You are currently viewing Principal (Chief) Dam Safety Engineer

Principal (Chief) Dam Safety Engineer

  • Full Time
  • Sacramento, Calif.
  • Salary: $140,754 to $186,513 per year
  • Posting End Date: August 31, 2022

Website Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Wage or Salary:
$140,754 to $186,513 per year


Open until filled – This posting may close at any time without notice after 7/28/2022 so applicants are encouraged to apply early.

This position is located at SMUD’s hydro generation facility at Fresh Pond, approximately 70 miles east of Sacramento.

As SMUD’s Principal (Chief) Dam Safety Engineer you will provide technical and functional expertise for all Upper American River Project (“UARP”) dams, appurtenant structures, and reservoirs.  In a matrix organization, assume responsibility, provide direction, and make recommendations pertaining to dam safety issues at SMUD dams.  Manage, prioritize, and direct ongoing work and special projects necessary to ensure the safe operation of SMUD dams and reservoirs.

Recommends, manages, and participates in highly complex engineering projects concerned with the research, planning, design, maintenance, environmental work and regulatory requirements of SMUD dams.

Nature & Scope:
Serves as technical and functional expert for all SMUD dams, appurtenant structures, and reservoirs. Assumes responsibility, provides direction, and makes recommendations pertaining to SMUD dam safety issues. Manages, prioritizes, and directs ongoing work and special projects necessary to ensure the safe operation of SMUD dams, appurtenant structures, and reservoirs. May also serve in a lead role planning, coordinating, prioritizing, monitoring, and evaluating the work results in assigned area and in selecting, training, motivating, evaluating, and developing lower-level personnel.

Position Type:
Regular – Full Time
No. of Openings—1
Pay Scale Group—PAS0071O
Base Salary Annual Low—$140,754
Base Salary Annual High—$186,513

Selection Process:
Initial Review, Qualifications Interview, Follow-Up Interview, Reference Check, Background Check
Major Duties & Responsibilities

Serves as the Principal Dam Safety Engineer responsible for management and implementation of SMUD’s Owner’s Dam Safety Program; responsible for all correspondence and submittals to federal and state regulatory agencies and for notifying Division of Dam Safety and Inspections of the conditions affecting the safety of relevant projects; ensures that emergency action planning is adequate; reviews and approves annual updates to the Emergency Action Plan for SMUD dams and verifies annual testing; ensures all documents are in place, secure, and updated per the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) guidelines.
Directs, manages, and participates in analyses, studies, cost estimates, and environmental impact of dam safety activities; performs review and oversight of all projects and identified issues as they relate to dam safety.
Responsible for maintenance and/or improvement of SMUD dams; performs routine site visits to observe SMUD dams, conducts surveillance, prepares monitoring reports, and provides results and recommendations to appropriate SMUD management; conducts and/or leads inspections of SMUD dams and hydro facilities and prepares related studies; leads, coordinates, and participates in dam safety inspections required by regulatory agencies and organizations, such as FERC and the California Division of Safety of Dams; assures compliance with technical and legal requirements and adherences to codes, regulations, and guidelines governing dam safety activities; coordinates with various SMUD entities and government agencies for the accomplishment of various requirements.
Identifies, documents, and communicates significant dam safety and regulatory changes and provides recommended actions to appropriate SMUD management.
Assesses current and future staffing, training, and resource needs to enable continuation of proper maintenance and/or improvement of SMUD dams to appropriate SMUD management; trains other staff as assigned.
Performs related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications:

Education: A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, or a related field.

Experience: Seven (7) years of progressively responsible relevant work experience in the hydroelectric utility industry involving dams, reservoirs, and related systems and appurtenances.

Knowledge Of: Advanced methods and techniques of project management; advanced principles and practices of contract and budget administration; procedures and practices for overseeing contractor’s work activities; advanced principles and practices of program evaluation and economic analysis; advanced principles of cost control and project scheduling; advanced theory, principles and practices of civil/structural engineering design for structures and dams; advanced theory, principles and regulations governing safety and construction of civil/structural systems and facilities; advanced principles, procedures and practices related to construction/fabrication/installation methods, equipment and materials; advanced computer aided drafting and design software (such as AutoCAD); advanced principles of electrical power generation, transmission and distribution; advanced surveying methods and techniques; methods, equipment and materials related to construction of transmission, distribution and non-nuclear operating facilities; construction codes and applicable safety standards; advanced principles, procedures and practices related to engineering mathematics and statistical analysis techniques; advanced principles, procedures and practices related to engineering economics; advanced techniques and practices for cost benefit analyses; advanced techniques and practices for problem research and resolution; advanced methods and techniques of report preparation and writing; pertinent federal, state, and local codes, laws, and regulations; office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and applicable software applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and databases

