Senior Mechanical Engineer (Retainer), multiple positions, Multiple positions

  • Senior-level
  • Posted on 28 July 2020
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Job Description

Background information - Implementation Practices and Standards (IPS)

UNOPS strategic focus places increased emphasis on national capacity development and sustainable approaches to project management, procurement and infrastructure services. A key objective is to be recognized as an organization that delivers world-class infrastructure and project management, which is both economically and socially sustainable, even in the most challenging environments. To achieve this goal, UNOPS has established the Infrastructure and Project Management Group (IPMG).

Within UNOPS, IPMG’s objectives are to serve the organization’s personnel and partners by broadening their infrastructure and project management capabilities, while disseminating best-practices in both of these areas. Through this work, the group helps facilitate the successful delivery of programmes and projects around the world.

To achieve its objectives, IPMG has established three interrelated and interdependent work streams, Engagement Assurance, Strategic Initiatives, and Standards. IPMG is managed overall by the Deputy Director of IPMG.

  • Engagement Assurance work stream supports the successful development, design, and delivery of engagements and infrastructure from project planning to closure to help reduce organizational risk and improve project performance.

  • Strategic Initiatives focuses on thought leadership in infrastructure and project management, supporting the strategic position of the organization and developing and piloting new products and services.

  • Standards work stream aims to reduce organizational risks, improve project performance, and promote excellence across UNOPS projects by having fit for purpose infrastructure and project management standards in place.
Background Information - Job-specific

The Engagement Assurance work stream includes the Design Review team. The Senior Mechanical Engineer will provide the technical support services and qualifications to Design Review as part of their regular evaluation of infrastructure designs submitted by UNOPS’ global project offices. The Senior Mechanical Engineer will work in support of Engagement Assurance and Standards streams, and may also work directly on behalf of projects.

This is a home-based assignment, which may involve travel to various locations, including to remote or post-conflict environments. The functions/duties/key results of this job description are generic and may not always be applicable, nor be comprehensive, for all missions under this job title. The specific tasks and deliverables for each retainer assignment may vary and will be detailed in the terms of reference developed for each assignment by the requesting office/unit, which IPMG will exercise an oversight on.

All Design Review retainer assignments will be managed via the UNOPS online retainer management tool managed by Portfolio Support (PS), including the request for the retainer’s services and the provision of feedback for each assignment.

Functional Responsibilities

The home-based Mechanical Engineer will be responsible for the provision of mechanical engineering services to IPMG work streams, country offices, and project teams. The scope of these services will be defined with each request for services and may include technical review, design, and guidance.

The Senior Mechanical Engineer will play a key role in ensuring the safety and quality of UNOPS infrastructure works. On a request basis from IPMG and country offices, the Mechanical Engineer will be expected to fulfil the following responsibilities in line with industry standards and applicable national and international codes and guidelines:

  1. Technical review of design documentation

Review mechanical design drawings and calculations, technical specifications, and bill of quantities (BOQs) in terms of accuracy and suitability to overall design objectives, identifying aspects where designs do not align with applicable, technical codes and standards and also established IPMG policies and technical design guidance, and providing detailed comment for design improvement.

  1. Support to design development

Applying technical expertise and professional experience, the Senior Mechanical Engineer will support projects by providing technical guidance in the development and/or implementation of mechanical designs to achieve technical objectives through independent, 3rd party design review and also possible direct field support.

  1. Application of professional judgment

To ensure protection of life/safety, functionality and fitness of purpose while recognizing the circumstances and constraints of the UNOPS operational context, the Senior Mechanical Engineer will be required to apply professional judgment in the technical assessment and mitigation of project design risks and ranking of importance for recommended design adjustments.

  1. Independence, integrity, and objectivity

In the performance of professional services, the Senior Mechanical Engineer will act as an independent technical expert person, free of conflicts of interests, and must be able to maintain the integrity of his/her technical opinion.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • An advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering or in any relevant area is required.

  • A university degree (Bachelor’s degree level) in Civil Engineering with additional 2 years of relevant professional experience imay be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.


  • Relevant professional experience is defined as 7 years (or more depending on academic credentials) of progressively responsible experience in mechanical engineering.
  • At least 1 year of experience in design and calculations of complex mechanical systems is required
  • Understanding of and experience with health care,and tuberculous (TB) treatment facilities, strong knowledge of industrial equipment, water/wastewater pumping and treatment systems, and heating/cooling systems, particularly in the design and installation of HVAC systems is highly desired
  • Understanding of and experience in applications of mechanical engineering design within a developing country context is highly desired.
  • Knowledge of sustainable and resilient approaches to mechanical engineering and green technologies, including wind technologies is an asset
  • Knowledge/experience of electromechanical interfaces with mechanical technologies highlighted above is an asset


  • Fluency and proficiency in English is required.

  • Fluency either in Spanish or French is required.

  • Proficiency in another UN language, such as Arabic is desirable.


  • Professional Engineering (PE) license / certification from an internationally recognized accreditation authority is desirable

  • All UNOPS personnel are required to share a common understanding of UNOPS’ and the UN’s mandate, policies and activities. To this end, UNOPS Personnel must complete a set of mandatory courses after onboarding. As a UNOPS ICA retainer, you are required to complete three (3) online courses upon signature of your contract and prior to commencing any retainer assignment related to Ethics and Integrity, the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Security awareness while on official mission. These courses are available for free on UNOPS learning platform and shall be completed within the first three months following the contract signature, at no cost for UNOPS.

About the Organization

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

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