Utilities Engineering Manager

City of Boulder, CO | Full-time


The Opportunity

The Utilities Engineering Manager is a leader of people. The Manager leads the Utilities Engineering team responsible for all aspects of capital improvement program (CIP) project management and master planning for all three utility enterprises: water, wastewater, and stormwater/flood management. The Engineering Manager oversees the strategic development of the Utilities Engineering workplan, identifies priorities, and ensures proper funding and staff allocation to align with City Council initiatives and Department objectives.

The Engineering Manager is a collaborative leader that supports a culture of teamwork and employee development. This position manages a high-performing staff of approximately 13 and directly manages five Engineering Project Managers. The Utilities Engineering Manager monitors, reviews, and assesses program goals and the status of work plans and projects. In addition, the Engineering Manager involves staff in the decision-making process and actively seeks ideas and input on program and workgroup goals to ensure effective service delivery.

Reporting to the Utilities Director, this position is an active member of the Utilities Department management team. The Utilities Engineering Manager collaborates to deliver all water-related services to the community under a cultural anchor of operational excellence that includes a commitment to high service standards, professional maturity, behavioral excellence, and continuous process improvement, and a solid foundation of trust, teamwork, and support at all staff levels. The Engineering Manager proactively anticipates and plans for utility system needs within changing regulations, technology, and customer needs as well as other trends that may impact service delivery.

The Utilities Engineering Manager is responsible for the execution of all aspects of capital improvement projects from conceptual design through construction, including all project approvals, community engagement, and identification of maintenance considerations. The Engineering Manager develops, implements, and monitors the engineering program budget, coordinates with the engineering team on each of the enterprise CIP budgets, and prepares cost-benefit analyses for new programs or staffing needs within the workgroup. This position is also responsible for developing and implementing a strategic asset management and prioritization program and developing departmental master plans associated with department infrastructure.

The Engineering Manager maintains effective, positive working relationships within and outside the organization. This position collaborates with Utilities Department operations managers and Deputy Directors to allocate Utilities Engineering resources appropriately for short-term needs and long-term objectives. This position also ensures proactive coordination with other city departments and workgroups, ensuring Utilities priorities and initiatives meet city-wide goals, done in a spirit of partnership. This position serves as a leading liaison for required infrastructure, scheduling, and funding to ensure public health and safety during normal and emergency operational conditions while meeting the vision and timing aligned with the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan. The Utilities Engineering Manager reviews, informs, and develops intergovernmental agreements, development agreements, and memorandums of understanding pertaining to City development and utility infrastructure implications. The Engineering Manager also responds to questions from the public and press and presents information to City staff, advisory boards, and City Council, and ensures that public information and outreach is coordinated and communicated clearly and succinctly with an appropriate tone.


  • Develop genuine and candid relationships and effectively lead the talented staff in the Utilities Engineering workgroup. Establish a positive and balanced team culture that enables the team to thrive and achieve success with workgroup, department, and city-wide goals and priorities while delivering highly complex and technical services to the community. 
  • Evaluate, confirm, and clearly communicate each utility’s vision and mission and prioritize existing team workload, including establishing the annual workplan for Utilities Engineering and the associated department-level Utilities workplan.
  • Implement the Capital Improvement Program and associated projects across the Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater/Flood Funds in a manner that ensures Operational Excellence that includes leadership excellence, process excellence, and behavioral excellence.
  • Review and evaluate team workgroup structure and implement structural revisions aligned with improved resource allocation, role clarity, and related efficiencies.
  • Establish an efficient workflow to identify, or create as needed, right-of-way easements for Utilities projects.
  • Explore and implement alternative delivery methods for capital construction projects and work with city purchasing and the City Attorney's office to modernize contracts and agreements.
  • Study and contemplate the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, the regional long-range planning framework and integrate the vision and key aspects of the plan into Utilities projects and initiatives.
  • Take a lead role in evaluating and providing staff recommendations on the potential annexation of properties into the City based on water and wastewater service conditions.

