Utilities Project Engineer

  • City of Palo Alto
  • Palo Alto, California
  • Jan 01, 2022
Full Time Engineering Utilities
  • Salary: $123,198.40 - $151,216.00 Annually USD

Job Description


The Department
Palo Alto is the only city in California that offers a full array of utility services to its citizens and businesses. Because of this, the City has a unique opportunity to partner with the Palo Alto community to enjoy the benefits and achievements of reliable, home-grown, and environmentally-focused utilities. Palo Alto has a tradition of over 100 years of successful public utility operations. It is a tradition that continues to provide the Palo Alto community with safe and reliable utilities service, local decision-making over policies, utility rate-making, environmental programs, and customized services.

Career Opportunity
This position is part of Water, Gas and Wastewater (WGW) engineering division. The Project Engineer position will have a significant role in ensuring the successful oversight of water or gas Capital Improvement Projects (CIP). The successful candidate will typically perform in-house design and construction management of CIP projects from start to finish; provide project justifications, budget analysis, calculations, plans, specifications, cost estimates, and schedules for assigned utility CIP improvement projects; conduct gas system analysis or assessment studies and recommend gas facility upgrade plans. This role will also have the responsibility of regulatory compliance and work closely with Utilities Operations to support their needs.

Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate will have water or gas distribution system experience including four years of design and construction management experience along with strong project management skills. The successful candidate should possess sound engineering fundamentals including: scientific, analytical, and problem-solving skills. The candidate should be detail-oriented, organized, and be able to communicate effectively. AutoCAD or other CAD experience is required. To be successful in this role, the ability to work collaboratively with others and along with strong written and oral communication skills will be essential.

The City offers a range of benefits including a retirement plan so make sure to visit our benefits portal here .

This position is part of the Service Employees' International Union (SEIU).

Essential Duties

Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Conducts comprehensive utility engineering planning, design, and operational studies of the water, gas, and wastewater utilities systems.
  • Performs design work including researching data, conducting feasibility and economic studies, and determining design criteria in accordance with required standards and codes for assigned projects in the water, gas, and wastewater utilities.
  • Prepares project documents including project justifications, budget analyses, calculations, plans, specifications, cost estimates, and schedules for assigned utility projects in the water, gas, and wastewater utilities.
  • Reviews and checks engineering drawings, plans, computations, estimates and reports for completeness, accuracy, and soundness of applied utility engineering principles and City utility standards and policies.
  • Provides guidance and work supervision for other utility engineering and technical personnel as required by projects.
  • Obtains required permits, easements, and other documents as required from inter-departments or outside agencies for assigned utility projects.
  • Responsible for contract administration including reviewing bid packages, preparing contracts, and preparing city manager's reports and/or making presentations to council staff as required on each utility work assignment. Insures that all procurement and contracts comply with City Purchasing Department regulations.
  • Acts as the project manager on water, gas, and wastewater utility construction projects; directs the work of subordinate professional, field inspector, and/or operations staff to ensure quality control; takes responsibility for schedule coordination, political liaison, inter-utility coordination, public relations; evaluates, recommends, and prepares contract change orders as necessary; reviews progress payments and recommends payment authorization.
  • Determines scope of work, prepares requests for proposals, evaluates proposals, and participates in the selection of consultants for utilities projects; assists in negotiating consultant contracts; administrates procurement of contract agreements; administers contracts during the course of the work to ensure compliance with proposed design, material specifications, budget, contract, and schedules; reviews consultants' submitted work products and recommends adjustments as appropriate.
  • Assists in the preparation of utility quarterly financial and performance reports, capital improvement programs, and utilities' annual budget which includes projecting and forecasting project costs and justifying expenditures.
  • Confers with other inter-departmental personnel and field forces, representatives of other utilities, agencies, utility customers, engineering firms, contractors, developers, manufacturers and others regarding utility service, supply, or related utility civil/mechanical engineering problems.
  • Confers with the City Attorney's Office for legal interpretation of various utility engineering topics and potential litigation problems, confidential in nature, arising from projects related to specifications, bidding, and construction.
  • Assists in updating utility standards in the City's "Utility Standards".
  • Updates and utilizes computer models for maintaining the utilities distribution and collection systems.
  • Develops the utilization of computer programs for the analysis and solution of municipal utilities engineering problems; monitors new developments in data processing applications in the municipal utilities engineering field.
  • Monitors new developments and techniques in the municipal utilities and investor owned utilities, including an evaluation of potential application to City utility operations.
  • Implement use of new technologies, cost saving techniques/materials, improved safety procedures, and least disruptive utility construction practices.
  • Develops material and equipment standards for new and existing utility products.
  • Participate in industry organizations to craft proposed legislation, codes, laws, and best utility business practices.
To review the complete job description, go here

Minimum Qualifications

Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge, skills and abilities, which would typically be acquired through:
  • Bachelor of Science degree in civil, mechanical, or other approved engineering curriculum depending upon assigned area.
  • Equivalent to four years increasingly responsible engineering experience.
(Note: PE Certificate or Master's Degree in Engineering may be considered in lieu of one year of experience.)

Special Requirement:
  • Registration as a professional engineer in the State of California, or ability to obtain registration within one year of appointment to the classification or registration as a professional architect in the State of California.
  • Possession of a valid California Driver's License.

Closing Date/Time:

Job Address

Palo Alto, California United States View Map