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Sr. Plant Engineer

Pasadena, CaliforniaPEAK Technical Staffing USA

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Responsible for the leading the design, specification, procurement, integration, testing, and commissioning of the physical plant systems required to support operation of an observatory.

Will work closely with systems engineering, telescope, and enclosure groups, to assure the plant systems are properly sized, organized and equipped to meet needs over the 50-year observatory lifespan. This role will work closely with the Senior Electrical Engineer, who is responsible for the distribution of commercial electrical power (and associated back-up generators and UPS systems), from Chile national grid sources to each of the observatory facilities, including the telescope, enclosure, facility buildings, and associated technical and personnel support sites.

In addition, the successful candidate will have broad knowledge and experience with the specification, design, procurement, installation, and commissioning of industrial-scale physical plant systems, including electrical equipment (capacity of at least 600 KVA), liquid chillers, air handlers, air compressors, industrial refrigeration systems, cryogenic cooling systems, high and low vacuum systems, de-ionized and purified water systems, HVAC systems, high-pressure hydraulic oil conditioning, pumping, and distribution systems, diesel-powered back-up generators and water pumping systems, and PLC-based control and monitoring equipment appropriate to each of the physical plant subsystems.

The SPE position will be based at the project office in Pasadena, California.This role will be expected to travel to, and work at, a variety of sites, including the observatory site in Chile, US and international subsystem integration sites, as well as US and/or international utility and plant equipment manufacturers.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop and manage the design, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning of the physical plant subsystems for the observatory.
  • Develop and manage the design, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning of local electrical power systems to supply each of the plant and utility subsystems for the observatory.
  • Interface and work collaboratively with a wide range of technical and non-technical stakeholders, including scientists, electrical engineers, systems engineers, mechanical and structural engineers, site operations personnel, facility managers, and construction managers.
  • Work with other observatory subsystem groups to document the physical plant ICDs (Interface Control Documents) between subsystems, contribute to definition of remote monitoring system requirements, specification of sensors, and selection of PLCs.
  • Act as the technical point of contact for contractors and other groups for the observatory physical plant subsystems.
  • Prepare cost and schedule estimates, proposals, design review documents, and presentations for internal and external project reviews.
  • Ensure that physical plant system designs comply with US, Chile, and/or international codes, standards, and certifications.
  • Provide leadership in FMECA analyses of plant and utility systems for operationally critical facilities.
  • Oversee the installation of physical plant systems during construction, integration, test, commissioning, and transition to operations.
  • Coordinate enclosure, telescope, and facilities Assembly, Integration, and Test (AIT) and commissioning plans for the physical plant and associated electrical power systems.

Essential Qualifications:

  • A minimum of a BS degree in mechanical or industrial engineering or closely related field.
  • The candidate must be able to demonstrate superior engineering expertise with physical plant systems for complex and high-reliability facilities.
  • 10 years of relevant hands-on experience with the planning, design, and installation of physical plant systems for complex technical facilities.
  • The successful candidate will have a proven track record in specifying, designing, managing, constructing, and operating physical plant systems for remote industrial facilities.
  • Demonstrated leadership, organizational, and management skills.
  • Ability to prepare documents, reports, and oral presentations.
  • Demonstrated ability to work efficiently and collaboratively within a group setting.
  • Knowledge of standards and best practices in industrial physical plant systems, PLCs, and remote monitoring techniques.

Desired Qualifications:

  • M.S. degree in Mechanical or Industrial Engineering or closely related field.
  • 8 years of relevant experience with complex physical plant systems for complex technical projects and facilities.
  • Experience with ground-based observatory physical plant systems.

Working Conditions:

  • Open plan engineering office. 
  • Travel as described above.
  • Ability to work at an altitude of 8500 feet for extended periods
  • Flexibility to work outside of core business hours and travel to client partner locations, vendor facilities, and to the client site in Chile as necessary. 

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