledge in practice.
Participate in multiple projects including their planning, scheduling and execution. Depending on the project scale this will require sole ownership of the project execution or the responsibility to manage and monitor the work of others to ensure the project meets project objectives.
Help develop new knowledge, data and resources to advance embodied carbon data and methodology
Advance the state of LCA practice and carbon accounting by developing and leading projects that include:
Novel and/ or improved methods to conduct whole building LCAs
Integration of embodied carbon reduction strategies in practice.
In depth research on material supply chains, such as wood or other bio-based materials
Research on novel carbon storage or sequestration technologies and their representation in carbon accounting
Interface and collaborate with clients, partners and UW research teams. Monitor the work of others and redirect efforts to achieve task/project objectives or enhance quality. Mentor junior staff in development of technical, project and business development skills.
Management of project meetings and workflows for research projects
Review and track relevant research and reports
Lead or delegate the preparation and review of reports, articles, and presentations to communicate project updates and research results, including visual representations of data
Conduct or delegate literature reviews and develop summary reports of the state of the industry including both evaluation of current practices and recommendations for future development.
Understand the broad strategic objectives of the Carbon Leadership Forum and contribute to their execution and refinement
Support ongoing CLF administrative needs such as grant development, copy editing, writing articles, etc.
Education and Outreach
Build capacity for embodied carbon accounting and LCA modeling by architecture, engineering and construction community through presentations and trainings to designers, students, and interested groups, including:
Deliver presentations on climate literacy, LCA, decarbonization strategies, the results of CLF studies
Present at webinars/events
Respond to requests for technical expertise and guidance from designers, industry, NGO partners, and other stakeholders
Develop educational resources and tools that support adoption of LCA and carbon accounting on design projects including: case studies, primers, reports, tool reviews, technical briefs, and trainings
Serve on embodied carbon/building material advisory boards for industry NGOs and government agencies
Conduct research related to the development and implementation of embodied carbon data, tools, and methods.
Conduct research related to the use of Life Cycle Assessment in the building industry. Develop industry buy-in on emerging methods and tools being incubated by the Carbon Leadership Forum.
Monitors the work of others & redirects efforts to achieve task/project objectives or enhance quality.
Mentors junior staff in development of technical, project and business development skills.
Master’s Degree in architecture, engineering, building science, computation, environmental studies/forestry, or related field AND 4-5 years of experience.
Experience contributing to complex projects and diverse teams with demonstrated examples of successful completion.
Demonstrated commitment to value diversity and contribute to an inclusive working and learning environment.
Project leadership-experience mentoring and managing junior staff
Established technical understanding in LCA and embodied carbon in order to serve as a technical resource to the Carbon Leadership Forum, College of Built Environments and UW.
Knowledge of LCA data, methods and application and understanding of principles of relevant LCA standards.
Ability to analyze and visualize data using tools such as Excel, Tableau and/or other database systems.
Experience leading complex projects and diverse teams with demonstrated examples of successful completion
Strong communication skills (verbal and written)
Understanding of the building/construction industry and experience collaborating with diverse industry stakeholders.
Has broad knowledge of principles, practices & procedures of embodied carbon research/ practice
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.
PhD in environmental studies, engineering, architecture, or related field.
Experience working in the building/construction industry
Project management experience including budget oversight, staffing, delegation, partner communication, etc.
Experience with scripting using one or more of the following: Python, R, Java D3 or any similar tool
Experience with academic research
Experience developing and executing educational resources such as coursework and/or practice guides.
Experience collaborating with diverse industry stakeholders
Graphic design/representation skills
Non-profit and/or academic experience
Experience with grant writing and development of relationships with funding organizations
Experience using, developing and/or evaluating whole building LCA software, LCA datasets and Environmental Product Declarations.
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.