Operating Engineer


Romulus, MI, US

Company:  DTE ES Operations, LLC
Job ID:  13159

DTE is one of the nation’s largest diversified energy companies. Our electric and gas companies have fueled our customer’s homes and Michigan’s progress for more than a century. And as Michigan’s largest source of renewable energy, we’re creating a cleaner, healthier environment to power our future. We’re also serving communities beyond Michigan, where our affiliated businesses offer renewable energy, emission control technologies, and energy services to industries in 19 states.  But we’re more than a leading energy company... and working at DTE is more than just a job. At DTE, we take great care of each other and our customers, and we use our energy to be a force for growth and prosperity in our communities.  When you join us, you’ll be part of a team that welcomes, recognizes, and celebrates differences, and values everyone’s health, safety, and wellbeing.  Are you ready to make that kind of difference? Bring your energy to DTE. Together, we can achieve great things. The hourly rate for this position is $42.68.

Job Summary

Location: Romulus, MI

This position will assist with the safe, efficient operation and maintenance on all equipment located within the Metro Energy Powerhouse at the Wayne County Airport. Work is performed as directed by Plant Management, Lead O&M Technician, or the responsible O&M Technician – Level 4 in charge. Performance is reviewed against an established set of goals and Company policies and procedures.

Plant equipment includes the following: (7) 1300 ton Trane Centrifugal Chillers, (3) 175 ton Trane screw type chillers, (3) 37.5 MMBtu/HR Hot Water Generators, (3) 18V34SG Wartsila Natural Gas Fired Engines each driving a ABB 5.7 MVA Generator, (1) Three Cell Pultruded Composite Structure Counterflow Cooling Tower, 120kV/13.8kV substation, expansion tanks, hot water pumps, chilled water pumps and condenser water pumps.  Also included are Balance of plant equipment, air compressors, water treatment systems, filters, instrumentation, PLC controls, HMIs and 13.8 kV, 4160 V, 480 V and 125 Vdc electrical systems.

Work involves performing some difficult and complex functions requiring a high level of independent judgment, initiative and discretion. Work shifts rotate and the Operating Engineer frequently works alone.

Key Accountabilities

•    Ensure that equipment is operated in a safe, efficient and environmentally responsible manner while satisfying Customer’s utility and energy requirements.
•    Comply with all site safety requirements and procedures.
•    Perform all shift operations and maintenance, including startup and shutdown of utility systems and ancillary equipment in single person operations.
•    Perform operations in accordance with standard operating procedures (SOP’s) and prudent safety standards in single person operations.
•    Ability to respond to operational upset conditions in the plant.
•    Participation in the basic safety processes as key member of the Site Safety committee, leading monthly safety meetings and having a shared responsibility for the site's overall safety performance.
•    Respond to abnormalities and perform corrective actions consistent with established operating procedures and prudent industry best practices.
•    Conduct multiple rounds per shift of the Central Energy Plant to inspect equipment, ensure systems are functional, collect/log performance data, and communicate operational problems as they arise.
•    Read and record gauges and meters and record all operating data using handheld electronic tablet.
•    Identify safety hazards and take corrective actions as necessary.
•    Ensure accuracy of shift operating logs, records, time sheets, work orders, and other administrative documents related to Central Energy Plant assets.
•    Perform routine water chemistry testing and makes necessary adjustments to optimize efficiency.
•    Check daily consumption rates of chemicals, gases, fuels, water and other consumables; monitor inventories and initiate action to replenish as needed.
•    Perform plant electrical switching and lock-out/tag-out (LOTO) of equipment in accordance with approved procedures and prudent operations and maintenance best practices.
•    Perform electrical and mechanical inspections, troubleshooting, and maintenance tasks as assigned.
•    Investigate plant problems, incidents, accidents and unusual events, and provide accurate information, analysis, recommendations, reports, and appropriate follow-up plans.
•    Perform routine operational tests and adjustments on all plant systems and components as required.
•    Develop, assist, and revise operations and maintenance related procedures to ensure optimal performance of systems.
•    Perform and maintain plant housekeeping duties.
•    Perform routine preventive, predictive, and corrective maintenance on all systems and equipment.
•    Update and maintain Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)
•    Communicate pertinent information to company personnel, customers and vendors.
•    Communicate shift activities with relief person during shift changes.
•    Assist other team members and works with all departments to support corporate and plant goals.
•    Work scheduled and unscheduled overtime and respond to off-hour call-ins as needed.
•    Leads and participates in assigned continuous improvement efforts throughout the facility.
•    Perform other duties as assigned.
•    Becomes Subject Matter Expert or system representative on assigned systems



•    Must have a high school diploma or equivalent 
•    Minimum of five (5) years of power plant experience in operations and maintenance with a City of Dearborn or City of Detroit First Class Stationary Engineer license and Universal Refrigerant license
•    Must have knowledge of utility plant mechanical and electrical equipment, including gas turbines, HRSG’s, motors, pumps, mechanical chillers, hot water generators, fluid systems, chemical handling, water treatment systems, pollution control equipment, AC/DC electrical distribution, control systems, and associated maintenance functions
•    Experience with at least four (4) of the following systems: natural gas fired combustion turbines, natural gas fired engines, heat recovery steam generators (HRSG), electrical systems, chilled water systems, hot water systems, compressed air, reverse osmosis, water softeners and emissions control systems
•    Knowledge of and experience with at least four (4) of the following skills: pipefitting, welding, machining, rigging, rotating machine repair, fabrication, machine alignment, basic vibration analysis, and basic understanding of electrical test equipment 
•    Ability to learn and become proficient in all site-specific systems and sub-systems.
•    Ability to complete site-specific qualification training and periodic testing
•    Knowledge of plant safety policies, and procedures, especially in areas such as chemical handling, energy systems, confined spaces, fire suppression, and first aid
•    Knowledge of and ability to understand fundamental principles related to physics, mathematics, AC/DC electrical theory, heat transfer, fluid flow, thermal dynamics and chemistry
•    Knowledge of water chemistry and power plant chemical applications
•    Ability to operate valves, switches, controls, keyboards, and other devices associated with power plants
•    Ability to use basic hand tools, portable electric, pneumatic tools, and basic rigging equipment such as winches, hoists and slings
•    Ability to locate, troubleshoot, and correct problems with mechanical and electrical system and ancillary equipment
•    Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing
•    Ability to operate testing equipment
•    Familiarity with Allen Bradley PLC interfaces
•    Experience with CMMS
•    Proficient in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook) and with email

Additional Qualifications

The physical demands characterized here epitomize those that must be met by an employee to properly perform the integral functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. In order to properly perform the integral functions of this job, the employee is required to:

  • Frequently sit, stand, walk or climb and occasionally stoop, kneel or crawl
  • Talk and hear; use hands to finger, handle or feel; and reach with hands and arms extensively
  • Frequently lift objects of up to 35 pounds in weight and occasionally lift or move objects of up to 50 pounds in weight
  • Occasionally push or pull up to 70 pounds in weight
  • Vision requirements for this position include close, distance, color, peripheral, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus


Occasionally exposed to outside weather conditions, including extreme heat/cold, wet and/or humid conditions. Occasionally exposed to fumes or airborne particles and vibration. Regularly exposed to moving mechanical parts and/or machinery. The noise level in the work environment is usually loud.


At DTE Energy, we are committed to providing an inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcome and a sense of belonging. We seek individuals with a heart for service, a passion to help our communities prosper, and ideas to help shape the future of energy. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer that considers all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, citizenship, height, weight, genetic information, marital status, pregnancy, protected veteran status or any other status protected by law.

Nearest Major Market: Detroit