District Energy System Engineer - Level 2

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: New York City, NEW YORK
Deadline: Manhattanville ;

  • Job Type: Support Staff - Union
  • Bargaining Unit: TWU - B&G
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 40
  • Salary Range: $60.18 per hour

Position Summary

LOCATION: Manhattanville

SCHEDULE:   Sunday - Monday, 7:45am - 4:15pm & Tuesday - Thursday, 3:45pm - 12:15am

A District Energy Systems Engineer is a position in the facilities department working directly with District Energy Systems Management team providing high quality and effective work that will lead, perform and/or assist in any routine or emergency operations and functions of the District Energy System (DES) throughout the Columbia University-Manhattanville Campus (CUMVC). Provides technical oversight to the safe, reliable, efficient and cost optimal operation, maintenance and repair of the District Energy System including: steam and chilled water production and distribution, co-generation gas turbine systems, auxiliary system equipment and systems, command and monitoring control systems for high tension network electrical distribution, emergency power support systems, elevator status monitoring system, and building automation systems. Evaluates system dynamics against load and available capacity and safely adjusts system controls to maximize reliability. Dispatches personnel to address points of alarm and reported deficiencies in order to provide for a safe environment.


  • Monitors operational load against available capacity, makeup levels and system flow, pressures and temperatures by physical rounds, log entries, and computer system monitoring. Actively trends control monitoring status of various systems to guide decisions. Conducts equipment startup, shutdown and stabilization procedures as needed.
  • Maintain, repair and operate system equipment, auxiliary systems and utilize computer monitoring systems while working independently or under limited supervision and direction and in accordance with sound engineering practices.
  • Works in collaboration with the Refrigeration Control Engineer, Plant Operations Engineer, system supervisor, management, and others.
  • Adjusts system controls to ensure safe, reliable, efficient and cost optimal operation.
  • Performs system troubleshooting, diagnosis and initial root cause analysis on equipment failures and operational upsets.
  • Assists the Shift Supervisor or Management in providing analysis and oversight to ensure safe optimization of system performance. In the absence of the Shift Supervisor, may direct and oversee work taking place during the shift.
  • Assume watch as needed and/or directed.
  • Observes electrical switchboard and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to inform decisions on system operations.
  • Adheres to Lock Out/Tag Out policy.
  • Checks and maintains the operational readiness of voice and data telecommunications.
  • Oversees computer monitoring systems and dispatches appropriate personnel to address critical and non-critical events and reports. Solicits feedback of resolution to assess system and building status. Elevates status as necessary to ensure safe operation of facility.
  • Coordinates utility system maintenance and repair of University personnel and contract services.
  • Works with other disciplines and management to proactively assess and rectify multi-disciplinary system issues.
  • Reviews, provides feedback, and supports service shutdown plans.
  • Proficiently uses and applies appropriate tools, methods and materials as necessary pertaining to electrical, pneumatic, digital and hydraulic controls and instrumentation.
  • Maintains a clean, organized and tidy work environment.
  • Performs water chemistry testing and adjusts treatment introduction as necessary to ensure chemistry  levels are maintained within design limits.
  • Safely and effectively switches between liquid fuel and gas fuel systems as directed including natural gas and electric service curtailments as demanded by Consolidated Edison. Insures that fuel systems and distribution are safely being delivered and monitored.
  • Operates chiller equipment with either electric or steam energy.
  • Performs all duties, tasks, and responsibilities of subordinate personnel as needed.
  • Provide guidance, direction, and on the job training to all junior personnel in the proper procedures of operations, repair, and maintenance.
  • Enter pertinent system status in log book and review former log book entries in a concise manner in order to ensure that the relieving watch is fully informed system status.
  • Monitors system emissions and adjusts system operations as directed.
  • Takes appropriate action in emergency conditions.
  • Conducts job site inspections to determine compliance to standards and codes.
  • Requisitioning of parts and supplies as necessary to maintain equipment and systems.
  • Process hot work permits and perform necessary fire watch procedures and inspections.
  • Process paperwork including but not limited to work orders, inventory, and preventive maintenance forms.
  • Perform work tasks, report deficiencies, and maintain and complete daily records of labor and materials used during work tasks via the CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System). 
  • Maintain completeness, timeliness, and accuracy of the work and work orders.
  • Continually and urgently communicate with supervisor regarding any apparent operational deficiencies or system malfunctions.
  • Must perform any duties assigned in an emergency as determined by management.
  • Attend and participate in all departmental trainings and meetings.
  • Attend and complete relevant on‐the‐job training as required.
  • Oversight with direct and continuing supervision and development of POE to DESE progression. Under their license provide New York Buildings Department experience sign off for qualifying POEs’ annually and as needed

