Sound Transit

Director of Operations Engineering and Technology

To Apply

Sound Transit has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search.  Inquiries and/or resume and salary requirements may be directed in confidence to:

Christopher Boylan, Director, Transportation & Infrastructure Practice
Harris Rand Lusk Executive Search
122 East 42 Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY 10168


Please put “Sound Transit Director of Ops Eng. & Tech” in the subject.

General Purpose

Under administrative direction, the Director plans, develops, directs, and manages the operational and maintenance engineering and technology-related support programs, services, and functions of the Operations Engineering and Technology division through a combination of focused resources (i.e. permanent Operations staff, IT and DECM matrixed support staff, and other agency resources and/or contracted services) as required for the Link, Tacoma Link, Sounder and ST Express transit modes.

Operations Engineering herein refers to the engineering work performed to support all transit mode (light rail, streetcar, commuter rail, bus and facilities) systems and equipment in their entirety during the life of the system/asset while under the control of the Operations Department (i.e. post-construction). Systems supported include, but are not limited to, vehicles, signals, traction power, fire & life safety systems, structural components, electrical systems, and train control.

Operations Technology herein refers to those technology-based systems necessary for the successful operation of transit services. Systems include, but are not limited to, Supervisor Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), passenger information systems, security systems, CCTV systems, fare collection systems, ridership data acquisition systems, positive train control (PTC) and radio communications.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

The following duties ARE NOT intended to serve as a comprehensive list of all duties performed by all employees in this classification, only a representative summary of the primary duties and responsibilities. Incumbent(s) may not be required to perform all duties listed and may be required to perform additional, position-specific duties.

  • Develops and oversees the development of an operations engineering and technology plan that addresses current and known future needs and which identifies recurring and one time activities related to the support of operational equipment. Develops processes and approaches for ensuring appropriate support for unforeseen events. All processes and plans are documented and periodically reviewed/updated.
  • Develops and/or ensures the development of the supporting processes and procedures for acquiring support and services from other ST departments with responsibilities for contributing to the Operations Engineering and Technology mission. Plans, directs, coordinates, and reviews the work of assigned staff; assigns work activities and coordinates schedules, projects, and programs; provides constructive feedback; reviews and evaluates work and makes effective suggestions and recommendations.
  • Oversees the activities of Operations Engineering and Technology permanent, matrixed and temporary staff. Ensures Service Level Agreements are defined, maintained and followed for all activities under the Director’s purview requiring support from other departments or stakeholders. Update and periodically verify the SLAs for thoroughness and currency/applicability.
  • Creates, maintains and distributes reports related to the status of all Operations Engineering and Technology activities requested by other agency departments.
  • Oversees and monitors the status of items contained in the Engineering Service Request
  • Oversees and monitors the status of items contained in the Engineering Service Request database for timely and appropriate resolution.
  • Develops, implements, maintains, and oversees enforcement of Operations Engineering and Technology policies and procedures; promotes and leads continuous process improvement; establishes performance monitoring and metrics-driven methodology to improve support for Operations in managing the engineering and technology activities required.
  • Oversees reliability engineering activities that provide information on equipment condition and performance which allows for the early identification and remedy of problems.
  • Coaches, trains and motivates staff; coordinates and provides staff training; manages employee relations; manages the workflow and prioritization of projects, and measures the performance of the department and all related staff, and takes appropriate corrective action when necessary; provides advice and counsel to staff; creates developmental work plans for staff; implements or recommends corrective actions, discipline and termination procedures as necessary.
  • Collaborates and negotiates with all Agency functions as well as outside partners to prioritize technology and operations engineering support initiatives and resources; defines Operations Engineering and Technology team and staff roles, responsibilities and organization to insure dependable operations for all systems; selects team members to achieve quality delivery and up-time for all initiatives and systems; prioritizes resources, including contractor and vendor resources, to deliver and support all real-time and business systems.
  • Reports on performance of matrixed and temporary staff to employees’ home departments and superiors.
  • Works with Design, Engineering, & Construction Management (DECM), Information Technology and other Agency stakeholders to support all Operations systems and functions; identifies process inefficiencies and recommends process improvements.
  • Supports Department processes and transit operations by operating and maintaining reliable control systems and embedded devices and technology infrastructure; provides guidance on processes and systems to support long-term transit growth plans; recommends process and system improvements to increase Department efficiency; and assesses new technologies to generate improvements in operational efficiency.
  • Selects vendors through RFI, RFP and competitive bidding process to deliver cost efficient solutions for Agency and partners; identifies new technologies to improve efficiency as well as customer service.
  • Develops, maintains, and oversees the annual budget for assigned Operations Engineering and Technology activities and personnel; makes recommendations and forecasts for future funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; reviews and approves expenditures, and implements adjustments.
  • Provides SME planning guidance for all Operations systems and assets for obsolescence, midlife upgrades, compatibility, cost, and system replacement.
  • Provides support to the Executive Director, Operations on matters as directed; serves as staff on a variety of boards, commissions, and committees; prepares and presents staff reports and other necessary correspondence; attends and participates in professional group meetings; maintains awareness of new trends and developments in the fields related to area of assignment; incorporates new developments as appropriate; ensures processes, policies and practices are interpreted and applied consistently and effectively; ensures accountability and compliance with all current and applicable state and federal laws, Agency policies and procedures, rules and regulations.

Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience: Bachelor’s Degree in electrical engineering or closely related engineering field and six to eight years of management experience in directing a major operational control system program with customer/user interaction that includes three years of staff supervisory, budgetary, and management responsibility; OR an equivalent combination of education and experience. Public transit systems knowledge and experience is preferred.

Required Licenses or Certifications: None.

Required Knowledge of:

  • Familiarity with rail transit systems such as vehicles, train control, traction power and operational control systems such as SCADA, passenger information systems, security systems, CCTV systems, fare collection systems, ridership data acquisition systems, positive train control (PTC) and radio communications. Strong knowledge of operational processes including change management, configuration management, incident management, security management and their application to operational systems, along with knowledge of those processes as pertain to technology and IT processes.
  • Strong knowledge in vendor management and relations around support level agreements and warranty.
  • Strong background in business continuity and disaster recovery for operations systems.
  • Operations, services, and activities of a rail transit operations engineering and operations technology program and functions.
  • Pertinent federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations.
  • Current technology trends and systems.
  • Integrated computer technology and infrastructure programs.
  • Understanding of importance of preventive maintenance and the ability to evaluate existing PM programs for all systems and develop/modify as needed.
  • Advanced principles and practices of program development, management, and administration.
  • Organization, management, and control of complex rail transit systems and computer equipment and data processing facilities.
  • Project and operational management of a complex technology program.
  • Principles of business letter writing and basic report preparation.
  • English usage, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Modern office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and statistical databases.
  • Basic principles and practices of budget preparation and administration.
  • Principles of supervision, training, and performance evaluation.

Required Skill in:

  • Utilizing personal computer software programs affecting assigned work and in compiling and preparing spreadsheets and reports.
  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with other department staff, management, vendors, outside agencies, community groups and the general public.
  • Interpreting and administering policies and procedures sufficient to administer, discuss, resolve, and explain them to staff and other constituencies.
  • Strategic information systems planning.
  • Plan for future growth and capabilities to ensure the ability to effectively meet business demand
  • Identifying technology trends and issues and applying it to Agency needs.
  • Managing and sponsoring large, complex projects and making decisions in fast-paced, difficult environments.
  • Preparing and analyzing complex data and comprehensive reports.
  • Responding to inquiries and in effective oral and written communication.
  • Researching, analyzing, and evaluating new service delivery methods and techniques.
  • Working cooperatively with other departments, Agency officials, and outside agencies.
  • Developing and monitoring division and program/project operating budgets, costs, and schedules.
  • Supervising, leading, and delegating tasks and authority.

Physical Demands / Work Environment:

  • Work is performed in a standard office environment.
  • Subject to standing, walking, bending, reaching, stooping, and lifting of objects up to 25 pounds; may occasionally be exposed to dangerous machinery, extreme weather conditions, potential physical harms, and extreme noise when conducting site visits and when working in the field.

The Agency promotes a safe and healthy work environment and provides appropriate safety and equipment training for all personnel as required.

It is the responsibility of all employees to follow the Agency safety rules, regulations, and procedures pertaining to their assigned duties and responsibilities, which could include systems, operations, and/or other employees.

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168