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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Campus has an opening for an Operations Superintendent at the Central Power Plant (CPP) whose mission is to provide utility services to the University of Michigan Central campus. This position leads the Central Power Plant Operations Team to include all aspects of the University’s mission and goals, ensuring that all staff are empowered to carry out their daily work. This includes building and maintaining a strong team to continuously improve the primary goals of safety, reliability, and efficiency. The operations superintendent is responsible for determining both the operating philosophy for attaining the goals both over the long term and on a day to day basis. As a member of the Central Power Plant Management Team, the Operations Superintendent is expected to act in accordance with the Facilities and Operations principles of being Respectful, Collaborative, Solutions-Based and Proactive into their daily work.

The CPP is a combined cycle cogeneration power plant which includes seven boilers totaling 1,000,000 pounds of steaming capacity and 34 megawatts of electric generation capacity consisting of two steam backpressure turbines and two combustion turbines with heat recovery steam generators. An additional 16 megawatts of gas turbine capacity is planned to be added in 2020. The facility generates 2 billion pounds of steam per year, 200 million kwh of electricity per year, compressed air and domestic hot water for use by the central and the medical campus. This position is directly responsible for all aspects of the CPP operation, including scheduling and guiding 16 unionized operators, who currently work on a biweekly, 12-hour rotating shift. This includes all aspects of recruitment, promotions, training, interpretation of union contract, policies and procedures, budget oversight, and similar.

Utilities is a division of Facilities & Operations, made up of 135 dedicated employees responsible for providing utilities services for the university 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Services include campus-wide utilities purchasing, generation, and distribution, as well as metering and billing energy consumption for all university buildings. Distribution includes the operations and maintenance of 300 miles of underground utility systems from outdoor lighting and high voltage circuits to water mains to tunnel piping. The division also provides a wide range of engineering services primarily dedicated to energy management, the operations and maintenance of university facilities, and the utilities infrastructure.


  • Ensure compliance with all environmental, health and safety policies, laws and regulations. Establish and sustain a culture that promotes a safe and inclusive work environment.
  • Ensure that the Lock out and Tag out system is being applied in a compliant manner (high voltage, low voltage, operational plant/equipment, confined space, and hot work).
  • Perform all supervisor / human resources responsibilities for the operations team, ensuring that they perform all of the duties necessary to safely and efficiently operate the plant equipment, meet dispatch and availability requirements, and complete all required operational and human resources reports. Communicate effectively to staff members addressing any issues in a proactive manner. 
  • Responsible for complete operational activities of the plant including, but not limited to, developing operating instructions, balancing the need for reliability and efficiency of the facility, directing operations team for compliance with dispatch instructions, operation routines, switching operations, planning and conducting annual capacity test, monitoring of equipment operating trends, taking initiative to prevent equipment trips and damage, and reporting of any utility outage cause and effect.
  • Assist the operating staff in responding to/attend any operational incidents or emergencies on a 24/7/365 basis. 
  • Improve standard plant operating procedures, emergency control procedures and control room practices to accepted industry standards.
  • Assure that a training program is in place so that staff are trained and fully qualified to perform their duties. Continue the improvement and implementation of the operator qualification courses, books, and manuals for all operation systems, including safety programs as they relate to the operations staff.
  • Identify opportunities and take actions to improve the CPP efficiency, availability, and reliability.
  • Prepare and manage the CPP operational budget. Perform Monthly reviews on the operating performance data to ensure the CPP is operating within budget and identify opportunities to improve the operating efficiencies within the CPP.
  • Coordinate Hiring Team to fill open or vacant operating positions per University Hiring Policies.
  • Ensure that all regular scheduling, vacations, and other time off work for operations team members are properly documented for payroll and attendance records.
  • Manage labor relations issues and process union grievances according to the union contract.

Required Qualifications*

  • A minimum of ten (10) years related operational experience in the power industry, merchant marines or similar environment, including at least five (5) of those years at the supervisory level. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related engineering discipline or technical area or equivalent experience is required.
  • Considerable knowledge of the operation and maintenance of high-pressure boilers, electrical generating equipment, and related mechanical equipment in a steam and/or electric generating power plant. Must understand the stand-alone operating and maintenance characteristics of equipment, how groups of equipment function together to form a system, and how all the systems inter-relate. 
  • Extensive people management skills and experience with engaging people at various levels in the organization.
  • Strong communication and organizational skills with the ability to manage and operate effectively in a team environment.
  • Experience with writing and implementing operations procedures.
  • The ability to interact with various internal and external stakeholders and departments.
  • Desire for personal continuous growth and development. 
  • Ability to analyze the performance and operating efficiency of the systems to optimize energy use and production. 
  • Analytical skills necessary to dispatch and optimize equipment operation. 
  • Ability to use Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint.
  • Must be able to perform the full range of duties, with or without a reasonable accommodation, in an environment that has high levels of heat and noise, including inspecting equipment in various locations that may be located between 0 and 40 feet from the floor and potentially beneath or around immovable objects or in confined spaces.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Ability to apply fault diagnostic concepts to identify the root cause of a problem.
  • Experience with the AspenTech Data Management System or similar system.
  • Experience in the development and management of department budgets.
  • Management experience in a union environment.
  • Experience with working a rotating shift schedule.

Additional Information

Facilities and Operations seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the diverse people of Michigan, to sustain the excellence of the university, and to offer our students richly varied disciplines, perspectives and ways of knowing and learning.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.