Director of Utilities

  • MIchigan State University Infrastructure Planning and Facitlities
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, United States
  • Nov 02, 2017
Full time Industrial Facilities and Infrastructure Energy and Utilities Renewable Energy Executive Facilities

Job Description

Position Summary

The Director of Utilities for Infrastructure Planning and Facilities will provide leadership and strategic vision to approximately 60 support and professional staff (which includes temporaries, on-calls and students). This position is responsible for oversight of the annual operating budget for fuel, salaries and supplies and services (approximately $70 million). This position is responsible for shaping the department to reinforce collaboration, accountability, and responsibility. This position provides senior leadership for the integrated planning, operation and maintenance of the campus utility supply and delivery infrastructure. This position also promotes an environment that recognizes and supports diversity, creates a climate that values and recognizes initiative, innovation, service excellence, continual learning, stewardship, and the achievement of results.

The business area(s) under this group include:

  • Power &Water  

Power and Water operates the Simon Power Plant and the campus potable water system (reservoir and wells) which provide water, steam and electricity to MSU’s campus. The T.B. Simon Power Plant is a co-generation natural gas-fired plant that provides steam, heat and electricity for the university. Also known as “combined heat and power,” the plant utilizes steam to generate electricity. Boilers create steam that passes through a turbine generator. The electricity and the steam are then distributed across campus. The steam is mainly used to heat and cool buildings.  An easy way to think of the process is with the analogy of a tea kettle. 

There are five boilers inside the power plant and two steam lines serving campus. The two steam lines ensure that, in case one line needs to be serviced, the campus will never be without heat.

The IPF business areas that partner with this group include:

  • Planning Design and Construction - provides engineer support to design and construct capital projects for the campus energy supply and delivery systems
  • Building Services - provides operation and maintenance support to the building energy and utility delivery systems.

The external business areas that partner with this group include:

  • State of Michigan, Department of Air and Water Quality MDEQ provides oversite of MSU utility supply operations
  • Local Utilities

Local utilities provide contracted energy supply to Michigan State University.


The Business environment for this group is as follows:

  • Power and Water is a 24/7 operation that is critical to the functional operation of Michigan State University. The Director has essential response duties during IPF emergency response and is part of the P&W Business Continuity.

As part of their responsibilities, and in order to add value and assist all levels of administration in achieving University goals and objectives, the Director of Planning, Design, and Construction will be responsible for creating a high-performing, transparent and customer-focused organizational group. Specific responsibilities include: Culture & Engagement, Organizational Development and Functional Responsibilities.

Required Degree

Bachelors -Engineering

Minimum Requirements


The ideal candidate will possess the following competencies and attributes:

  • 10+ years of progressively challenging professional experience, in a functional leadership role managing a team of diverse professionals with varied backgrounds and capabilities all working toward measurable bottom-line results and successes.
  • Experience with fuel and energy procurement processes.
  • Proven track record of excellent project management and strategic planning skills and effectively managing multiple projects with various deadlines and budgets.
  • Experience with positively and productively leading change with previous organizations/facilities.
  • Exceptional time management skills with proven ability to meet deadlines.
  • Outstanding communicator, both written and verbal; especially as it relates to communicating efficiently and effectively with customers, stakeholders and staff.
  • Established network connections within field of expertise
  • Creative thinker who can also attentively and actively listen and skillfully communicate, knowledgably, with the appropriate level of business acumen to all levels within the university to faculty, administration and staff.
  • Excellent leadership, interpersonal and conflict resolution skills while promoting teamwork.
  • Exercises good judgment, with integrity, and observes ethical standards ensuring University policies and procedures are being upheld.
  • Executes professional responsibilities with due care, competence and diligence in accordance with the standards established for the profession.
  • Understanding of regulatory rules for power generation, water supply and environmental compliance.
  • Experience in long term strategies for fuel supply.
  • Successful candidate will be a signatory for State and Federal document certification.
  • Experience with analyzing data and developing key performance indicators to develop reports and present findings.
  • Experience with performance-based budgeting and forecasting
  • Experience and a passion for sustainable ecosystems (or environments)



A Bachelor's degree in engineering, or equivalent;

10+ years of progressively challenging professional experience, in a functional leadership role managing a team of diverse professionals with varied backgrounds and capabilities all working toward measurable bottom-line results and successes.

Experience aligning, mission, vision and values, implementing strategic frameworks, and action plans.

Experience leading within a complex, interdisciplinary, union environment that deploys business intelligence tools for reporting, queries, and analysis.

Desired Qualifications

 A Professional Engineer (PE) license is desired; Experience in a large, complex organization or facilities is desired; Experience in contract interpretation, negotiation, grievance process and managing a unionized work force;

 Required Application Materials

Applicants will be required to submit CV and Cover Letter/Letter of Interest


Strategic Planning-Intelligence, Operations-Plant Management, University, General-Other: Engineering


Compensation will be commensurate with experience and will consist of a competitive salary, a comprehensive benefits package and relocation assistance if necessary.

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