The Successful Candidate

The Utilities Engineering Manager has a vision for the direction and future of Utilities Engineering and effectively articulates and supports that vision. The successful candidate demonstrates authentic leadership that aligns around City and team values to ensure Boulder’s health, safety, and vitality. The ideal candidate recognizes the work of Utilities Engineering is critical and essential to a thriving community, and how we do the work is equally important to the work itself.

The successful candidate is a forward-thinking and proactive leader with a bias for action and interest-based versus position-based approaches. The Utilities Engineering Manager easily links short-term planning with strategic, pragmatic thinking to anticipate future consequences of current tactics. The ideal candidate values diversity, is naturally curious, and seeks to learn from others while balancing a deductive approach with speculation and intuition to form judgments and opinions. The successful candidate can easily assess the environment and adjusts their style to meet the needs of a specific situation or audience and also maintains a positive tone and energy in all interactions. The Utilities Engineering Manager demonstrates courage and integrity with matters big and small and adheres to the highest principles of ethical conduct.

The Utilities Engineering Manager recognizes the importance of collaboration and builds lasting relationships and connections with other City employees, community members, and outside agencies while supporting the Utilities mission. The successful candidate is an effective communicator with strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work under pressure and de-escalate difficult or tense situations. The ideal candidate has strong experience making presentations before boards, commissions, and neighborhood groups and routinely demonstrates excellent customer service skills.

With a servant leadership style, the Utilities Engineering Manager is passionate about teamwork and represents the department with empathy, humility, and respect. The successful candidate fosters an environment of trust and collaboration to ensure high performance and effective service delivery. The ideal candidate recognizes, supports, and cultivates talent and effectively delegates responsibilities, and implements measures to trust results without actively participating in the process. The successful candidate effectively provides feedback to staff, including candid feedback, coaching, and mentoring as a regular course of action. The Engineering Manager ensures alignment with the organizational vision and effectively motivates and empowers others to align their efforts and drive for results.

The Utilities Engineering Manager ensures the team is anchored in leadership, process, behavioral, and overall operational excellence. Above all, the successful candidate ensures a commitment to the engineering team’s recently developed culture statement: “our state-of-the-art 4-D model known as H2T2:

  • HUMANITY – we lead using empathy, listening, grace, and care
  • HOPE – we see and share optimism, gratitude, and good intentions
  • TRUST – we are accountable, respect input, and value openness
  • TEAMWORK – we support each other, pursue connection, openly share, and align our goals.”


A minimum of ten (10) years progressively responsible engineering and public utilities experience, including management, supervisory, and administrative experience, is required. Thorough knowledge of planning, prioritizing, and implementing extensive capital improvement programs and engineering design and construction projects ranging from small to large is essential, as is comprehensive knowledge of master planning, financing, funding, and rate-setting as it pertains to utility infrastructure. Knowledge of and experience with Federal, State, and local laws and regulations dealing with utility infrastructure, operations, and maintenance in stormwater, flood management, source water systems, treated potable water systems, and wastewater conveyance and treatment systems is necessary. Demonstrated ability to research and objectively analyze complex issues, data, and alternatives with the ability to modify standard practices and develop new approaches in problem situations is required.

A Bachelor of Science in Engineering or related degree is required. Licensed as a Professional Engineer in Colorado or the ability to register with the Colorado State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors is necessary. A valid driver’s license with an acceptable motor vehicle record is required.

A Master of Engineering or a Master of Business Administration degree is desired. Project Manager Professional (PMP) Certification is valuable, as is Certified Water Professional (CWP), Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM), or other industry certifications.

Inside the City of Boulder

The City of Boulder believes in a future with equitable access to health, safety, prosperity, opportunity, and fulfillment. The community adapts and thrives in response to emerging and sometimes urgent social, economic, and environmental challenges. Through a collaborative effort, our city staff works tirelessly to address the pressing needs of our community, including, but not limited to, public safety, housing, transportation, open space maintenance, and libraries and the arts.

