Openings >> Project Engineer - Philippines
Project Engineer - Philippines
Title:Project Engineer - Philippines



POSITION:           Project Engineer

Employer:           Build Change

Job Location:      Makati, Metro Manila with occasional travel to other provinces

Start Date:          Immediate 


Organization Description:

Founded in 2004, Build Change is a non-profit social enterprise whose mission is to save lives in earthquakes and typhoons. Build Change provides simple engineering advice to low-income households who do not otherwise have the knowledge to design and build a safe house. Our engineering resources draw on local and international expertise on seismic- and wind-resistant construction practices using local code when applicable to low-rise, residential housing. Build Change’s simplified Design and Construction Guidelines for Residential Houses have been endorsed by DPWH, and our work has received government endorsement and awards worldwide.


Build Change has been working in the Philippines since 2013. Current programs include a retrofit program for non-engineered residential houses in partnership with the local government and private sector financiers, a technical mentorship program to support the construction of safer schools, and technical consultancy to help organizations improve the disaster-resistance of socialized housing.


Position Description:

For the position of Project Engineer, Build Change requires a technically competent structural engineer with the ability to understand and apply the fundamental principles behind building code provisions in creative applications. Build Change is piloting simplified retrofitting design procedures based on ASCE41, therefore the Project Engineer must be flexible enough to apply international design standards to local, low-income construction typologies. With the support of the Lead Engineer, she/he must also be willing to present the design resources to the Filipino engineering community and advocate for the use of simplified procedures to accelerate the design process.


A successful candidate should have experience retrofitting, designing and supervising the construction of earthquake-resistant low-rise buildings constructed with reinforced concrete and masonry. Experience in seismic engineering design and construction supervision in the development context is desirable.  The Project Engineer will have proven leadership and teamwork abilities, demonstrated experience in project coordination, and demonstrated ability to communicate technical terms and concepts to non-technical persons. She/He will be responsible for managing the design and construction of housing retrofits by supervising the production of calculations and drawings, producing written reports, and providing technical support to engineering and construction training staff. The Project Engineer will also be responsible for representing Build Change in the engineering community and developing professional relationships with government agencies and other partners.


Build Change is a woman-led organization, and qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply.


Technical Responsibilities (20%):

  • Develop thorough, comprehensive understanding of the performance-based structural engineering design resources developed by Build Change and apply the procedure to design of low-rise home retrofits.
  • Supervise and produce designs for disaster-resistant home retrofitting, including calculations and drawing sets following the Build Change simplified procedures based on ASCE41.
  • Assist in the revision or development of new structural engineering technical resources, including but not limited to structural and architectural drawings, bills of quantity, construction checklists, training materials for partners and clients, design and construction guidelines, and retrofit technique solution guides.
  • Implement technologies and solutions that are consistent with Build Change’s philosophy of earthquake-resistance, sustainability, and cultural appropriateness.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of training for Build Change’s technical staff.
  • Solve problems and generate solutions in the field for special cases, especially retrofits and additions to existing buildings.
  • Be willing and confident to apply engineering judgment in the absence of code-based guidance.
  • Assist in writing reports of structural observations, calculations, designs, recommendations, etc.
  • Manage material testing and sampling of existing and future construction materials. Complete analysis of testing results to determine statistical properties such as average, median, standard deviation, maximum, min, etc and compile in report.


Project Management Responsibilities (50%):

  • Maintain ownership of project milestones and consistent communication with supervisors regarding schedule or deliverable challenges.
    • Immediately support the technical design team to shorten the design and documentation time to 3.5 working days spread over 2 weeks per home. By August 2018, support the adoption of Revit-based design tools to further shorten design time.
    • Manage the construction schedule to ensure projects are completed on time. Review and validate progress reports to approve release of further construction funds.
  • Support the project technical staff to ensure the proper and effective implementation of the project work plan.  Work with supervisors to resolve any staffing issues if they arise.
    • Support the technical design team to produce coordinated and complete design packages that do not require revisions following final review by Lead Engineer.
  • Ensure professional project implementation. Assist in controlling quality of design information and implementation for projects in the Philippines.
  • Support a team of on-site construction supervisors during retrofit construction of houses.
    • Ensure 100% compliance rate with construction standards as per Build Change’s checklists.
  • Coordinate with community organizations, local governments, partner organizations, and homeowners/families as needed.
    • Act as the lead technical representative with a partner microfinance institution developing home retrofit loan products.
    • Develop technically feasible, cost-realistic and homeowner-desirable type design options available for MFI partnership by July 2018. Design and drawing packages with BOQ ready for implementation.
  • Contribute to internal and external project reporting
  • Other activities as designated by the Lead Engineer or Country Director.


Advocacy and Program Development Responsibilities (30%):

  • Represent Build Change in developing relationships with engineering community and construction partners to assist the country operations and program development.
    • With support of the Lead Engineer, acquire endorsement from ASEP, PICE, DPWH, and the general engineering community on simplified design procedures based on ASCE41.
    • By June 2018, identify champions in the engineering community to support and advocate for simplified design approach to reach large scale impacts.
  • Represent Build Change in technical meetings, discussions with stakeholders, government partnerships, and conferences as needed.
    • With support of Lead Engineer and Country Director, develop professional relationship with DepEd management and engineering departments to pursue partnership opportunities in safer school construction.
    • With support of Lead Engineer, support government housing agencies to improve construction practices for socialized housing. Act as primary point of contact for communications and advocacy.
    • Provide support to partners on their 2018 school construction activities as directed. Compile photo evidence of quality construction to validate the indirect impact numbers Build Change is reporting.



  • Degree in civil engineering from a well-respected university. Professional Engineering license (or equivalent) in civil (structural) engineering.
  • Minimum 5 years experience in structural engineering design and supervising construction of earthquake- and typhoon- resistant buildings, including cost estimating.
  • Strong understanding of disaster-resistant construction practices and earthquake engineering.
  • Experience in existing building seismic evaluation and retrofitting.
  • Understanding of earthquake- and typhoon-resistant design and construction of confined masonry, reinforced masonry, reinforced concrete, and timber buildings for both new and retrofit buildings.
  • Strong understanding of the National Structural Code of the Philippines, National Building Code of the Philippines and minimum design standards set in BP 220. Familiarity with ASCE41 is a strong plus.
  • Experience with structural design software, Microsoft Office and AutoCAD are required. Experience with Revit, InDesign and Photoshop are pluses.
  • Demonstrated project management skillset that includes ownership over milestones, meeting deadlines, work plans, reporting, using computer tools such as Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Effective, timely and clear professional communication skills, including formal and informal oral communication, written communication and visual aids.
  • Strong communications skills and ability to make presentations. Experience in teaching or instruction is a plus.
  • English and Tagalog language skills required, other Filipino languages are strong pluses.
  • Hands-on construction experience in masonry, reinforced concrete, and carpentry is a plus.
  • Ability to work in a team and independently with remote supervision.
  • Willingness to work in areas affected by disasters (earthquakes and typhoons), including short- or long-term relocations
  • No ego, drama, or pessimism; the successful candidate will be flexible, humble, patient, and have a good sense of humor.
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