Postdoctoral Fellow - Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Organization name

University of Alberta


Postdoctoral position in Northern Transportation Systems: Novel Methods for Collecting Transportation Data and Building a Multimodal Transportation Database

We are seeking a full-time postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta, to lead a research project with National Research Council Canada to gather, organize, and synthesize data on transportation operations in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The transportation system in Canada’s territorial north is sparse, covers immense distances, and is highly seasonal and multimodal. Climate change has created many significant challenges for transportation infrastructure and operations. Overall, we have much less information and data about the system, making infrastructure investment decisions and planning highly challenging.

The successful candidate will have strong coordination skills to work directly with researchers (including professors, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students), government partners, private operators, and others in successfully leading this initiative. Responsibilities will include defining and delivering on timelines (including searching out transportation data from various sources, and leading crowdsourcing data collection efforts), coordinating the team and their work, making day-to-day project decisions in alignment with project objectives, and knowing when to escalate decisions and issues. The candidate will also be expected to conduct data analyses, write academic research papers, lead project meetings, and write progress reports.


  • PhD and related experience in engineering, natural sciences, and/or social sciences.
  • Demonstrated scholarly ability through publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at scientific meetings and conferences.
  • Data analysis skills (including dataset screening and cleaning, descriptive statistics, and data management). This includes comfort handling many large and diverse datasets.
  • Experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an asset but not required; however, the successful candidate is expected to learn and use it extensively.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Ability to effectively communicate directly and frequently with government partners and private operators in gathering data and other information.
  • Ability and/or experience coordinating and managing research projects, including meeting deadlines, chairing team meetings, assigning work and following up.
  • Ability and/or experience working effectively in a team involving researchers across disciplinary boundaries and institutions, including coordinating tasks of team members and partner organizations.
  • Ability to make day-to-day decisions in alignment with the purpose and objectives of the research project, and to know when to escalate decisions and issues to the supervisor and research team
  • Values, understands how, and desires to contribute to, an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace and research project.

Preference will be given to candidates with experience working in or with remote communities, Inuit communities, and/or the territorial north.

How to Apply

Preferred start: Immediately, or in Fall 2020. Salary will be competitive and commensurate to experience.

The primary work location is the Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, although remote work-from-home is anticipated for the foreseeable future. Once allowed, the position will also require travel to the territorial north (primarily the Northwest Territories) about two times per year, once in winter and once in summer, with trip durations anywhere from several days to 2-3 weeks. The successful candidate may also travel to conferences and meetings to disseminate their work.

Please send a cover letter, CV, and names and contact information of 2-3 references to the email address below. These should describe your background, research interests, motivation in seeking this position, and relevant qualifications/experience. I also welcome any questions you may have and can also provide more details on the position.

Amy Kim, Ph.D., P.Eng., Associate Professor
Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of Alberta

Additional comments

The University of Alberta, founded in 1908, is one of Canada's foremost research-intensive universities with an operating budget of over one billion dollars annually, and over 38,000 students including over 7,000 graduate students. The Faculty of Engineering has over 4,400 undergraduate and 1,500 graduate students. Research in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering covers all major areas of Civil, Environmental, Mining, and Petroleum Engineering.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.

Deadline for applications