NRECA Careers

Senior Research Engineer, Software-P5

Arlington, VA

Job Description

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), with offices in Arlington, VA and Lincoln, NE is the trade association for over 900 consumer-owned electric cooperatives serving more than 42 million people. NRECA is committed to harnessing the strength of America’s electric cooperatives into a single powerful voice. NRECA has won the following awards over the past few years:

  • Top Workplace by the Washington Post 
  • 100 Best Places to Work - ComputerWorld Magazine
  • 50 Best Places to Work - The Washingtonian
  • CARE Award Recipient - Recognizing organizations that promote a positive work-life balance
  • 50 Greatest places to Work - AARP
  • Best Place to Work Award Recipient - Lincoln, NE
  • Gold Well Workplace - Wellness Councils of America
  • State of NE Governor's Wellness Award - Grower Level

At NRECA, we work with people who are leaders in their fields. They are down-to-earth, hardworking professionals committed to helping our members serve their communities. Our work is interesting, constantly evolving, and requires new skills to meet the evolving needs of a dynamic industry. In this collegial, inclusive work environment, united around the compelling purpose and history of electric cooperatives, we thrive. And topping it off, NRECA cares about each person’s overall well-being, encouraging health, financial security, and a sustainable work/life balance. EEO/AA- M/F/Disability/Protected Veteran Status/Genetic Data


Senior Research Engineer, Software-P5

Responsible for leading assigned software development research projects related to the  design and development of NRECA software, including the Essence Core cyber security product, Open Modeling Framework and other Python programming projects. Responsible for the development of proposals, documentation and reports related to assigned projects. Develops long-term relationships with funding agencies for current and future research projects.

Purpose and Mission
• Manages NRECA utility and industrial control system software and data analytics research projects from idea generation through completion, including needs assessments, technology surveillance, scoping research projects and deliverables, and developing project and work plans.
• Leads NRECA research efforts using expert knowledge of utlity data and software systems to improve electric utility planning and operations.
• Leads NRECA research efforts to effectively visualize and communicate utility data to accomplish the objectives of advanced technology research projects. Integrates novel data visualization techniques into research software prototypes.
• Develops technical designs and specifications for complex software solutions that accomplish advanced technology research project objectives.
• Researches and integrates software design strategies, product specifications, development schedules, and user expectations into product capabilities.
• Uses software development technologies and tools to build, test, and maintain product modules, components, and subsystems.
• Provides innovative solutions to complex functional problems that impact NRECA’s success.
• Provides technical and economic analysis for distribution cooperative and G&T management staff.  Applies advanced product techniques and economic analysis to perform detailed assessments of technologies for local deployment. 
• Leads tasks, including planning, execution, staff oversight, and status reporting for significant initiatives. Brings industry-level expertise to function, and recommends changes to remain up-to-date or competitive.
• Provides technical leadership to junior- and mid-level developers.
• Ensures that all work is documented to ensure that subsequent users can diagnose and fix any problems that might arise with designed systems.
• Leads business development efforts to  secure participation and teaming agreements with co-ops and other research partners.
• Develops and delivers interim, draft, and final reports, software manuals or other product forms (i.e., videos), and formal research (i.e. journal) papers by obtaining expert and NRECA reviews thereof, integrating reviewers’ comments into the drafts, producing final deliverables, and reporting research results.
• Develops research grant proposals to advance electric utility software and data science capabilities to secure project funding sources in partnership with utility members and other research collaborators.

Requirements and Qualifications

Masters degree in Computer Science, Statistics, Applied Mathematics, Engineering or a related field or an equivalent combination of education, training, and additional experience. PhD and electric power systems industry experience preferred.  Knowledge of Python, data science, mathematics, engineering, geophysical science, or power systems engineering desired.

10+ years of experience as a software developer in advanced technology research environments. Experience in an engineering or program management role in the software industry or an equivalent open source experience and leading agile development processes required. Experience developing and winning advanced technology research proposals and leading individual research project required.  Additional skills may be required depending on the circumstances related to the specific projects to be assigned.

• Ability to work with multidisciplinary advanced technology research project teams as demonstrated by previous work experience.
• Ability to use strong analytical expertise, data manipulation and modeling skills, and machine learning experience to drive successful electric utility technology development as demonstrated by previous work experience.
• Ability to effectively find, evaluate, test, and integrate (when appropriate) open source software components or libraries into software engineering projects as demonstrated by prior work experience.
• Must have worked directly with cooperative utilities in building, installing, configurating and mantaining IT applications related to utiity operations (not business processes)
• Must be conversant with electric utility engineering protocols such as MultiSpeak, DNP3, IEC 61850 and MODBUS and have developed applications involving the parsing of data from these systems.
• Must have experience in real time utility data collection.
• Ability to manage competing deadlines and multiple projects at various stages of development using effective organization skills and attention to detail as demonstrated by prior work experience. 
• Ability to define issues, establish facts and draw valid conclusions and apply to work environment as demonstrated by prior work experience.
• Ability to work with a wide variety of people to foster cooperation in sharing information and materials as demonstrated by prior work experience.
• Ability to lead people and foster collaborative skills and consensus building while operating in a fast-moving environment as demonstrated by prior work experience.
• Ability to effectively interact with others and work in a team environment and providing follow-up when needed as demonstrated by prior work experience.
• Ability to be persuasive, negotiate, and collaborate with individuals at all levels throughout organization as demonstrated by prior work experience.
• Ability to communicate, both verbally and in writing, with a diverse membership, employees and/or vendors in a clear and precise manner as demonstrated by prior work experience.
• Ability to listen and interprete the customer’s needs, de-escalate difficult customer calls, while at the same time researching the issue and applying broad business and technical knowledge to meet the customer’s satisfaction as demonstrated by prior work experience.
• Interpersonal skills, member service orientation and ability to work in a team environment as demonstrated by prior work experience.
• Ability to use Microsoft Office tools, (Excel, Word, Power Point) in the day-to-day essential duties of the job as demonstrated by prior work experience.
• Ability to operate various office equipment such as personal computer, copier, printer, fax machine, 10-key adding machine, and multiple  line telephone as demonstrated by prior work experience.

ADA Requirements:
• The worker is required to have close visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; extensive reading.
• Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. If the use of arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for sedentary work and the worker sits most of the time, the job is rated for light work.
Disclaimer Statement: The preceding job description has been written to reflect management’s assignment of essential functions. It does not prescribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.