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Hydro Engineer III-V, Chief Dam Safety Engineer

Northern California Power Agency (NCPA)

Location: Murphys, California US
Position Type: Full Time
Rqd Education: Bachelor's Degree
Rqd Experience: 5+ years
Date Posted: August 31, 2022
Reference Code:


This position performs a variety of engineering tasks relating to dam safety, FERC license compliance, and plant reliability and performance efficiency, including troubleshooting plant and equipment problems. The position is responsible for engineering, designing, inspecting, planning, scheduling, licensing, permitting, and compliance for the Hydroelectric facilities and acts as a project and construction manager for a variety of projects including public works projects. In addition, the position assists in personnel training and scheduling of operations and maintenance functions.


This position requires that the incumbent reports for work on time and maintains satisfactory attendance in accordance with Agency policy; Ensures work responsibilities are covered when absent; Arrives to meetings and appointments on time; Performs special assignments for the Plant Manager or others as assigned.  The incumbent must be highly motivated, self-directing, knowledgeable in hydroelectric engineering, and experienced in both project and construction management.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Monitor operation and maintenance activities for compliance with regulatory agency requirements.  Maintain working knowledge of federal, state, and local regulations relating to safety evaluations, permitting and licensing.  Serves as the Chief Dam Safety Engineer (CDSE) and oversees the NCPA’s Dam Safety Program. Identifies and resolves issues relating to the safety of dams and other civil works.  Manages instrumentation and monitoring program.

Supervises the maintenance, and modification of existing civil facilities or construction of new facilities.  Provides civil engineering assistance and technical guidance to NCPA personnel.  Project engineering/management including scheduling techniques and cost estimating.  Provides construction project management as needed.  Supervises engineering, geotechnical, and environmental subcontractor and consultants.

Prepare reports on items such as regulatory compliance, project instrumentation, and stream flow gauging.  Prepare feasibility studies and cost analyses.  Inspection and analysis of project features such as dams, tunnels, powerhouses, intake structures, spillways, abutments, and roads.  Compilation and analysis of dam, tunnel, and landslide instrumentation.  Prepare maps, drawings and specifications. Researches, analyzes and provides project technical data.

Develops project enhancements aimed at improving labor productivity, utilization of water resources and generation efficiencies

Manages road maintenance program. Performs land surveys; supervises surveying consultants.  Maintains project records.

Acts as liaison to regulatory officials of FERC, DSOD, USFS, USGS and others.  Working knowledge of federal, state, and local regulations relating to safety evaluations, permitting and licensing.  Manages project flow gaging data collection and USGS reporting program in coordination with the Operations Supervisor.  Monitors operation and maintenance activities for compliance with regulatory agency requirements.


All engineering classifications require a bachelor's degree (B.S.) in Engineering from an accredited four-year college or university with an active California Civil Engineer registration being highly desirable.  NCPA is currently recruiting for a hydroelectric engineer within the Engineer III-V classification range.

Level III:

Seven (7) years of responsible hydroelectric civil engineering work experience in: planning, design, permitting, operations/maintenance (O&M), and project/construction management for moderate-sized projects.

Level IV:

Ten (10) years of responsible hydroelectric civil engineering supervisory work experience in: planning, design, permitting, O&M, project and construction management for significantly sized projects, and budgeting for capital improvement projects.

Level V:

Thirteen (13) years of responsible hydroelectric civil engineering supervisory work experience in: planning, design, permitting, O&M, project and construction management for large-sized projects, budgeting for capital improvement projects and operations/maintenance, direct supervision over professional staff, and currently designated as a CDSE.



To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of AutoCAD, MS Word, MS Excel, USGS Water Accounting, HEC-HMS,  and ArcGIS; Basic principles of physics, chemistry, and mathematics as applied to civil engineering; Stress analysis; Design of simple structures; Strength, properties, and uses of engineering construction materials; Methods and equipment of engineering construction; Engineering economics; Environmental and/or engineering science; Project Management principles and practices; Knowledge of Hydroelectric operations, maintenance, testing, troubleshooting, performing modifications and equipment repair of hydroelectric generating facilities; Knowledge of safety work practices and principles associated in working around generating facilities.


Ability to exercise a high level of independent judgment, organization and coordination skills in order to handle multiple assignments; Ability to function as a competent specialist; prepare clear and concise engineering reports; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work; analyze situations accurately and take effective action; Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, members, and the general public; Communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, and negotiate and maintain cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work; Ability to take initiative and make sound decisions, assume ownership and accountability for issues, problems, projects, and assignments; Comply with safety and security measures.


Valid California Driver's License and insurance.   

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to walk; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl and taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

This position may serve as a non-supervisory specialist or supervisor. Level V, among other aspects, described earlier, is distinguished from Level IV as a supervisory level position. If acting as a supervisor, carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is occasionally exposed to wet and/or humid conditions; moving mechanical parts; high, precarious places; outside weather conditions and risk of electrical shock. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

All employees are responsible for contributing to an inclusive, safe, and secure work environment that values diverse cultures, perspectives, and experiences, and is free from discrimination.