Executive Director, Engineering and Campus Energy

Requisition # 2024-19016
Date Posted 1 month ago(5/3/2024 3:08 PM)
Engineering & Campus Energy
Facilities Management and Physical Plant
Job Type


The Executive Director, Engineering and Campus Energy within Facilities Operations is a leader and strategic partner in the Facilities organization. The Executive Director provides strategic direction and planning for the stewardship of over 350 buildings with 10+ million gross square feet of space and over 2,600 acres on campus.  Engineering and Campus Energy includes Facilities Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, and Environmental), Campus Energy, and utility plants and infrastructure, and is a critical component of Facilities Operations with other teams including Grounds, Building Maintenance, Major Maintenance (renewal construction), Site Protection (life safety & security systems), Building Services (custodial, sanitation, resource recovery, moving and events), and Asset Management (Administrative and Business Services, Operations Support, Facilities Service Center, and Business Intelligence).  The Executive Director provides leadership and strategic vision to innovate, strengthen operational planning, and improve effectiveness and efficiency for Engineering and Campus Energy and all work units within Operations.


The Executive Director is a critical leader and contributor to Princeton University’s Sustainability Action Plan, playing a key role in determining the Net Zero carbon emissions goal and reaching it by 2046.  The Executive Director leads the Infrastructure Master Plan development and implementation, including periodic updates to incorporate improved modelling and new technologies.  The Executive Director provides guidance and oversight for the university’s hot water/heat pump/geo-exchange conversion from the old steam system, which will enable Princeton University to achieve its Net Zero carbon emissions goal by 2046 without the use of offsets.  This includes recommending program-level changes, developing and recommending concept-level budgets for large-scale utility projects; projecting and quantifying anticipated changes to operating budgets, resource use, and institutional carbon footprint; obtaining internal and external approvals in collaboration with the Associate Vice President for Facilities Operations; and overseeing the implementation of specific building and infrastructure projects.


The Executive Director represents Facilities on several University committees, task forces and cross-functional teams, and may be called on to represent the Associate Vice President for Facilities Operations in matters related to the University or community. The Executive Director supports and often leads efforts with campus partners such as University Services, Environmental Health and Safety, Public Safety, and others.


The Executive Director has six direct reports, with over 50 employees, of which approximately 30 are International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) members, and provides operational management for an annual operating budget of over $60 Million. This position embodies the core values of Facilities: teamwork, innovation, integrity, inclusiveness, respect, and sustainability.  


This work includes responding to emergencies anytime during the day or night or weekends. 


Leadership and Management 

  • Provides vision, direction, focus, guidance, support, prioritization and strategic oversight for managerial, supervisory, technical and administrative staff.
  • Implement effective programs and processes to enhance individual and organizational performance to include proactively takes steps to promote leadership & management team cohesion 
  • Demonstrates commitment to organizational core values and promotes a culture of safety. Explains operational and strategic plans and other initiatives to staff.
  • Develops a positive relationship with peers, navigates ambiguity and periodically analyzes organizational structure to meet evolving institutional needs.
  • Advocates for the interests of Engineering and Campus Energy while supporting unit, departmental, and institutional mission and goals and maintains positive relations with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) providing input into management changes to collective bargaining agreements, participating in the Labor Management Committee, determining new management policies, participate in discussions and negotiations, and respond to grievances as required.
  • Encourages professional training, hold subordinates accountable and ensure good performance is rewarded.
  • Fosters an environment where all employees feel valued and promotes diversity, equity and inclusion in all work units and decisions.

Utility plants and infrastructure 

  • Accountable for the university’s energy plants including the west cogeneration and chiller plant, Thermally Integrated Geo-Exchange Resource (TIGER) and Meadows neighborhood Central Utility Building (CUB), electrical substations, and energy distribution systems.
  • Oversees the safety culture for over 25 plant operating engineers, including a robust safety training program and oversees the in-house infrastructure maintenance and construction team.
  • Leads the Infrastructure Planning Group of peers and stakeholders across Facilities to coordinate holistic infrastructure master planning and implementation with capital project teams.
  • Provides leadership and oversight to short and long-term planning for major maintenance and plant expansion projects, ensuring projects align with strategic direction to meet university goals and objectives.
  • Provides advice to university leadership relating to energy conservation initiatives, funding, and sustainability; participates in coalitions to provide input on behalf of the university as it relates to regulations, rate increases and rebates.
  • Works with the NJ Board of Public Utilities and the Department of Environmental Projection on various issues that affect the university and works with PSE&G and New Jersey American Water coordinating utility issues between the organizations.

