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University of California Santa Cruz
  • Position Number: 4942156
  • Location: Santa Cruz, CA
  • Position Type: Facilities Management

Cogeneration Operator

Location: Santa Cruz
Job ID: 63659



For full consideration, applicants should attach their resume and cover letter when applying for a job opening. For guidance related to the application process or if you are experiencing difficulties when applying, please review the Applicant Resources on our Talent Acquisition website.


Application materials submitted by 11:59 pm on the IRD will be routed to the hiring unit for consideration. Materials submitted after the IRD will ONLY be forwarded at the request of the hiring unit. To ensure your application is routed for consideration, submit your materials before 11:59 p.m. on the IRD. Talent Acquisition cannot accept application materials outside of the jobs portal, and is unable to update submitted applications on an applicant's behalf, or forward communications to the hiring units. For more information about the IRD and the applicant review process, view this link.

The IRD for this job is: 02-13-2024


UC Santa Cruz is a public university like no other in California, combining the experience of a small, liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university. It's known as an unconventional place where innovation and experimentation is part of the campus's DNA. That playful, bold spirit still thrives today, all on a campus renowned as among the most beautiful in the world.


Physical Planning, Development & Operations (PPDO) manages and oversees all University activities and services related to physical and environmental planning, design and construction, engineering, physical plant maintenance and operations, capital planning and space management, and the associated business services necessary to support these functions. The University's main campus is spread across more than 2,000 acres and includes over 500 buildings comprising more than 8 million square feet. The department includes operating budgets of over $54 million, manages a project portfolio of approximately $950 million, and employs over 370 full-time staff to carry forth the duties necessary for the campus' development and operation.

More information can be found at:


Under the direction of the Cogen Shop Supervisor, the Cogeneration Operator operates and maintains the campus's central heating, central condensing, cogeneration plant, pool facility, and energy management and monitoring system on an assigned shift. Routine duties include operation of High voltage (12KV) switchgear, starting and stopping of the cogeneration unit, paralleling operations of the cogeneration engine with the utility (PG&E), operation of gas-fired boilers, gas compressors, propane backup system, cooling towers and automated pumping and piping systems related to the operation of the plant.


Budgeted Salary: $47.64/hour. After 6 month probation period is completed, salary rate will increase to $52.95/hour. Salary commensurate with skills, qualifications and experience.
Under California law, the University of California, Santa Cruz is required to post a reasonable estimate of the compensation for this role. The salary shown above is the budgeted amount the University reasonably expects to pay and the salary extended should not exceed this posted amount.

Benefits Level Eligibility: Full benefits

Schedule Information:
  • Full-time, Fixed
  • Percentage of Time: 100%, 40 Hours per Week
  • Days of the Week: Mon-Fri
  • Shift Includes: Swing Shift

Employee Classification: Career appointment

Job End Date: None

Work Location: UC Santa Cruz Main Campus

Union Representation: K7, Santa Cruz Skilled Craft

Job Code Classification: COGEN OPR (008094)

Travel: Up to 25% of the time


50% - Plant Operations

  • Responsible for the inspection, operation, and maintenance of stationary power plant equipment including natural gas-fueled engine generators, gas-fired hot water boilers, air compressors, natural gas compressors, propane backup system with vaporizer, hydronic pumping systems, cooling towers, heat exchangers, commercial pool equipment, and related automation systems that operate the equipment daily.
  • Operate and repair auxiliary systems including pumps, boilers, cooling towers, and heat exchangers in conjunction with the cogeneration plant. Monitor heating and cooling requirements for campus central core buildings to ensure efficient equipment utilization and operation.
  • Place the cogeneration plant online and in parallel with PG&E. Monitor and control load changes on the campus critical feeder and high voltage distribution system. Assist campus electricians and mechanics in instances of stand-alone operation of the plant by determining the maximum loads (both electrical and cooling) the plant can carry when separated from PG&E. Operate high voltage 12 kV breakers in a safe manner using proper PPE to maintain campus electrical system under normal situations and in emergencies.
  • Operate Wonderware, Tridium energy management, and SCADA central control systems to monitor and control various mechanical and electrical equipment throughout campus. Identify repair needs of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) machinery in buildings throughout the campus through the remote monitoring and control system. Verify repairs needed of equipment throughout campus after hours and make assigned repairs in the plant and at remote locations as required. The above requires driving a University vehicle in all areas of the campus and the ability to use standard test equipment and tools without supervision. The incumbent will utilize procedure manuals and instruction manuals (campus and manufacturer) written in English.
  • Maintain records of plant operating data on a shift and assigned basis. Order oil and chemicals based on available storage and take delivery of fuel, oil, and chemical loads by following proper and safe fuel handling procedures, utilizing a forklift when necessary.
  • Receive and respond to campus complaints regarding heating, ventilating, and air conditioning. Dispatch appropriate individuals for emergency repairs, as needed. Act as a liaison with the campus Disaster Team regarding the operation of the plant as necessary in emergencies.

