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Plant Engineer - Building Automation and Engineering - Nashville, TN #4817445

Company: Vanderbilt University

Date: 04/17/2018

Category: Education / Training

City: Nashville, TN

Plant Engineer - Building Automation and Engineering (Job Number: 1800564)


About this Role:

The Plant Engineer is part of the Facilities, Plant Operations Department at Vanderbilt University and is a manger responsible for the operation of its central steam plant, gas cogeneration facility, electrical substation, and steam and electrical distribution systems. These central utility systems support the Campus and Medical center mission of education, research and patient care.

This positon also supports the various mechanical and electrical systems across campus including air handlers, air distribution systems, control systems and the chilled water distribution systems. This support includes the maintenance and upgrades to existing systems and specification and installation of new systems for renovation and new construction projects. This position will report to the Director of Engineering & Technical Support for the Facilities Department.

About the Department

The campus and medical center consist of approximated 14,000,000 square feet and more than 200 buildings. The University purchases electricity, coal, and natural gas to provide steam and electricity to these facilities. The 200,000 pph coal – fired steam plant produces 650 psi/700 degree super-heated steam. In house steam –driven generators produce 12 mw of the current 60mw peak load. The gas generation facility contributes another 10 mw of electrical generation. Two diesel generators provide an additional 5 mw of emergency power. The balance of electrical load is purchased through a local TVA distributor. Gas fired steam generators recover heat from the gas turbines to augment the central steam plant production. The three 50 mva 69kv transformers in the electrical substation serve switchgear lineups for the 13.8kv and 4.1kv electrical distribution system.

Facilities annual budget exceeds $100 million in operating expenses and includes over 400 employees. Facilities manages major capital project expenditures totaling ~$125 million annually and facility renewal, replacement and large maintenance project expenditures totaling ~$20 million annually.

Key Functions and Expected Performance:

Oversees day-to-day operational activities of (5) Maintenance Zones; monitors workload, work orders backlog, and manpower resources vs. work scheduling issues with subordinate managers to assure compliance with mission

  • Manages, supervises and evaluates performance and activities of (5) Maintenance Zone Managers

  • Monitors managers’ compliance with administrative requirements such as, timely use and accurate status entry in the work management system (AiM), and the time and attendance system in ORACLE

  • Monitors ORACLE requisitions by subordinate managers to maintain insight into Zone Maintenance finances

  • Monitors managers’ enforcement of the bargaining unit agreement on a timely and consistent manner; enforcement of organization policies and procedures.

  • Coordinates with the Preventative Maintenance (PM) Manager to ensure Zone Maintenance Teams performs their portion of PM Program; monitors program execution, budget, effectiveness and efficiency

  • Reviews and analyzes key performance indicators established for Maintenance Zones; identifies areas or concern and takes corrective action on operational processes improvements and changes as required

  • Oversees compliance with regulatory requirements and activities affecting Maintenance Zones operations, such as OSHA, TOSHA, EPA, etc.

  • Monitors supplies and equipment expense activities of the Maintenance Zones.

  • Conducts operational inspections / walkthroughs of Maintenance Zones

  • Act as Director of Zone Maintenance during his / her absence

Provide leadership and counsel to management team and staff

  • Develop and implement training programs for managers and supervisor staff of the department

  • Ensure compliance with health and safety standards

  • Responsible for coaching and professional development of 7 direct report managers and staff members

Financial Management

  • Manage expenditures against budget; prepare necessary documentation for supervisory review/approval, tabulate budgetary data, calculate figures, and check for accuracy

  • Oversee and manage procurement actions of principal areas

  • Manage and monitor operational overtime requirements of the department

  • Assist senior management team with establishing and maintaining the internal process for tracking purchase requests, vendor requests, and various programs

  • Stay current with VU Oracle Cloud operating systems and Plant Operations AiM work management system

Supervisory Relationships:

This position does have supervisory responsibility; this position reports administratively and functionally to the Director of Engineering & Technical Support for the Facilities Department.

Key Characteristics of a Successful Team Member in this Work Unit:

Adaptability – Reads cues and adapt accordingly. Adjusts style and approach to accommodate the styles and needs of others. Can anticipate and effectively de-escalate potential conflicts.

Responds Promptly – When emails and phone messages aren’t returned in a timely way, it sends the message that the other party is not important. Responds even if just to acknowledge receipt and provide a timeframe by which the requester can expect a full response.

Naturally Communicates – Readily shares information and is comfortable working within a highly collaborative team. Communicates proactively. Understands that open communication and the sharing of knowledge is fundamental to the success of the team. Asks for advice, and considers it thoughtfully.

Teamwork – Genuinely values teamwork and co-workers; make them feel valuable and important by acknowledging what they do well. Doesn’t expect from others effort that one is unwilling to do themselves. Finds ways to acknowledge other’s strong suits.

Raises the Bar – Expects and delivers excellence. Is a creative problem solver. Is proactive. Welcomes input on making things better. Places a high value on learning and getting better


In addition to offering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity, VU offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, after five years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up to three dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more about Vanderbilt's benefits at VU Benefits Overview at

Requirements of an Ideal Candidate:

  • Bachelor's degree in electrical, or mechanical engineering or related field is necessary.

  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience is necessary.

  • Professional engineering license is strongly preferred.

  • Strong organizational skills, with an emphasis on managing multiple tasks and proven capability to meet deadlines is necessary.

  • Effective oral and written communication skills is necessary.

  • Ten years operational experience with mechanical and electrical systems is preferred.

  • Management experience, knowledge of switchgear, transformers, gas turbine generators, steam turbine generators, HVAC equipment, Controls equipment, and diesel generators is preferred.

Licensure, Certification, and/or Registration (LCR):

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 37570 - Building Automation and Engineering

Job: Facilities Professionals

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