Geotechnical Research Engineer

High Performance Technologies, Inc. (HPTech) is an infrastructure-centered firm focusing on practice, research, policy, and technology transfer.  HPTech was established in 2003 with the primary purpose of serving the U.S. federal government at their facilities and project sites.  Our uniqueness lies in our ability to integrate physical sciences, social sciences, engineering, planning, and policy when developing and delivering infrastructure solutions.

We are looking for a Research Engineer who will be responsible for conducting a research program in geotechnical engineering related to transportation infrastructure at a state-of-the-art geotechnical laboratory based at a government facility. The laboratory’s core mission is to “advance the state-of-the practice and develop innovative solutions for applied transportation issues.” The scope of the laboratory includes technical assistance and advice to state highway agencies; materials and compaction testing; forensic analysis; automated data collection system development and installation; large- and small-scale load tests for structural foundations; soil constitutive modeling; risk assessment, numerical analysis; and quality assurance. 


  • Develop full-scale or scaled geotechnical experimental programs.  These experiments may be conducted in the laboratory, outside strong floor, outside test pits, or in the field.

  • Develop instrumentation plans including a variety of data acquisition systems and sensors such as strain gauges, accelerometers, tiltmeters, potentiometers, linear variable differential transducers, extensometers, and load cells.

  • Setup and conduct full-scale or scaled experimental tests involving operation of servo-hydraulic test equipment among others.

  • Design and conduct load testing of foundations.

  • Conduct conventional and specialty material property tests on materials used in the experiments.

  • Monitor experiments and systematically acquire data, which may continue for weeks or months.

  • Conduct numerical and constitutive modeling.

  • Compare experimental data with theoretical models.

  • Participate in developing recommendations for specification and standard setting organizations, like AASHTO and ASTM, to update and revise their specifications and standards, based on the findings of research.

  • Participate in forensic investigations.

  • Write publication-ready research reports.

  • Write papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

  • Make presentations at conferences, seminars, workshops, and other professional meetings.

  • Participate in demonstration projects showcasing innovations in materials, design, and construction of transportation infrastructure foundations.



  • Advanced degree (M.S. or Ph.D.) in Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, or related physical science.

  • At least 3 years of related experience.

  • Experience in finite element, finite difference, and discrete element methods.

  • Experience in the use of latest software in geotechnical engineering related to transportation infrastructure.

  • Understanding of and familiarity with standards and specifications related to geotechnical engineering of transportation infrastructure.

  • Excellent verbal, presentation, and writing skills.

  • Excellent team and collaborative skills.

This position is based in McLean, Virginia.

Candidates must be legally authorized to work in the United States.

For timely consideration, submit your resume by August 31, 2020 to:

HPTech is an Equal Opportunity Employer

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.