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27 Aug 2019

Full-Time Post-Doctoral Research Scientist – Air Quality Monitoring and Modeling

Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) – Posted by [email protected] The Woodlands, Texas, United States

Job Description

Post-Doctoral Research Scientist – Air Quality Monitoring and Modeling
Department:                 Research Operations
Office/Group:               Environment
Reports to:                    Vice President, COO

General Purpose of Job:

The Post-Doctoral Research Scientist – Air Quality Monitoring and Modeling is responsible for performing basic or applied research, research management, and proposal development in support of projects pertaining to air quality monitoring, modeling, emissions inventories, and data analysis. Work involves a high degree of expertise, creative insight, and technical skill.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

Major Duties:

  • Assist with the design and implementation of large-scale air quality monitoring and modeling studies focused on neighborhood to regional scales, including the development of associated emissions inventories and meteorological parameters. This includes support with the design and implementation of studies attributing observed air quality impacts to specific emission sources, including the quantification of these emissions through inverse modeling and other analytical techniques.
  • Manage, visualize, and analyze large time-series datasets with air quality models and geospatial and statistical analysis software; prepare charts, maps, or tables that synthesize the large datasets into useful succinct representations.
  • Implement HARC air quality field studies and campaigns. This includes the management, maintenance, outfitting, operations, and deployment of HARCs Mobile Air Quality Laboratory.
  • Operate a Proton Transfer Reaction—Mass Spectrometer (PTR-MS) and other sophisticated chemical and meteorological instrumentation to measure ambient concentrations of pollutants.
  • Design, develop, and implement a LabVIEW-based real-time data acquisition and control, cloud-based data visualization and storage, and SMS and E-mail based alerting system for the HARC Mobile Lab.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of advanced air quality measurement and modeling techniques (e.g., remote sensing, distributed sensor networks, data assimilation techniques, air quality or multi-media simulation). 

General Research Support

  • Assist principal investigators in the identification of funding opportunities and in the development of research proposals.
  • Assist project teams with the timely completion of project deliverables.
  • Employ current concepts and principles to achieve project objectives and sustainable outcomes in creative and effective ways.
  • Help plan and execute or manage research or technology development; including assisting with the management of project teams, budgets, and ensuring timely completion of project deliverables.
  • Develop, implement, and document quality assurance procedures for programs/projects containing data management and analysis components as and when required.

Internal Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with other HARC researchers and administrative departments on multidisciplinary projects.
  • Communicate project findings in oral and written form for HARC outreach products.
  • Initiate and promote teamwork, shared learning and integrated approaches to sustainability.
  • Use professional knowledge and skills to contribute to the achievement of HARC’s mission.
  • Participate in HARC internal meetings as assigned; may serve on HARC committees or working groups as assigned.

External Responsibilities

  • Make contributions to discipline through the creation of peer review publications, technical reports, public outreach documents, presentations, web content, and external presentations.
  • Represent HARC and communicate results at professional conferences, workshops, symposia and networking events.
  • Assist with HARC external communications, including development of content for newsletters, web pages, and social media. Initiate and promote external collaboration and integrated approaches to sustainability; communicate with public agencies, research institutions, funding organizations, nonprofit and private sector stakeholders and the public in support of project work and development of funding proposals.

Professional Development

  • Maintain broad knowledge of state-of-the-art principles, theories, and practices in discipline.
  • Engage in professional development to obtain additional relevant skills such as proposal writing and networking.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Ph.D. in a scientific or engineering discipline.

Desired skills

  • Proficiency with air quality and emissions models, statistical software, data analytics, database management, temporal and spatial data analysis and visualization, and other advanced computer science techniques.
  • Collegial, mission-driven researcher with well-developed interpersonal skills.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Background or interest in environmental issues.
  • Capability of performing work with no instructions on routine work, general instructions on new assignments.
  • Acute attention to detail.
  • Strong creative and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Exercises strict confidentiality of all communications, verbal and written.

Computer Skills
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be computer literate in word processing, spreadsheets, Internet and email software as well as the requisite air quality and emissions models and software platforms. Strong programming capability in Python, Igor, and/or JavaScript are highly desirable. 


Desire to work independently in a fast-paced, creative environment, and ability to work on several projects at once. Work may subject the employee to outdoor weather conditions in addition to working in a typical office environment. Employee will be required to work in indoor, outdoor and mobile environments. Air quality/transportation field work is required. Must have a keen awareness to safety.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 40 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and talk or hear.

How to Apply

To be considered for this position apply on the HARC career page at:

Job Categories: Air Quality. Job Types: Full-Time.

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