40% - Maintenance and Repair

  • Inspect, operate, and repair equipment from ladders, scaffolds, and stairs, in confined spaces, and in proximity to loud machinery.
  • Perform assigned and preventive maintenance, as well as, emergency repairs on all equipment by lubricating, changing filters, belts, couplings, bearings, mechanical seals, etc. checking alignments, analyzing system operating parameters, and making repairs to rotating machinery. Clean heat exchangers and cooling towers on an as-needed basis.
  • Perform water treatment and testing on plant water systems including heating hot water, condensing water, cooling towers, soft water systems, and pools. Maintain pool filter and pumping system by safely lifting, dumping, or mixing (with or without accommodation) 25-100 lbs. of chemicals (either liquid or solid) into storage tanks or feeders in correct proportions. Operate pool sanitation systems such as a calcium hypochlorite feed system, muriatic acid, or ozone generator. Assist with pool filter cleaning and repair.
  • Assist with troubleshooting problems and make repairs when necessary.
  • Actively search for, and promote, better ways to improve the work environment including improving service to customers and implementing change when needed.

10% - Safety and Communications

  • Perform upkeep duties inside the plant and as assigned.
  • Perform safety inspections and maintain equipment used by shop personnel. Attend safety and training classes and perform job-related tasks in a safe manner. Follow all product and University-specific safety procedures when using tools and equipment.
  • Monitor plant security and implement changes as directed.
  • Adhere to University policies and procedures including safety rules.
  • Report safety, project integrity, or security issues while addressing the problem as appropriate.
  • Write and maintain a weekly timesheet.
  • Effectively employ good interpersonal skills when interacting with members of the campus community. Help Physical Plant Mechanics and supervisors maintain an inventory of shop materials, supplies, and tools by informing them of specific needs.
  • Accurately read various types of meters on a daily and monthly basis for billing and reporting purposes.
  • Schedule various equipment for after-hours operation, as needed by customers.
  • Respond to campus callouts after normal hours, weekends, and holidays. Work a temporary alternative schedule or shift (e.g., night shift) as requested by the supervisor.

  • Strong written communication.
  • Strong oral communication.
  • Ability to work individually or as a part of a team.
  • Good interpersonal skills sufficient to interact and work effectively with all members of the campus community.
  • Ability to read and understand procedure manuals, system schematics, and blueprints.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment especially in stressful or crisis situations.
  • Willingness to work safely with hazardous chemicals or gases used in an industrial environment.
  • Knowledge and experience in the operation and maintenance of gas turbine generators and related equipment- including parallel operations with a utility (i.e. PG&E).
  • Experience in and ability to operate and work in close proximity to rotating equipment and medium voltage (12KV) switchgear.
  • Knowledge and experience in the testing and treatment of heating plant water systems including hot water, cooling towers, pool, and soft water systems.
  • Knowledge and experience in the start-up, maintenance, and repair of power plant equipment such as gas-fired boilers, pumps, valves, compressors, cooling towers, fans, and control systems.
  • Experience in the use of a personnel computer for logging plant records, maintaining data files, and writing business communications.

  • Knowledge and experience with a Solar Mercury 50 Turbine generator.
  • Experience in the operation of a supervisory central control system (i.e. Wonderware, Tridium).
  • Experience in the replacement and rebuilding of pump seals and bearings.

  • Selected candidate will be required to pass a pre-employment criminal history background check.
  • Must possess a valid license to drive in the state of California.
  • Ability to work long periods of time at a computer with or without accommodation.
  • Ability to perform essential physical job functions.
  • Ability to perform work in a rugged physical environment and inclement weather with challenging infrastructure requirements.
  • Ability to do occasional work in confined spaces such as attics and trenches while bending, stooping and/or kneeling with the possibility of being exposed to live electrical circuits and machinery.
  • Ability to ascend/descend ladders with or without accommodation.
  • Ability to conduct outdoor site visits, including use of required personal protective equipment, as required to conduct investigations, inspections, or view work in place.
  • Ability to sustain exposure to dusty, noisy environments and inclement weather as necessary to carry out assigned duties and responsibilities.
  • Ability to safely perform the physical requirements necessary to move light to moderate objects up to 60 lbs., with or without accommodation.
  • Ability to occasionally work overtime with little or no advance notice.
  • Ability to respond to emergencies after hours as necessary.
  • Ability to work overtime including evenings, nights, weekends and holidays to meet operational needs, and work an alternate work schedule shift as required.
  • Selected candidate will be required to complete training within established time frames as directed including UC compliance training.
  • The University of California has implemented a Vaccination Policy covering all employees. Employees, including new hires, are required to comply with any applicable policies relating to the University of California vaccine program.
  • Per the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), this position has been identified as a Mandated Reporter. The selected candidate will be required to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect as defined by CANRA and will be required to sign a Statement Acknowledging Requirement to Report Child Abuse prior to commencing employment. CANRA Penal Codes, and related definitions, requirements, and responsibilities may be obtained here.


All UCSC employees must understand and follow job safety procedures, attend required health and safety training, proactively promote safety at work, and promptly report actual and potential accidents and injuries.


The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/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, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.

View full job description and access on-line application:

To ensure review of application materials by the hiring unit, they must be submitted on or before the initial review date (IRD) via the Staff Employment Opportunities web site; A computer is available at the UC Santa Cruz Staff Human Resources Office located at Scotts Valley Center. The Scotts Valley Center is located at 100 Enterprise Way, Suite E100, Scotts Valley, CA 95066. To learn more or to request disability accommodations, call 831-459-2009. Hearing impaired are encouraged to use the California Relay Service at 800-735-2922. UC Santa Cruz is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/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, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.

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