EMI Uganda
3+ years
This opportunity is a support-based, self-fund-raised position.
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The research and development department is EMI-Uganda’s newest program.  As EMI’s engineering, architectural, and construction management programs work through projects, many questions and potential improvement opportunities arise.  The R&D program was set up to investigate and find solutions to these so our ministry partners can be more effective in their work.

The R&D department has been tasked with evaluating our design process to identify ways to improve the quality of the structures and infrastructure we provide our ministry partners.

In developing countries, like Uganda, material datasheets do not always exist or if they do, may not contain all information needed for design.  A lot of the R&D work revolves around testing various material and material combination characteristics.  Often, to get a particular set of test data, custom tests have to be built, including the sensor and data logging electronics.  This building of custom test set ups, or building and testing of various prototypes can be a significant part of a project, and so we are looking for people who not only enjoy their engineering discipline, but also like hands-on work and have an interest in and enjoy topics that may be outside their professional discipline. The best candidates will have a natural curiosity about how things work and a desire to make things work better. Because of the diversity of R&D activities being conducted, candidates from various technical backgrounds, not just traditional design disciplines, will be considered. 

R&D activities are varied, and range from analyzing data and writing reports in an office setting, to testing materials and building prototypes in a workshop type setting, to gathering data and working with construction crews on EMI sites, to following up on past projects by conducting post occupancy assessments, to interfacing with other architectural and engineering firms, materials suppliers and universities and investigating the cause of problems that occur during and after construction is complete.  We want professionals who are specialized in their area of training, but who also enjoy diverse work that may not always be 100 percent in line with their particular discipline.  

The goal of R&D is not just to find solutions, but aims to find appropriate solutions for the local context.  This typically means finding solutions using locally available materials in a way that local craftsmen can understand and implement without too much specialized know-how or training.


In addition to the typical EMI Staff / Associate Staff prerequisites, candidates for this position must have the following core qualifications:

  • Willingness and ability to relocate to Uganda
  • Minimum BS in engineering (structural, civil, electrical, mechanical, software), architecture, construction management or construction science
  • 3+ years work experience
  • Strong interests in rethinking how things can be done (not just working through and applying known approaches and solutions)
  • Team player - able to work and collaborate well among multidiscipline teams
  • Curiosity

Desired but not required skills and interests include:

  • Competent in using basic hand and power tools
  • Enjoys hands on work
  • Interest in topics outside of core discipline
  • Interest and ability to accurately collect and analyze data
  • Exposure/proficiency in programming languages
  • Basic understanding of electronics

The following are essential responsibilities for this position:

  • Spiritual and professional discipleship through EMI's programs and opportunities
  • Interface and work with EMI’s design teams, workshop, and construction management teams to identify needs and communicate findings to these teams
  • Plan, organize, and implement various kinds of R&D studies
  • Supervise and help build test setups and monitoring equipment
  • Write reports documenting test setups, gathered data, and recommendations
  • Participate in EMI design teams, as needed
  • Help develop design manuals
  • Assist in post occupancy assessments
  • Engage with outside industry players (other A&E firms, material suppliers, university students and faculty),
  • Manage and mentor interns