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Director - Energy Management

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Minnesota, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
Apr 7, 2022

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Engineering, Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Facilities Management & Physical Plant
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Position Summary 

The overall responsibility is to provide leadership and direction for the strategic planning of utility infrastructure in development, implementation and advancement. This includes providing the technical resources needed to support utility engineering and operations and the facility engineering and maintenance support for the Twin Cities campus and to provide technical support and guidance for UMN system-wide physical assets. This includes managing the staffing of the departments with highly skilled personnel, maintenance and operation of all utility infrastructure, the design review and commissioning of new construction and major modifications to utility infrastructure and campus buildings, energy conservation/efficiency programs, maintenance support of the campus’ physical assets and building environmental controls, alarms and fire protection systems. This position works in collaboration with the most senior positions in Capital Project Management, Real Estate and Planning, Facilities Management and other University departments across the system to fulfill objectives.


This position participates with local public utility companies and various State of Minnesota agencies including; Xcel Energy, CenterPoint Energy, Public Utilities Commission, Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota State Chamber of Commerce and various ad hoc committees both internal to the university and external groups including non-government organizations and/or nonprofits.


This position is a member of the FM senior leadership team and reports to the Associate Vice President for Facilities Management. This position is key to the formulation of Facilities Management strategic plans which support institutional goals that are implemented through operational business units.



30% Leadership and Strategic Planning

  • Utility Infrastructure: Provides strategic leadership and direction for long term strategic utility plans based on comprehensive campus master plans and the campus sustainability goal of zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. This planning involves all infrastructure utilities on the Twin Cities campus and system campuses around the state. Also responsible for leading and maintaining a utility condition assessment program for utility assets across the UMN system.
  • Capital Planning and Projects: Provides leadership and direction for utility projects completed within Energy Management. In conjunction with Capital Project Management (CPM), provides leadership and consultation for utility infrastructure and energy and automation systems development during planning, pre-design and schematic development of University capital projects.
  • Also provides input at project proposal and feasibility phase to ensure the engineering and commissioning teams are at the table to discuss the intent of university standards and to review the operational needs of the proposed construction.
  • Controls and Automation: Provides leadership for the building controls and automation requirements and expectations for building facility planning.
  • Energy and Sustainability: Collaborates internally and externally to stay current with sustainable energy management practices. In concert with Facilities Management, University and external partners, ensures sustainability practices continue in strategic planning efforts, aligning with University leadership expectations.
  • University Standards: Partners with CPM in developing and maintaining University construction standards that relate to utilities (mechanical, electrical, plumbing and stormwater) and building automation systems incorporate all viable energy management program objectives for all new construction and remodeling projects at the University of Minnesota. In conjunction with CPM and an appointed engineering subject matter expert, exceptions to the standards are reviewed and approved.
  • Business planning and department organization: Leads continuous planning for the Energy Management department responsibilities, services and staffing to optimize alignment with the facilities organization, the campus as a whole, the academic/research community and the statewide interests. This planning includes internal/external review and networking/ benchmarking with other Big Ten universities and higher education institutions.


30% Operations Management

  • Provides full service energy management services to the University community of the Twin Cities campus. Acts as internal support serving FM divisions to promote a customer centered service focus in conjunction with Facilities Management, Capital Project Management, and Planning, Space and Real Estate.
  • Directs the operations of and is responsible for the 24/7 performance of the Energy Management department. Ensures compliance to environmental and safety codes. Develops and updates standards as necessary. The components of the department to be managed are as follows:
    • Utilities operations group: Responsible for the procurement, production and distribution of all utilities needed for a college campus: steam, hot water, chilled water, electricity, potable water and the processing of storm water and sewer water. The need for highly reliable utilities requires daily attention and being continuously on call for serious emergency support.
    • Facilities Engineering and Energy Efficiency group: Responsible primarily for searching out energy conservation opportunities (ECOs) and implementing the projects to meet the department’s annual energy reduction goals. This group also provides primary maintenance engineering support to Facilities Management mechanics and trades in the interest of reliability and energy conservation.
    • Controls and Automation group: Manages and engineers the building controls and manages remote fire alarm systems monitoring services. Although multiple controls and automation systems are used, The UMN has one the largest Johnson Controls installation in North America. Beta testing of new hardware and software is often conducted on the Twin Cities campus.
    • Commissioning group: Performs almost all of the facilities commissioning work on capital construction projects ranging from hundred thousand to hundreds of million dollar range.
    • Re-commissioning group: Responsible for the retro- and re-commissioning and/or tune up of existing facilities.


15% Talent Recruitment, Development, and Retention

  • Performs all management and supervisory responsibilities for a department of approximately 130 employees including managers, engineers, technicians and trades.
  • Recruits and develops professional, technical and engineering staff including administering the performance management program, coaching employees to improve performance, taking corrective action, etc. Directly supervises a team of leadership and engineering professionals who manage and supervise groups in areas of expertise.
  • Promotes continual technical training and leadership development using internal and external resources and through a variety of work assignments.
  • Develops a highly talented group of University student engineers, some of which become full time employees.
  • Participates in labor contract administration and grievance handling for union trades workers.


