Company Name:

Build Change


Manila, Philippines

Approximate Salary:

Not Specified

Job Category:

Civil Engineering

Position Type:

Full Time

Required Experience:

8-10 Years

Required Education:

Bachelor's Degree

Date Posted:

November 20, 2018

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Lead Structural Engineer - Philippines


POSITION OPENING: Lead Structural Engineer

Location:  Manila, Philippines

Start Date: January/February 2019

Term:  At-will employment, but a minimum two-year commitment is expected

Salary: Competitive, with health, emergency evacuation insurance, housing and food allowance

Organization Description

Founded in 2004, Build Change is a non‐profit social enterprise whose goal is to save lives in earthquakes and windstorms. Build Change designs disaster-resistant houses and schools, trains homeowners, builders, engineers and government officials to build them, works with governments to develop and implement building standards, partners with the private sector to improve building materials quality and create jobs, and facilitates access to incentive-based capital for reconstruction and retrofitting by partnering with financing institutions and government subsidy programs.


Build Change began working in the Philippines in 2013, providing technical assistance and training for post-disaster housing and school construction programs. Our core operations now focus on pre-disaster programming to mitigate the risk of typhoons and earthquakes. 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.


As an organization, Build Change is looking to impact 10 million people over the next 10 years. To achieve this audacious goal, we will scale simple technical solutions that allow low-income families to improve their houses with the financing they have available. We are looking for engineers that are passionate about Build Change’s mission and will own and lead the technical strategy to achieve it.


Position Overview

For the position of Lead Engineer, Build Change is seeking an exceptionally competent structural engineer with experience designing and providing structural observation to earthquake- and typhoon-resistant buildings in locations with developed and enforced building codes and standards. The successful candidate will have a flexible mindset in applying engineering principles to non-engineered buildings.


The Lead Engineer must have proven project management experience; she/he will contribute to the conception and execution of projects, manage a team of technical staff, and represent Build Change with partners and clients. The Lead Engineer collaborates with engineering staff in other country programs as well as colleagues from the technology innovations and education (training) departments. This position reports to the Philippines Country Director and receives technical direction from the global Director of Engineering.

Technical Responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic direction of Build Change’s technical solutions to support the safe construction or disaster-resistant upgrading of homes and schools in the Philippines.

  • Responsible for the technical quality of Build Change’s projects in the Philippines, including designs and implementation.

  • Lead on developing and implementing QA/QC systems in projects implemented directly by Build Change and those implemented through partners to meet the desired technical outcomes.

  • Lead on updating existing resources or developing new technical resources for Build Change’s programs. Examples include but are not limited to design and construction supervision procedures, revision or development of new structural and architectural drawings, bills of quantity, construction checklists, and training materials.

  • Lead on updating or developing new training resources for local builders and community members to support their understanding and adoption of safer construction practices.

  • Ensure technologies and solutions are consistent with Build Change’s philosophy of disaster- resistance, sustainability, and cultural appropriateness.

  • Be willing and confident to apply engineering judgment in the absence of code-based guidance.

  • Solve problems and generate solutions in the field for special cases, especially retrofits and additions to existing buildings.

  • Develop a thorough, comprehensive understanding of the structural engineering design resources developed by Build Change for use in the Philippines for retrofitting and new construction of various masonry and timber construction systems, including confined masonry, reinforced masonry, multi-story reinforced concrete frame, and timber frame.

Project Management Responsibilities:

  • Work with the technical, community engagement and financing teams to implement project work plans. Own technical milestones and delegate tasks as appropriate.

  • Continually gather insights and feedback during project implementation in order to iterate project activities and eventually scale access to safer homes and schools.

  • Mentor, train and oversee Philippines-based engineering staff and other technical staff.

  • Oversee the recruitment, selection and performance review of technical staff in the Philippines office.

  • Serve as Build Change Philippines’ interface with the technology innovations team to support the adoption of simplified technology to support implementation at scale.

  • Prepare monthly reports and contribute to internal and external project reporting.

Advocacy and Program Development Responsibilities:

  • Represent Build Change in interactions and communications with government agencies, project partners and prospective donors; contribute to Build Change’s advocacy efforts with these organizations.

  • Build a network of respected local technical consultants to support Build Change’s advocacy efforts, oversee and review their work.

  • Support the development of new proposals in defining Levels of Efforts and project activities.

  • Represent Build Change in meetings and conferences as needed.

  • Minimum 8 years professional experience in structural engineering in a country with well-established building code adoption and enforcement.  Additional experience in designing and supervising construction of earthquake- and typhoon-resistant buildings in a developing country is a very strong plus.

  • Professional Engineering license (or equivalent) in civil (structural) engineering.

  • Top-performing educational background in structural engineering, with strong earthquake resistant design orientation.

  • Familiar with international building codes and guidelines, especially those applicable to the Filipino context.

  • Understanding of earthquake- and typhoon-resistant design and construction of confined masonry, reinforced masonry, and timber buildings for both new and retrofit buildings.

  • Demonstrated experience working successfully in a team environment, as well as managing a team of technical staff, and delivering outcomes on time.

  • Proficiency with Autodesk products and structural design software; experience with Revit is a strong plus.

  • Familiarity with cutting edge technologies that can help Build Change implement simple, affordable and scalable technical solutions is a strong plus.

  • Hands-on construction experience in masonry and/or carpentry is a strong plus.

  • Familiarity with human-centered design approaches is a strong plus.

  • Project management skillset that includes ownership over milestones, work plans, reporting, using computer tools such as Excel and PowerPoint.

  • International development experience and willingness to live and work in a post-disaster or developing country setting; experience in the Philippines is a strong plus.

  • Fluent English is a requirement, fluency in Tagalog or another Filipino language is a strong plus.

  • No ego, drama, or pessimism; the successful candidate will be flexible, humble, patient, and have a good sense of humor.
  • To Apply:

    Go to and click on the link for this position. Women and citizens of the Philippines are encouraged to apply.  Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. No calls please.

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