Engineer - Generation Technology & Testing

Powertech Labs Inc, BC Hydro's subsidiary that specializes in energy research, consulting, testing, and systems integration, has been serving power utilities, oil and gas companies, automotive, and electrical utility equipment manufacturers since 1989. We operate as a separate, unregulated, for profit, commercial company. In addition to providing innovative R&D, consulting and testing services to BC Hydro, Powertech provides the majority of its services to a large and diverse array of clients across North America, and around the world. Powertech is located on an 11-acre campus in Surrey, British Columbia and has 220+ employees. Our reach and reputation are global, and we are recognized as a leader in technology, testing, and power systems software. Our location places us close to BC Hydro, 25 kilometers from the US border, and at a gateway between Asian and North American markets. Finally, we are located in one of the most desirable locations on the globe, with all the natural beauty of British Columbia on our doorstep. We call this home.

Powertech’s brand and reputation command a dominant position in the power industry. To better serve our clients, we group our services under six market-orientated sectors: Generation, Transmission and Distribution, Substations, Power Systems, Grid Modernization and Advanced Transportation. Powertech’s competitive advantage is enhanced through close collaboration between all sectors.

The company's staff consists of professional engineers, scientists, technologists and technicians from a wide range of disciplines. These highly skilled individuals have access to 21 well-equipped, specialized laboratories. Together, the resources allow us to offer a range of forward-looking technology services to help clients advance technology, solve complex problems, and maximize asset performance.

Finally, we are customer-focused. To ensure our customers have high confidence in our services, we attract the best resources, are highly responsive and constantly strive to improve the quality and value of our services.  

Powertech has an exciting and challenging opportunity for a Geotechnical Engineer to join a team of professionals based at Powertech Labs in Surrey, B.C.


Sector Overview

The Generation Technology and Testing business unit consists of laboratories for Materials Solutions, NDT Inspections, and Electrical Services, and provides routine and specialized laboratory and field testing services, including inspection and safety equipment testing, condition assessment, generator testing and modelling, diagnostic testing of generator and motor stator bars and coils, non-destructive testing, material testing, and finite element analysis. Consulting and investigation offerings include asset management studies, failure investigation, and expert witness testimony. The advertised position marks the expansion of our geotechnical testing and R&D offerings.

Role Overview

Under the direction of the Engineering Team Lead, NDT Inspections, the incumbent will be instrumental in design and construction of a specialized state-of-the-art laboratory testing facility and program to assess the filtering and drainage functionality of the dam fill and foundation materials of embankment dams. Focus will be to provide technical and professional leadership in achieving work program objectives, maintaining schedules and budgets, and professionally providing updates to key stakeholders, while maintaining high standards of quality. The successful candidate will work closely with an Engineer from the Geotechnical Group within the BC Hydro Civil Design Division of Integrated Planning, Generation Stations Business Unit, who will provide technical review of the work.


Key Responsibilities

  • Design of the state-of-the-art laboratory apparatus with associated equipment and instrumentation (and considering existing designs of similar equipment developed by other research facilities) to test the:
    • Internal stability,
    • Filter compatibility, and the
    • Filter performance of a cracked filter.
  • Prepare design drawings, fabrication estimate and specifications.
  • Supervise the fabrication and commissioning of the above apparatus.
  • Develop laboratory testing methodology including, but not limited to, target gradations, specimen reconstitution, and saturation; develop evaluation criteria to interpret the results.
  • Supervise the production-level internal stability, filter compatibility, and filtering performance testing on dam fill materials to be performed by a laboratory technician(s).
  • Interpret the results of the production-level internal stability, filter compatibility, and filtering performance testing on BC Hydro dam fill materials.
  • Prepare engineering reports including work plans, design and fabrication reports, and laboratory testing reports.
  • Allocate resources to various projects within the work program; assign and coordinate work, and provide instructions, advice and technical guidance to technical staff; review work in progress and assess completed work for accuracy, required results and compliance with quality assurance standards and procedures; where necessary provide mentorship and coaching to team members.
  • Maintain alignment with the expanding Powertech quality program and accreditations.
  • Maintain a keen outlook on opportunities for new service opportunities, and assess for feasibility and market size.
  • Work collaboratively with other teams across Powertech, and seek opportunities for cross-discipline projects.
  • Review, enhance and develop methods, procedures and technical standards to take advantage of new technology and improve department effectiveness and efficiency.
  • May be required to chair meetings to address engineering problems in area of expertise and to attend and address seminars, courses, meetings, and conferences; participate in the Public Consultation process and may be required to make presentations.


Education, Experience, Technical Skills Required

  • Master’s or PhD degree in geological, geotechnical, or civil engineering recognized by universities in Canada required.
  • Eligibility for registration as a Professional Engineer with Engineers and Geoscientists BC.
  • Minimum of five years of experience within the last ten years in geotechnical testing and research with focus on:
  • Performing and interpreting the results of advanced geotechnical soils laboratory testing;
  • Working with Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, and Autodesk platforms;
  • Knowledge of LabVIEW would be an asset.
  • Knowledge and experience in dam engineering and dam performance assessments, particularly in internal erosion and filter compatibility assessment are preferred.
  • Thorough understanding in principles of managing multifaceted multidisciplinary projects; inclusive of budgets, resources, schedules, and deliverables through proposal, definition, initiation, planning, execution, reporting, and closure stages.


Performance Competencies (Non-Technical Skills)

  • Demonstrated rigor in modeling awareness and behaviours for working safely in laboratories and the field.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage the successful implementation and delivery of products and services to the client on time and within budget.
  • Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal communications skills including the ability to build successful relationships, make presentations to technical and non-technical audiences and liaise with peers in industry.
  • Excellent decision making capabilities.
  • Able to adapt to a constrained schedule and perform under pressure.
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to analyze and resolve challenging and unusual engineering problems, by incorporating innovative design and/or analysis methods.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, technical writing, multitasking, and organizational skills and ability to work in a team environment, and ability to work in a dynamic and collaborative team environment.
  • Ability to quickly learn and apply new concepts, principles and solutions.


Location:  Surrey, B.C.

Job ID:  GENG2018.41

Job Status:  Full-Time Regular

Compensation & Benefits:  Powertech Labs Inc. offers a very comprehensive total rewards package based on a healthy work/life balance.

Close Date: September 23, 2018


Please be advised that this role has been assessed as safety sensitive and pre-qualification alcohol and drug testing will be required as a pre-condition to employment. 

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply, however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

To apply, and to learn more about Powertech Labs Inc., visit us online at