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EO/IR Specialist, Research Scientist, or Electrical Engineer

Reno, Nevada (US)
Closing date
Mar 23, 2023

The Desert Research Institute’s (DRI) Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences (DEES) seeks an Electro-Optical and Infrared (EO/IR) sensors specialist or Electrical Engineer (EE) at the Staff Research Scientist (Rank 1) or Assistant Research Scientist level (Rank 2). The candidate will assist with ongoing sensor/system development activities under current Department of Defense (DOD) funded projects. The candidate will perform primary job functions and be part of a large, interdisciplinary team in the Integrated Terrain Analysis Program (ITAP), which provides important soil, geomorphic, and terrain analysis capabilities within the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences (DEES).

This position involves research support in four overlapping areas:

  1. Sensor development and calibration
  2. EO/IR sensor fusion
  3. Software and GUI development
  4. System integration and field testing

The candidate will serve as subject matter expert (SME)/specialist to coordinate design, testing, and engineering activities associated with the development of electro-optical/infrared sensor systems. The ideal candidate should be familiar and comfortable with one or more of the following: statistical data analysis, optics, scientific programming, circuit design, and algorithm development. Other responsibilities may include assistance in a wide variety of projects as opportunities and needs arise, including some general support of field research activities.

Required Qualifications

Rank 1 - Staff Research Scientist

  • U.S. Citizenship (Must have the ability to work on DOD installations)
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering (EE), Physics, Optics, Electro-Optics, or equivalent from an accredited institution
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Team player with diverse interests and excellent interpersonal skills

Rank 2 – Assistant Research Scientist - Rank 1 requirements plus:

  • Advanced degree(s) in Engineering, Physics, Math, System Engineering, or related discipline from an accredited institution
  • Demonstrated accomplishment in project or program promotion, development and management.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Familiarity/experience with scientific programming languages (Python, MATLAB, C++ preferred)
  • Experience with or interest in front end and/or GUI development
  • Experience/interest in radio frequency (RF) propagation, RF interference detection, or electromagnetic environmental effects

Conditions of Employment

  • Due to security requirements associated with accessing essential project sites and information, ALL applicants MUST be citizens of the United States
  • Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a background check
  • Must be willing to travel occasionally for limited field work (e.g., off-site demonstrations)
  • This position requires the ability to perform physical tasks, such as frequently moving or lifting objects up to 60 lbs., often enduring extreme summer and winter weather conditions in remote locations and carrying heavy loads on foot over unstable ground. 


Minimum annual salary for the Staff Research Scientist is $50,239; minimum annual salary for the Assistant Research Scientist is $71,069, and these are commensurate with experience and education.

DRI offers a benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, and life insurance; including 15.50% retirement match, 24 annual leave days, beginning balance of 30 sick leave days, 11 paid holidays, educational benefits, and the choice of three health insurance plans that can be supplemented with flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts. Additionally, there is no state income tax and no social security deduction. This position is eligible for relocation assistance.

Organizational Summary

DRI is a recognized world leader in basic and applied environmental research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students who work alongside them, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe.

Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced scientific knowledge on topics ranging from humans’ impact on the environment to the environment’s impact on humans. DRI’s impactful science and inspiring solutions support Nevada’s diverse economy, provide science-based educational opportunities, and inform policymakers, business leaders, and community members. With campuses in Las Vegas and Reno, DRI serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Required Attachments

Please upload the following documents in the specified section on DRI's career webpage:

  • A cover letter detailing how your experience and professional qualifications prepare you to succeed in this role at DRI
  • A current resume
  • Contact information for three professional references who will be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant permission

Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply immediately and provide all required attachments to receive full consideration. Lists of eligible candidates will be established and hiring may occur early in the recruiting process. Recruitment will close without notice when a sufficient number of applications are received, or a hiring decision has been made.

For more detailed information about DRI and DRI faculty, research projects, and publications, please visit us at For questions regarding this position or assistance with your application, please call the recruiting office at 775-673-7431.

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