Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Senior Environmental Research Scientist (#20003664)

General Statement

Under general direction, carries out more complex applied research projects in relation to wastewater treatment processes, individually or in conjunction with other investigators.  Work is characterized by greater freedom of action than at the Environmental Research Scientist level.

Essential Job Functions

Essential job functions are fundamental, core functions common to positions in a classification.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class.  Since class specifications are designed to be descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents may complete one or all of the job duties listed or tasks of similar kind not specifically listed here.

  • Conducts research assignments on new wastewater and sludge processing technology and in the fields of sanitary chemistry, sanitary microbiology, sanitary engineering, wastewater engineering, and environmental engineering.
  • Prepares technical work plans, manuscripts for publication and interim and final reports on research programs and projects.
  • Assists Maintenance and Operations in solving plant problems such as sludge dewatering and odor problems; conducts joint M&R/M&O plant monitoring programs.
  • Assists the Engineering Department through conceptual design of treatment processes.
  • Supervises and/or leads laboratory, pilot and field testing.
  • Assigns, supervises, and reviews work of subordinates.

Other Job Functions

  • Reviews technical documents from other District Departments or outside agencies.
  • Prepares or participates in seminar and lecture presentations related to research projects.
  • Initiates and processes requisitions and payment forms and other administrative duties.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Environmental Conditions

May involve exposure to a variety of chemical and biological materials, some of which may be hazardous or toxic.  May involve exposure to fumes and noxious odors.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Thorough knowledge of wastewater and sludge treatment processes employed at the District.
  • Thorough knowledge in the principles, practices and techniques of wastewater treatment, including sludge processing.
  • Thorough knowledge of research methods associated with air, sludge, and water quality monitoring and field and laboratory testing.
  • Considerable knowledge of analytical techniques pertaining to wastewater, sludge and air.
  • Considerable knowledge of statistical techniques used in analyzing data.
  • Considerable knowledge of environmental regulations.
  • Ability to direct, monitor and participate in the development of research projects.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

A master's degree in water resources sciences, environmental sciences, environmental engineering or sanitary engineering from an accredited college or university.  Three years of research experience in the fields of wastewater and sludge treatment technology related to the District's activities.


Related graduate study above the master's degree may be substituted for the required experience on a year-for-year basis to a maximum of two years.

Promotional Requirement

  • One year of service with the District as an Environmental Research Scientist.
  • Civil service status as an Environmental Research Scientist.

CLASS: 20003664; EST: 1/1/1900; REV: 1/1/2017;