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Mgr, Utilities & Central Plant Operations #605688

Northern Arizona University
Arizona, United States
$62,996.00 - $78,745.00
Posted date
Sep 28, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Facilities Management & Physical Plant
Employment Level
Salary Band
$70,000 - $89,999
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Description

Under the general direction of the Assistant Director for Utility Services, the Manager of Utilities and Central Plant Operations oversees 2- 24/7 operation Central Heating and Cooling Plants. The Central plant and distribution equipment include high-pressure power boilers up to 243,000 lbs. /hr. steam capacity and 96 MMBtu HTHW capacity, centrifugal chillers up to 4500 tons capacity, and auxiliary components. The near-term expansion includes the addition of an ice chiller for an ice rink and potential thermal storage. Long-term master planning may involve the conversion to a low-temperature hot water distribution system. This position exists to aid and assist Facility Services' mission to the University by providing distributed energy to the Campus community, exercising fiscal responsibility, reporting on leading-edge technology, and practicing sustainable maintenance and operations.

This position is responsible for operating and maintaining all central plant equipment, including boilers, chillers, and associated equipment per the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Arizona Department of Occupational Safety (ADOSH), and other applicable regulatory organizations codes and standards, resulting in a safe and comfortable working, living and learning environment for the university campus. Maintains NAU's district energy system of approximately 7 miles of tunnels and direct buried pipe systems to deliver steam, high-temperature hot water, and chilled water to campus buildings. Operates valves, controls, and other central plant equipment to control air, gas, water, and steam flow while maintaining temperatures and pressures at designated levels following the American Boiler Manufacturers Association (ABMA) instructions, chiller manufacturer instructions, and University standards. The role requires replacing and maintaining minor piping and control components associated with the plant production and distribution systems. This position is autonomous, requiring the supervisor to rely heavily on their own experience and knowledge.


  • Maintains effective communication with other operators and fostering a team relationship that allows for collaborative problem solving and process improvement.
  • Supervises the central plant heating and cooling operation to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Acts as a subject matter expert when mentoring and assigning work to others. Monitors and evaluates the execution of work
  • Responsible for employee hiring, training, performance evaluations, and recommendations for performance improvements
  • Monitors and schedules the activities of plant personnel
  • Leads and supervises staff through daily interactions, goal setting, and performance assessment activities to achieve individual and department-level goals and objectives
  • Applies safety standards and maintains good housekeeping practices to provide safe working conditions; reports problems affecting plant safety to proper safety officials and the head of Utility Services.
  • Interpret university and department policies to assigned personnel and enforce safety regulations and adhere to proper codes and standards
  • Directs others to gather, analyze, and model various scenarios related to the central utility plant systems to include in reports and recommendations
  • Provides guidance, feedback, and disciplinary action as needed and appropriate
  • Manages and coordinates all job and site-specific safety requirements, hazard assessments, mandatory training, and procedures for plant staff
  • Willingness to consult EH&S and consultants on improving safety processes and procedures
  • Proactively participates in accident prevention efforts for employees and promptly responds to injuries and accidents to modify activities and prevent further accidents.


  • Creates reports on budget, equipment history, staffing levels, energy usage, peak usage, and other pertinent information to inform management of current and future needs
  • Collaborates with the Associate Director of Utility Services to prepare capital and operating budgets for the utility plant operations, maintenance, and staffing
  • Responsible for maintaining and managing budgets
  • Prepares reports on campus utility consumption, central plant operations, and efficiencies
  • Develops long and short-term plans for labor, equipment, operation, and maintenance requirements
  • Investigates and research intending to recommend emerging technologies for centralized heating, cooling, combined heat and power, and other technologies related to district energy
  • Takes a proactive role in promoting and supporting the Facility Service department and campus' mission and vision
  • Actively maintains up-to-date knowledge of industry practices related to higher education and utility operations, energy efficiency, safety, and OSHA changes
  • Willing and able to suggest and impliment process improvements based on industry changes
  • Dedicated to the development of sustainable operations and maintenance practices
  • Holds staff accountable to new work methods or procedures, changes in safety regulations and work policies


  • Provides planning and oversite for predictive, preventative, and reactionary maintenance and repair of the utility plants, and distribution equipment
  • Ensures proper documentation encompassing all efforts regarding maintenance and repairs
  • Evaluates requests for repair and modifications of central plant equipment and systems
  • Determines the causes of malfunctions, the extensiveness of repair or alterations required
  • Verifies the procedures and methods of corrective actions and the cost feasibility, timetables, and priority in terms of central plant capabilities, capacities, and usage
  • Coordinates and plans the completion of repair and modification projects with contractors, vendors, and maintenance support services.
  • Programs control computer with load information
  • Inspects central plant equipment for proper and safe operation
  • Develops, monitors, and adjusts plant planned maintenance programs
  • Prepares specifications and designs for the repair, modification, and installation of central plant equipment and systems
  • Monitors maintenance and repair efforts, ensures daily logs and recordkeeping are accurate, up to date, and complete for all plant equipment, including the plant water laboratory, the high-quality water distiller, and emergency generator, in addition to the boilers, refrigeration machines, pumps, towers, and plant auxiliaries.


  • Assists with Planning, Design, and Construction projects, Facilities Trades, or other University Departments
  • Coordinates with the management of other departments in reviewing their facility utility requirements as it relates to central plant operations in terms of equipment, system, and usage
  • Coordinates the emergency response for central plant production and distribution systems
  • Coordinates with engineers, suppliers, contractors, and other related personnel concerning existing and new equipment, components and/or parts related to the central plant operations to ensure objectives and needs of the central plant are met; initiates purchase requisitions.
  • Participates in Manager on Call Program


Minimum Qualifications

  • Accredited degree in related field or completion of technical training AND
  • 2-4 years of relevant experience with 1-2 years of management or supervisor experience. OR,
  • Any equivalent combination of experience, training and/or education.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Chief Boiler Technician or equivalent license/certification
  • Knowledge and experience with programming boiler and chiller control systems and processes.
  • Knowledge and experience with chemical systems associated with production and distribution.
  • Chlorofluorocarbons Certification
  • Experience with work order and maintenance electronic tracking systems.

Please see for full job descriptions and details on how to apply online!  NAU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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