Southern Company Research Engineer, Sr. in Birmingham, Alabama

Research Engineer, Sr.


Southern Company is an industry leader in the development of Smart Grid technologies applied within the power system. This requires talented and motivated engineers to develop and manage technology research programs and field demonstrations. As a member of a small research team, the person sought will be responsible for implementing R&D strategy across power electronics and power quality applications and executing appropriate demonstrations across a broad portfolio of Smart Grid programs. These include new power flow controllers, advanced inverter/converter technology development and evaluation, and overall support of diverse research programs dependent on power conversion technology. In addition to technology demonstration and evaluation, the successful candidate will provide technical and economic analysis support for operating company marketing personnel in dealing with the application of power quality mitigation equipment and techniques.

Initial assignments will include managing Power Electronics (PE) and Power Quality based technology development and demonstrations across the power delivery infrastructure as well as applications across a broad range of technologies reliant upon PE such as fast charging, robotics and drive systems. Other possible roles include evaluation of hardware and controls associated with wide bandgap devices applied in utility applications and in-depth evaluations of smart inverter technologies. Specific responsibilities include reporting on performance, economic analysis, and troubleshooting. This person will facilitate the technology transfer of viable options from R&D into everyday operations.

This Research Engineer will interface and collaborate with existing research team members, universities, leading industry experts, marketing sales personnel, colleagues and vendors, but must also work independently to develop and demonstrate applicable technologies and/or procedures. Travel is required – approximately 25% and at times more. Job location is in Birmingham, AL.


  • Successfully implement a Power Electronics Applications and Power Quality Strategy and manage an R&D Portfolio

  • Develop research plan, including technology development and demonstration

  • Generate periodic reports and final reports on technology demonstrations

  • Leverage research resources with those of other utilities, institutes, universities, and agencies to address Southern’ s technology needs

  • Effectively transfer research results to the business unit

  • Provide effective and timely communications to all participants on research program activity and accomplishments

  • Facilitate the adoption of new technology into business practice

  • Scout new technologies to maintain a healthy R&D project pipeline

  • Interface with EPRI, industry consortia, universities and vendorsSeek new emerging technologies that could provide value to the company

  • Provide basic assessments of new technologies

  • Identification of technologies to be added to R&D portfolio

Behavioral Attributes

  • Committed to safety and helping other work safely

  • Place high priority on workplace safety and workforce

  • Must demonstrate behaviors consistent with company culture including unquestionable trust, superior performance, and total commitment

  • Self-directed with strong initiative

  • Team player with internal and external relationship building qualities


  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering is required – Power Electronics electives preferred

  • Advanced degree (M.S., PhD) with concentration in Power Electronics strongly preferred

  • Experience in power distribution or transmission preferred

  • 3 years of experience in directly applicable power electronics role preferred

  • Knowledge of power electronic devices and controls, packing of PE based systems, and/or maintenance and testing of “high-power” PE applications

  • Experience in power distribution, transmission, or industrial facilities preferred

  • Understanding of power quality phenomena such as flicker, harmonics, and voltage sags

  • Knowledge of electrical engineering designs, principles and practices, applicable codes and standards, including the National Electric Code

  • Proven hands-on capability is required for lab and field testing setup

  • Excellent oral/written communication skills along with excellent presentation capabilities

  • Working knowledge of data monitoring and acquisition systems; data analysis software, SQL database administration, and open source software

  • 3 years of Portfolio, Program or Project Management experience

  • Entrepreneurial mindset, challenges status quo

  • Innovator; skilled in research processes; self-assured, self-starter

  • Proven leadership, mentor and teambuilding skills, with the ability to build and foster relationships

  • Good technical writing and presentation skills

  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills combined with high personal drive and energy

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is America's premier energy company, with 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity and 1,500 billion cubic feet of combined natural gas consumption and throughput volume serving 9 million customers through its subsidiaries. Southern company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in four states, natural gas distribution companies in seven states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America and a nationally recognized provider of customized energy solutions, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices that are below the national average. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, Southern Company and its subsidiaries are inventing America's energy future by developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency, and creating new products and services for the benefit of customers. Southern Company has been named by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer, recognized among the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc, listed by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity and designated a Top Employer for Hispanics by Hispanic Network. The company has earned a National Award of Nuclear Science and History from the National Atomic Museum Foundation for its leadership and commitment to nuclear development and is continually ranked among the top energy companies in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at .

Southern Company is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

Job Field: Engineering

Job Type: Standard

Primary Location: Alabama-Metro Birmingham/Eastern AL-Birmingham

Operating Company: Southern Company Services

Job Type: Standard

Travel (Up to...): Yes, 25 % of the Time

Work Location(s):

APC Corporate Headquarters - 600 North 18th Street (600BIRMINGHAM)

600 North 18th Street

Birmingham, 35203

Req ID: SCS2007860