Required Qualifications

  • HS diploma or GED required
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Outlook.
  • Must demonstrate minimum professional proficiency in the English Language; as defined by the U.S.Department of State.
  • Preferred: Hold and maintain an active Motor Vehicle Class D License.
  • NYC High Pressure Stationary Engineer’s License in reference to Columbia University, District Energy System address.
  • NYC Refrigeration Engineer’s License in reference to Columbia University, District Energy System address.
  • Two (2) years internal experience as a District Energy Systems Engineer – Level 1; or external equivalent ten (10) years of experience in power plant maintenance, repair, and operation with required license and certifications.
  • Seven (7) years of experience operating a high pressure boiler under their own active NYC High Pressure Stationary Engineer’s License.
  • Seven (7) years of experience operating a chiller under their own active NYC Refrigeration Engineer’s License.
  • Must be a quick learner and exhibit self-motivational skills.
  • Adequate ability to discern colors for monitoring alarm conditions.
  • Strong team mentality (ability to work with others).
  • Well-refined interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate with all levels of staff, customers, clients, students, vendors, and management.
  • How to read and interpret SDS information.
  • Understanding of general vivarium, and laboratory rules and restrictions.
  • How to identify a fire rated barrier and properly install fire-stopping materials.
  • Must be able to work all shifts as assigned.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the fundamentals of electrical motors, controls, switches, fusing and wiring, circuit breaker coordination
  • How to properly utilize lock out-tag out procedures for all energy sources (electrical, thermal, hydraulic, hydronic).
  • How to properly and safely operate all hand tools, power tools, equipment utilized by facilities maintenance and repair.
  • Proficient knowledge of how to operate, navigate, manipulate, and interpret building management systems (BMS).
  • Gas Turbine Optimization Course- Basic Gas Turbine Engine Technology (Online course), or equivalent - to be obtained during probationary period.
  • Plant Optimization Course: Overall Plant Performance (online course), or equivalent - to be obtained during probationary period.
  • Plant Optimization course: Heating, Ventilation and Air- conditioning (online course), or equivalent - to be obtained during probationary period.
  • Hold and maintain Certificate of Fitness for Fire Guard (F-60)
  • Hold and maintain Certificate of Fitness for Using Powder Activated Tools (E-21)
  • Hold and maintain Certificate of Fitness for Torch Operations (G-60)
  • Hold and maintain Certificate of Fitness To Operate and Maintain Air Compressors (A-35)
  • Hold and maintain Certificate of Fitness for City Wide Sprinkler Systems (S-12)
  • Hold and maintain Certificate of Fitness for City Wide Standpipe Systems (S-13)
  • Hold and maintain Certificate of Fitness for Standpipe for Multi-Zone Systems (S-14)
  • Hold and maintain Certificate of Fitness for Supervise Fuel-Oil Piping and Storage in Buildings (P-98)
  • Hold and maintain Certificate of Fitness for Handling, Use, and Storage of Flammable Compressed Gases (G-98)
  • Hold and maintain Certificate of Fitness for Storage, Handling and Use of Hazardous Materials (C-91)
  • Hold and maintain Certificate of Qualification for Refrigeration Operating Engineer (Q-01/Q-99/Z-51)
  • Responsible for obtaining and maintaining other applicable NYC Certificates of Fitness as required by th
  • FDNY and/or other authorities having jurisdiction
  • Hold and maintain PBS (Petroleum Bulk Storage) Class A Operator
  • Hold and maintain EPA 608 Universal Technician Certification
  • Must be capable of performing fire brigade duties as assigned.
  •  Hold and maintain OSHA 10 Certification
  • Knowledge of and/or Training on the following:
    • General OSHA standards and requirements.o
    • Use of portable fire extinguisher.
    • Hazardous waste awareness.
    • Asbestos hazards and safety.
    • Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (work order management system)
    • Confined space entry procedures.
    • Lock-out/Tag-out procedures.
    • Description and use of fire stopping materials.
    • Communication etiquette including phone, radio, and customer service.
    • Hot work permits.
  • Responsible for obtaining and maintaining other applicable Certifications as determined by management as the facility develops. This may include additional PBS Certifications, etc.
  • Must demonstrate knowledge of all CUMVC’s safety policies and procedures.
  • Must demonstrate applicable institutional knowledge and practices of the facility and its operations.

    Duties and requirements from District Energy Systems Engineer Level 1 and prior still apply and must be

    maintained and current, as well as the knowledge applied to any future buildings coming on line.

Physical Requirements & Environmental Conditions:

  • The physical and environmental demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential responsibilities and functions of the job and are not meant to be all-inclusive.
  • Use strength to lift and transport items needed to perform the functions of the job, with the ability to lift 50 pounds independently and support team lift with reasonable accommodations.
  • Sit, stand, bend, kneel, crouch, and squat for prolonged periods of time and/or repeatedly over a required period of time.
  • Reach with and work with hands and arms overhead.
  • May work in an environment where a variety of pathogens, chemical substances, and gases are used for research.
  • Ability to work while wearing a full-face respirator.
  • Required to be Tuberculosis (TB) negative, submit to periodic TB testing, and a chest x-ray if a positive
  • TB test is read.
  • Able to perform work in power plant and campus environments
  • Employee will be required to practice the use of proper PPE when exposed to the conditions above including participating in pulmonary testing for the ability to wear respirators.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

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