Boulder continuously works to provide service excellence for an inspired future. The Sustainability + Resilience Framework guides budget and planning processes by providing consistent goals necessary to achieve the City’s vision of a great community and the actions required to achieve them. Boulder cultivates a creative spirit in order to adapt and thrive in the changing climate.

With a focus on continuous improvement and transformation, Boulder continues to drive strategies in key areas, including:

  • Our Community as a Resource: Seeking new solutions to the most pressing community challenges through new mechanisms for direct engagement with highly talented community members.
  • High-Performance Government: Using process-driven continuous improvement to measure and manage performance and better serve the community, as well as building and managing tools that improve transparency and accountability.
  • Data-driven Decision Making: Understanding, collaborating with, and leveraging assets for effective program outcomes and equitable policy decisions.
  • Operational Efficiency: Mirroring innovative policies with shared, efficient, and transparent internal operations practices.
  • Advancing Equities: Closing the gaps, so that race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, genetic information, age, or any other protected characteristic does not predict one’s success while improving outcomes for all.
  • A Culture of Innovation: Seeking value-added changes, creative thinking, and collaboration, and engaging highly talented staff in problem-solving for the benefit of the entire community.

Workplace Culture

The City of Boulder believes that a diverse workforce adds quality and perspective to the services provided to the public. Therefore, the organization intentionally strives to develop and maintain a diverse workforce that values, is sensitive to, and celebrates the differences among employees.

An important component of the City’s culture and environment is Boulder’s Leadership Philosophy – We believe each of us is a leader. We are motivated by the opportunities to make a positive difference for our community. Our greatest results are achieved when we:

  • Create a respectful, trusting, and supportive environment
  • Rely on, invest in, and celebrate each other’s perspectives, skills, talents, and accomplishments
  • Consult and collaborate with each other to make timely and quality decisions
  • Share responsibility for and learn from the process and outcomes of a creative culture

Structure of Local Government

The City of Boulder has a council-manager form of government where the elected City Council sets policies, and the Council-appointed City Manager administers them. The City Council consists of nine members, including a mayor and mayor pro tem, selected by the Council members. Council members are elected at large and may serve up to three terms. 

The 2022 Recommended Budget is $462.5 Million. The City of Boulder is served by over 1400 standard employees, and robust City services are provided through numerous departments and divisions.

The Boulder Utilities Department

The Utilities Department provides water, wastewater, and stormwater and flood management services to protect human and environmental health through efficient management of fiscal and natural resources. Specific utilities functions include water treatment and distribution, water resources and hydroelectric management, wastewater collection and treatment, stormwater collection and conveyance, water quality protection and enhancement, construction and maintenance, and infrastructure planning. With a budget of $175M, Utilities accomplishes its work through six primary workgroup teams and a dedicated staff of 168.

Utilities Engineering

Utilities Engineering protects public health and the economic vitality of our city through quality utility system management. This team provides planning, public engagement, project management, engineering, construction, and asset management for water, wastewater, and stormwater/flood management infrastructure. The city’s Stormwater and Flood Management Utility supports measures to identify flood risks and reduce flood losses and can include significant community engagement surrounding these efforts.

Utilities Maintenance

Utilities Maintenance operates, maintains, and provides emergency response for the water distribution, wastewater collection, flood control facilities, and stormwater conveyance systems of the City. This workgroup also performs all water meter reading, maintenance, including greenways, and repair along with all underground utility locates. A newly created team handles the Public Space Reclamation for all Utility corridors, including Boulder Creek and adjacent properties.

Water Resources

Water Resources manages the City’s municipal raw water supplies and hydroelectric facilities. This group manages the diversion, storage, and delivery of raw water and completes water rights accounting. This workgroup also manages the water conservation program, leasing of raw water supplies to agricultural users, protects the City’s water rights in water court proceedings, acts as a liaison with ditch companies, and manages the instream flow program for Boulder Creek.