Facilities Engineering

  • Leads and provides technical direction for the Facilities Engineering team that includes a diverse group of over 20 degreed mechanical, electrical, civil and environmental engineers, and other technical staff.
  • Provides leadership in the professional development and performance coaching of all employees in the group to ensure optimal productivity and encourage innovation to keep the group’s work on the cutting edge of ideas.
  • Participates in the process of technical building systems design to review and update university design standards, ensure project designs adhere to code and university and industry standards, working with technical staff on the selection of systems, and coordinates communications and agreements with vendors.
  • Performs as Facilities Engineering subject matter expert for technically complex and challenging issues

Campus Energy and Sustainability 

  • Leads the development, execution, and implementation of the university's strategy for minimizing fossil fuel usage, carbon emissions, and energy cost, including the innovative geo-exchange and conversion from steam to hot water programs; leads the building control technicians and engineers responsible for the university building HVAC controls program that includes installation of DDC systems and operations, with a focus on energy conservation; leads program to achieve goal of Net Zero carbon scope 1 and 2 emissions while playing a key supporting role for scope 3.
  • Provides leadership to the selection, acquisition and implementation of new equipment and systems to meet Princeton's sustainability goals and objectives, overseeing the work of vendors and external contractors and ensuring proper training of staff.
  • Directs the ongoing monitoring, tracking and reporting on energy conservation and production and leads the development of initiatives and special projects to conserve water and energy

Business Administration

  • Provides executive leadership to administrative, financial, and operational planning activities to ensure the efficient and effective functioning of Engineering and Campus Energy.
  • Responsible for the annual budgets for the organizational components, utility plants, energy conservation program, and University energy; oversees the purchase of electricity, gas, and fuel oil for the plant and major off campus buildings.
  • Responsible for the utility plant’s real-time equipment dispatch to minimize overall plant energy costs; analyzes periodic reports detailing performance of the business unit and makes decisions or recommendations for improvements; oversees operating budgets; ensures funds are spent in accordance with University policy.
  • Ensures operating and project budgets do not overspend without justification and approvals.
  • Reviews and approves select financial transactions and oversees contracted transactions with vendors, contractors and architectural/engineering firms.
  • Directs the planning, coordination, organization, and execution of data related activities including dashboards, reports, metrics, key performance indicators, and opportunity analyses to measure operational work effectiveness and efficiency through the development of a data driven culture.
  • Proactively identifies opportunities to leverage data in new ways that deliver insight and enhance decision-making; translates and contextualizes findings to provide decision-support and planning information, including highlighting key findings and their implications for action.
  • Remains current on trends that affect higher education and develops and maintains relationships with organizations within the university and outside that are using business intelligence tools and strategies; uses insights from this knowledge to suggest analyses and contextualize information within Facilities.

Stakeholder and Partner Engagement 

  • Participates on various campus committees including Critical Infrastructure Committee, Sustainability Advocacy Committee, and Emergency Management Group.
  • Proactively connects with campus peers and partners for the purpose of ensuring positive lines of communication, cooperation and coordination of activities.
  • Adapts organization as needed to ensure a high level of service delivery to the campus, maintaining current industry knowledge through participation in industry events, report best practices and uphold industry standards.




  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline and 10 years or more of progressive experience in facilities engineering, utilities production and distribution, or related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Professional Engineering license in NJ; a PE in another state is acceptable if it is transferable to NJ
  • Demonstrated success in leadership of people with proven skills to effectively engage, advocate for, and motivate a diverse workforce
  • Strong ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, at all levels and give formal presentations to diverse audiences
  • Ability to successfully handle multiple tasks at once and determine appropriate priorities
  • Ability to make independent interpretations and make appropriate decisions that are in the best interest of the organization and that are consistent with the objectives of senior administration
  • Experience working in a shared governance setting where collaboration, stakeholder engagement and relationship management are important skills
  • Ability to prepare, analyze and manage complex operating budgets
  • Knowledge of mechanical, control, and electrical systems and equipment, and direct digital control building automation systems
  • Ability to read, interpret, and understand construction documents, product specifications, sequences of operation, control drawings, and other technical data
  • Proficient in the use of business application software


  • Master’s degree in engineering, business, or closely related discipline
  • Prior experience in a higher education residential campus setting
  • Experience managing degreed professionals in an engineering environment
  • Experience leading and managing in a union environment
  • Experienced in the use of a computerized maintenance management software program
  • Experience managing energy production, distribution, and utilization systems
  • Familiarity with energy commodities markets, especially electricity, natural gas, and NJ RECs


Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Standard Weekly Hours


Eligible for Overtime


Benefits Eligible


Probationary Period

180 days

Essential Services Personnel (see policy for detail)


Physical Capacity Exam Required


Valid Driver’s License Required


Experience Level




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