Skill To: Direct, manage, coordinate and administer hydroelectric generation projects; monitor the progress of advanced engineering projects and ensure adherence to established budget constraints; develop complex work plans, schedules and cost estimates; write advanced technical specifications; prepare complex bid packages and proposals; negotiate with external representatives on behalf of SMUD; plan, oversee and review the work of others; utilize a personal computer and/or computer terminal, systems and software relevant to the job; use state of the art computer software to design complex civil/structural/architectural systems and facilities; maintain computer databases for collection, interpretation and reporting of data; read and interpret advanced, technical engineering documents and drawings, plans, diagrams and specifications; assist in planning and implementing system protection enhancements and upgrades; analyze complex situations, documents and data for conformance to established policy and procedures; gather data from appropriate sources and identify relevant factors; identify the key elements that must be modified to achieve a goal; interpret, analyze and apply pertinent policies, procedures, regulations and requirements; interpret, clarify, understand and analyze verbal/written information and ideas; utilize logic and analysis to identify the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches; ensure adherence to established safety policies, practices and procedures; compile and prepare technical, statistical, analytical and/or oral reports and presentations; analyze complex, technical problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, and implement recommendations in support of goals; operate office equipment including computers and supporting word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications
Desirable Qualifications

Demonstrated experience in the following areas:
Dam stability analysis/behavior
Seismicity issues
Flood hydrology
Dam monitoring and instrumentation
Dam operations and risk assessment
Mechanical design knowledge
Geotechnical knowledge

Professional registration in civil and/or structural engineering in the state of California; or if licensed in another state, the ability to acquire licensure in California within a year of appointment.
Physical Requirements

Applicants must be able to perform the essential job functions with or without a reasonable accommodation.

The health and wellbeing of our employees and our community is our top priority.  SMUD follows CDC guidance and adheres to all local, county and state orders. To this end, if you are scheduled to come on a SMUD campus, you will need to monitor your health (ensuring your temperature is below 100.4° and you’re free of COVID-19 symptoms), wear a face covering, and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Position Location

Fresh Pond
Job Code

Additional Posting Info for Candidate

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) – Who We Are

As the nation’s sixth-largest community-owned electric service provider, we’re proud of our reputation as one of the best places to work in Sacramento. Our employees tell us in our engagement surveys they’re “Happy, satisfied and engaged” which helps create a workplace that best serves our customers.

Sacramento was named as the 2nd happiest place to work in America by Forbes Magazine. Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and the world-renowned Napa Valley are within easy driving distance of our locations.

California Equal Pay Act

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) are a part of who we are and how we do things. Supporting efforts that promote pay equality is part of that. Salary placement for the selected candidate will be determined in alignment with the California Equal Pay Act or the applicable MOU. Determination for salary placement of internal candidates will be made without respect to current classification or compensation, and will be based upon the candidate’s qualifications as compared to those performing substantially similar work. In the event there is a guaranteed pay progression outlined in an applicable MOU, the MOU takes precedence.

Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

SMUD respects, values and celebrates the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are. Diversity and inclusion are guiding principles to deliver a culture that reflects the broader values of the community and our customers. Our Board’s policy for Employee Relation sets our commitment to developing and maintaining a high quality, inclusive workplace that engages and inspires employees to commit to SMUD’s purpose, vision and values.

Why Sacramento, California?

The capitol of California, Sacramento is the state’s sixth-largest city, and the 35th largest in the U.S. Local universities include California State University, University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, and the University of California, Davis and several competitive community colleges. The UC Davis Medical Center, a world-renowned research hospital, is one of more than a dozen hospitals and shared services centers in the Sacramento region. Part of the agriculturally-rich Central Valley, Sacramento is at the forefront of the farm-to-fork food movement. Northern California is home to some of the country’s top technology companies, including Google and LinkedIn, and a multitude of startups in many industries. Sacramento is home to the NBA Kings, the River Cats (AAA baseball), the Republic FC (soccer) and the San Francisco Giants, NBA Warriors and NFL 49er’s aren’t far away. Sacramento offers an affluent liberal arts community with Broadway, Mondavi Center, Crocker Museum and summer musical theater to name a few.

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