15% Financial Planning and Budget Development

  • Manage all aspects of an annual operating budget of over $110M.
  • In support of strategic initiatives, develops an annual Energy Management business plan and operating budget, within financial
  • constraints and utility rate structures, based on regulatory required maintenance and repair, industry standard preventative maintenance and repair, and best practice maintenance activities for the existing equipment inventory to minimize life cycle costs while maximizing facility operability in procurement, distribution, conservation of energy and administering FMs indoor air quality programs.
  • In support of strategic initiatives, develops an annual business plan and capital budget based on the institution's capital plan. The capital budget consists of state appropriations known as HEAPR (Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement), capital bonding requests, internal R&R (Repair and Replace) and internal loan funds.
  • Partners with UMN Office of Investment and Banking for fuel procurement.
  • Provides direction for departmental data analysis staff and partners with internal financial accounting staff to ensure that managerial and accounting information for operational programs is available to measure programmatic effectiveness relative to performance expectations. Develops monthly and annual metrics and reporting for community circulation that demonstrates the overall effectiveness of energy management programs.


10% Policy, Legislation, and Outreach

  • Participates in and supports the University academic community and other community outreach in the form of utility and facility tours, classroom presentations and discussions, and the use of facility assets.
  • Partners with the university research community to use the campus as a living laboratory to advance institutional priorities.
  • Involvement with non-government organization efforts in the areas of energy, utilities and facilities; mostly related to policy development.
  • Involvement with the Minnesota State Chamber of Commerce on energy business issues; mostly related to public utilities filing rate cases with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
  • Provides input for University and legislative discussions on statutes and policy that have potential impact to the University’s operations.





 Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree (BA/BS) in engineering, STEM, public administration, planning or equivalent.
  • At least 15 years of progressive experience in facilities or plant management is required; ten of those years consist of direct supervisory experience of technical and/or professional staff and trade union personnel.
  • Demonstrated abilities to lead, manage, and direct the activities of others toward the accomplishment of goals and objectives.
  • Highly refined communication skills, strong fiscal management abilities, and experience leading a complex service-oriented organization in a fast-paced and demanding environment and experience in developing and implementing long-term strategic district energy plans.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree (BA/BS) in mechanical or electrical engineering.
  • Professional Engineering (PE) registration and experience in a university setting.
  • A master’s or advanced degree in engineering or business management is desirable.
  • Twenty years of progressive experience in facilities, industrial plants or district energy/utilities management with at least fifteen of those years consisting of direct supervisory experience of technical and/or professional staff and trade union personnel.
  • A co-gen power production background working with combustion turbines, heat recovery steam generators, SCADA and multi-plant digital control systems, environmental monitoring and control systems, chilled water plants, thermal storage and distribution systems.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Broad knowledge of industry standard energy management principles, strategies and technologies
  • Ability to develop, implement and maintain an Energy Management operational and capital development plans, with emphasis on utility infrastructure and energy systems
  • Knowledge of strategic management concepts and financial management principles
  • Strong leadership skills with a good working knowledge of business operations
  • Ability to apply a system approach to planning and implementing strategic objectives
  • Ability to foster a cohesive, collaborative, and independent team environment that can make decisions in an effective, efficient, and timely manner
  • Ability to manage change within a large, dynamic organization
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal and oral and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of project delivery process
  • Knowledge of union labor contract
  • Conflict management and resolution skills
  • Skill in use of spreadsheet databases and related PC software applications
  • Financial and quantitative analysis skills
  • Ability to apply technology-based tools to collect, interpret and analyze critical energy consumption information


About the Search

The University of Minnesota is conducting a national search with the assistance of Helbling & Associates (, an executive search firm specializing in areas of facilities management, construction, engineering, and real estate development.

It is the University’s policy to provide equal opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, familial status, disability, public assistance status, membership or activity in a local commission created for the purpose of dealing with discrimination, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression (“protected classes”). The University prohibits discrimination against employees and applicants on the basis of their membership in a protected class and is committed to taking affirmative steps to ensure that the University’s employment practices are free from discrimination.


Please apply by emailing a resume and cover letter to the Helbling contact below. You may also provide nominations or ask any questions.

Contact:   Marc Datz, Regional Director


O:           (724) 935-7500 x 110

C:           (412) 337-3151

Contact:   Rick Nawoczynski, Senior Managing Consultant


O:           (724) 935-7500 x 112

C:           (724) 462-5393


About Our Firm

Helbling & Associates is a national executive search firm, specializing in facilities management; architecture, engineering, and construction; and real estate development roles.

Founded in 1992, we provide a team approach to executive searches, allowing our clients to benefit from our professionals’ combined 250+ years of recruiting experience. We offer the sophistication and resources of a large search firm, while our specialized boutique operation brings a strong client focus, personalized consulting, and the attention to detail that builds long-term partnerships.


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