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Engineer - Operations Support

SouthWest Power Pool

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas US
Position Type: Full Time
Rqd Education: Bachelor's Degree
Rqd Experience: 2 - 5 years
Date Posted: October 8, 2021
Reference Code:

Positions are based in Little Rock Arkansas.   We offer a hybrid work environment between the office and home. Great benefits, great culture! 


The Engineer provides technical and analytical support for the Operations functions performed by SPP.  This position is responsible for the research, development, implementation, and support of synchrophasor technology utilizing phasor measuring unit data. This position will also assist with the development of software applications and maintains processes, procedures, and controls for systems, applications, data exchanges, data interfaces, and modeling to support the SPP Coordinated Operations.  The Engineer is responsible for all aspects of the system development life cycle for synchrophasor technology and situational awareness applications used by the Reliability and Market Operators.  As such, accurate and effective decision making, sometimes in stressful situations, is required.

The majority of assignments are designed to develop professional work knowledge and abilities, requiring application of standard techniques, procedures and criteria.  Exercise of judgment is required on details of work and in making preliminary selections and adaptations of design alternatives. 

The Engineer handles complex and sensitive work and has limited supervisory and mentoring responsibility over lower level Operations support personnel.  This position proposes to the Manager, Operations Support and/or the appropriate operational function supervision actions deemed appropriate to maintain the integrity and reliability of the bulk electric system.

Essential Functions

General Responsibilities:
  • Obtain advanced proficiency on the applications, functionality, and processes used within the major areas of the SPP Coordinated Operations: Integrated Marketplace, Consolidated Balancing Authority (CBA), Reliability, Tariff, Markets, Scheduling and Engineering
  • Work with industry experts to obtain advance proficiency with synchrophasor technology to analyze and direct SPP use case development.
  • Coordinate and interface on behalf of Operations with SPP Compliance personnel as necessary
  • Provide on-call duties as required
Development Responsibilities:
  • Develop, maintain, test, and support the use of synchro phasor data and applications for both real-time situational awareness and post event analysis. Training staff on the uses, benefits, and new developments created from this technology is also required.
  • Develop, maintain, test, and support Coordinated Operations tools/displays and processes to increase Operator situational awareness and reduce human error risks and to assist with training users of such tools.
  • Develop, maintain, test, and support the operational archive data and support organizational uses of operations historical data for Operations, as well as other organizational business units.
  • Utilize an issue management system to oversee the documentation, management, research, and analysis of issues reported by SPP Staff, SPP Members, non-Members and Market Participants related to the systems used within the major areas of the SPP Coordinated Operations: Integrated Marketplace, Consolidated Balancing Authority (CBA), Reliability, Tariff, Markets, Scheduling and Engineering
  • Coordinate change and release management
  • Provide analysis and definition of customer, business and technical requirements
  • Coordinate with other groups in IT to design and implement technical solutions
  • Follow SDLC best practices for development activities
  • Create and maintain application/system technical documentation (i.e. functional specifications, architecture diagrams, troubleshooting guidelines and procedures, implementation guides, etc.)
Testing Responsibilities:
  • Create test plans, scripts, cases, and scenarios for all types of application testing as needed, such as unit, application/system, regression, load, performance, and acceptance testing methods to validate system functionality against requirements
  • Develop high-level project schedules and milestones for testing activities


Education Requirements:
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering from an ABET accredited university. Degree should be in a calculus-based engineering field such as: Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Systems Engineering
Experience Requirements:

Sr. Engineer - Five (5) years of relevant Engineering experience, Professional Engineer License may satisfy one year of experience requirement.

Engineer II - two (2) years of relevant Engineering experience

  • Use administrative and communication tools for word processing, spread sheet development and database design and maintenance
  • Strong inter-personal and team work skills
  • Demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience with power system engineering, operations engineering or transmission planning
  • Effectively communicate with engineers, SPP stakeholders and senior management
  • Understanding of and compliance with SPP Policies and Procedures
  • A Master’s or Doctorate degree in a related field of study is preferred
  • Working knowledge of EMS state-estimator and/or power flow software
  • Experience with EMS or power flow modeling
  • Working knowledge of synchro phasor data and systems
  • Oracle PL/SQL or Microsoft SQL Development experience
  • C#/ASP.NET, Java, Object Oriented Development Experience
  • Working knowledge of NERC Reliability Standards
  • Experience with Dispatch Training Simulators (DTS)
  • Licensed as a Professional Engineer
  • Hold an active NERC System Operator Certification
  • Electric Utility Industry experience

Work Environment:

This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets and fax machines.

Physical Demands:

The physical and mental demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job successfully.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to make decisions, interpret data, and problem solve.
  • The employee frequently is required to stand or sit for extended periods; use hands to operate a computer keyboard and standard office equipment.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and move up to 10 pounds.
  • Requires the ability to work and collaborate with managers and employees at all levels to exchange ideas, information, and opinions to facilitate the task.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, and ability to adjust focus.

Position Type and Expected Hours of Work:

This is a full-time position. Days and hours of workweek are Monday through Friday; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Working extended hours may be required.

Travel Requirement:

This position requires minimal travel (approximately 10%).


Should you elect to apply for this position SPP will review your qualifications. If after reviewing the qualifications and experience of all applicants, your skills and credentials meet our needs, someone from our organization may contact you. Please be advised that the time required to complete the applicant review process typically takes between 30 and 90 days, but could extend beyond that. Once the position has been filled, all applicants will be notified via email. 

 Southwest Power Pool is an Equal Opportunity Workplace and an Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, age or any other protected category.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines “reasonable accommodation” as a change or adjustment to a job or work environment that allows a qualified individual with a disability to satisfactorily perform the essential functions of a particular job, and does not cause an undue hardship for the employer.  SPP adheres to the ADA and reasonable accommodations may be made to enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions.