Manager, Mechanical Systems Operations
Vancouver Aquarium 11 reviews - Vancouver, BC

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Business Address: PO Box 3232, Vancouver, BC V6B3X8
Work Location: 845 Avison Way, Vancouver, BC V6G3E2
Type of Employment: Regular Full-Time
Number of Openings: 1
Salary Range: $62,000 to $93,000 per year
How to Apply: Online Career Site –
Application Deadline: August 24, 2014


Reporting to the Director of Animal Operations, the Manager, Mechanical Systems Operations is responsible for the planning, direction, repair and maintenance, operation and monitoring of building mechanical and electrical, animal life support systems (LSS) including water quality, utility, and fire safety systems for the Vancouver Aquarium buildings and animal habitats. The incumbent leads and manages the Mechanical Systems team, including the annual goal and budget setting process.


Contributes to the health and well being of Aquarium animals and occupants through the successful operation of mechanical systems across the Aquarium by:

  • Managing the operation, monitoring, maintenance, and control of both saltwater and freshwater treatment and distributions systems;
  • Oversees and managing water quality monitoring and testing;
  • Managing the operation, monitoring, maintenance, and control of the electrical distribution system and industrial level electrical equipment including the emergency generator;
  • Managing the operation, monitoring, and control of all mechanical life support equipment including heating, cooling, filtration, treatment vessels, and ozone.

Supports business plans, and business objectives for the mechanical systems department by:

  • Ensuring staffing levels across the department(s) are at optimum levels to support effective and efficient service delivery;
  • Developing Direct Reports and entire team to accomplish strategic growth objectives; works with assistant manager(s) to recruit, select and hire the talent needed to meet the department’s goals;
  • Provide ongoing review/updating of comprehensive training program for assistant manager(s) and team members with support from training resources;
  • Monitoring work performed by direct reports and team members, including the review of any escalations, along with requests and recommendations;
  • Ensuring compliance to health & safety (H&S), environmental management system (EMS), and Privacy policies by assistant manager(s) and team members;
  • Establishing metrics for the department(s) along with the Director, ensuring all team members clearly understand the metrics, and what is expected of them;
  • Performing and/or overseeing departmental administrative duties including scheduling, payroll, maintenance records, preparing, administering and monitoring operating and capital budget, reviewing and reporting results monthly, and ensuring timely escalation of issues/obstacles/trends to the Director with recommendations/solutions.

Provides management, coaching and mentoring to Direct Reports and extended team members and contributes to and fosters the development of the team by:

  • Creating an environment conducive to individual development, productivity, and achievement while ensuring open lines of communication;
  • Ensuring that employees are well organized, sufficiently trained/cross-trained to perform their responsibilities, developed to their potential and scheduled/deployed in a manner that permits a cost-effective operation;
  • Planning and facilitating individual touch bases, team meetings, and skill-building sessions;
  • Providing direction, guidance and support to team members and motivating them to achieve a high level of performance and productivity;
  • Establishing performance objectives/goals, and completing scheduled performance reviews for direct reports;
  • Recognizing and rewarding success, and managing poor performance;
  • Developing and obtaining agreement on development plans for all direct reports, recommending training courses and seminars where appropriate;
  • Recruiting, hiring and promoting team members in accordance with standard VA policies;
  • Identifying training and development requirements for all team members.

Contributes to the design and implementation of new and/or modified mechanical operating systems by:

  • Reviewing plans for Aquarium new mechanical systems/services and recommending best use of resources;
  • Advising architectural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing consultants during design stage;
  • Managing in-house facility design projects for life support and building systems;
  • Communicating frequently and proactively with employees, consultants, contractors, and government officials;
  • Providing both verbal and written materials for information, requests, applications, reports, system analysis as required, etc;
  • Completing an analysis of Aquarium energy consumption and making recommendations for energy conservation;
  • Playing the lead role in the Energy Group as part of the Aquarium’s Environmental Management System (EMS).

Acts as the Aquarium’s fire safety officer to ensure a safe work environment by:

  • Developing protocols and procedures for fire safety;
  • Operating, monitoring and controlling the fire prevention system;
  • Scheduling regular fire drill training, including coordinating two evacuation drills annually;
  • Communicating with regulatory personnel and fire department emergency response team.

Other Duties:

  • Performs additional duties as required;
  • Represents the Vancouver Aquarium at conference and/or meetings where appropriate;
  • Continually improves our impact on the environment and greening of operations;
  • Maintains organizational safety standards.


Education and Experience

  • Technical diploma or equivalent in building mechanical systems, process engineering, or marine engineering;
  • 5+years maintenance and operations experience;
  • 2-3 years of building and life support digital control systems experience;
  • 5+ years supervisory experience.

To be successful in this position, the incumbent will need to bring/develop the following:

  • Strong organizational and time management skills; the ability to prioritize, allocate and monitor workload; using sound judgment to address problems and discrepancies;
  • Proven interpersonal and communications skills to successfully conduct operational activities, and influence others to become operationally effective;
  • A high degree of flexibility is required to adapt to a variety of tasks and functions.
  • Strong PC skills are necessary as the incumbent uses a PC for a variety of operational, service management and related activities;
  • Thorough knowledge of daily and periodic department routines, procedures, policies and workflows, including, H&S, and EMS regulations;
  • Thorough knowledge of VAMSC’s products, services, and operating systems;

Technical Competencies

  • LSS Operations, hands-on and management of both marine and freshwater systems
  • LSS Design – small to large systems
  • Solid understanding of water quality and water quality monitoring
  • Mechanical buildings operations
  • Project Management – design, implementation, commissioning and start up
  • Strong people/team management and dynamic leadership
  • Sound financial and business analytical ability
  • Consultancy experience preferred.
  • Understanding of WHMIS and MSDS;
  • Active demonstration of the company’s values and mission.

Working Conditions

  • Normal office working environment with usual conditions for administration and management;
  • Exposure to hazards such as chemicals, electricity, ozone, animals, biohazards, loud noises, etc.
  • Job requires heavy lifting up to 100lbs;
  • Job requires response to emergency calls 24 hours a day.

About this company
11 reviews
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is a self-supporting, non-profit association dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life...