Water Treatment

Water Treatment operates and maintains the two water treatment plants responsible for providing the Boulder community with potable water for public health and fire response. This team is responsible for ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations, including the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater Treatment is responsible for the protection of environmental quality and public health through safe and efficient operation and maintenance of the Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF). The WRRF and associated operations are managed in accordance with federal and state regulations, including the Clean Water Act.

Water Quality

Water Quality serves as a technical resource and provides regulatory support for Utilities and other city departments. Services include implementation of and support for regulatory permits, monitoring to meet regulations, evaluating the performance of wastewater and drinking water treatment processes, and implementation of programs to protect public and environmental health, including the City’s source water and stormwater systems. The group also provides project management services in support of integrating water quality enhancement and regulatory compliance into the City’s capital projects.

The Boulder, Colorado Community

Boulder, Colorado, is located just 30 minutes northwest of Denver, where the plains meet the Rocky Mountains. Tucked into a picturesque valley below the iconic Flatirons that were once home to the Native American tribes of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Ute, and other tribes, Boulder now has a population of approximately 108,000. The City recently named the No. 1 Best Places to Live by US News & World Report is a great place to live, work, grow, and play.

Appreciation and enjoyment of the natural environment have always been at the forefront of life in Boulder. The community has over 45,000 acres of preserved, protected, and maintained open space and mountain parks that form a green belt around the City. Boulder has over 300 miles of public hiking and biking trails, and its mountain parks and open spaces receive well over five million visitors a year. In addition, residents enjoy 1,800 acres of urban parkland and programming through numerous recreation centers and outdoor pools.

Boulder continues to be nationally recognized for its overall quality of life, thriving tech, and research-based economy. Boulder is also one of the most educated metropolitan areas in the country. The local public schools are excellent, with Boulder Valley School District consistently ranking among the best in the state. In addition, Boulder is a hub of entrepreneurship, particularly for businesses that value the lifestyle rooted in a love of the outdoors, healthy living, and access to resources.

The University of Colorado at Boulder is currently one of the premier public research institutions in the United States and sits in the heart of Boulder. The University has a strong reputation and is especially known for its engineering and science programs, particularly Earth and Space sciences. There are 17 federally funded science laboratories in Boulder, including the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Boulder fosters an environment for artists and audiences to be innovative, experimental, creative, and expressive. The City has a large concentration of artists with more than 30 art galleries, four museums, a dozen movie and stage theaters, and a huge variety of cultural performances each year, including the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Colorado Music Festival, and Chautauqua Summer Series.

Boulder is home to many local restaurants with chefs who are insistent on quality, innovation, and flavor. In addition, Boulder is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s healthiest places to live and is a mecca for natural and organic products. Farms, dairies, ranches, markets, and restaurants embrace the idea of local, seasonal, and artisanal food production and cooking. The Boulder Farmers Market is the largest outdoor market in the state, providing a venue for local agricultural producers to sell their products directly to the public. For those who love beer, wine, and spirits, Boulder has 21 breweries, four distilleries, two wineries, and two cideries. 

While each of the characteristics, passions, and industries that Boulder is known for today emerged organically over time, it is how they work together that makes Boulder Boulder.

Compensation and Benefits

The hiring range for the Utilities Engineering Manager is $112,000 – $138,000 and will depend on the qualifications of the successful candidate. The City of Boulder is a progressive organization that values employee engagement and well-being and recognizes the importance of providing an encompassing health and life benefits program to employees, including hybrid work schedules. Additional information can be viewed here.

To Be Considered

The City of Boulder provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, genetic information, age, or any other status protected under federal, state, and/or local law. Add your voice and talents to the City of Boulder and help them grow in service excellence for an inspired future.

Applications will be accepted electronically. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. The position is open until filled with the first review of applications on October 18, 2021.


Please direct questions to Heather Gantz at hgantz@raftelis.com.

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