Team Lead, High Power and High Current Labs: Substations Technology and Testing

Company: Powertech Labs, Inc.
Location: Surrey, British Columbia

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 200+ 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.

Business Overview

The Substations Technology and Testing Sector is comprised of five basic areas: electrical test laboratories (high power and high current), substation field services, Applied Chemistry, substations R&D, and substations analytical studies. The substation team plays a significant role in shaping the future of the industry by leading and participating in standards committees and forums. The Substations Testing and Technology Sector also offers consulting and investigation services, including asset management studies, failure investigations, expert witness testimony, and development of test programs. This sector has two premier electrical test laboratories including the High Power Laboratory and a High Current Laboratory.

The High Power Laboratory is the largest grid-connected short-circuit testing facility in North America and operates independently of utilities and manufacturers. It has controlled power level capabilities for short-duration single-phase tests up to 400 MVA and three-phase tests up to 1,000 MVA.  Test services include load- and fault-interrupting tests, arc-resistance tests, momentary and short-time current tests, and failure-mode and exploratory tests involving applying precisely controlled distribution-level 60 Hz voltage and current to test objects.

All of our certification testing, equipment development testing, quality assurance testing, and non-standard testing is performed in accordance with IEEE, ANSI, IEC, UL, and CSA standards.

Position Overview

As a specialist Electrical Engineer reporting to the Director of Substation Technology and Testing, the successful candidate for this Team Lead position will be expected to understand the tests being performed in the High Power and High Current Labs, to liaise with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and other clients, manage the business needs and team members of these two very important labs. Responsibilities include establishing an understanding of the global industry trends, developing a long-range strategy, and operationalizing this plan to ensure continued customer engagement and support, continued growth and day-to-day operational excellence.

This role requires constant teamwork with corporate support departments and as well as engineers and technologists across Powertech Labs. The incumbent is encouraged to be, or develop into, a technical expert and to provide technical leadership to the team. The selected candidate will be expected to engage both OEM and utility customers from around the globe, identify and develop new service offerings to meet emerging and market needs, and collaborate with market participants to advance technology and the associated industry standards. With a relentless focus on safety and quality, the incumbent is expected to pursue policies and activities that constantly raise the quality accreditation and performance of the sector. It is an asset if the candidate has a demonstrated history of participating in national and international forums on relevant technical areas. Authoring and presenting technical publications is seen as important to maintaining and growing this sector’s profile.

Key Responsibilities


  • Lead and execute High Power and High Current laboratory tests according to client specifications, international standards and laboratory procedures.
  • Perform failure analyses of substation equipment in the laboratory and in the field.
  • Engage effectively with clients to ensure the highest level of customer service is achieved.
  • Introduce new test methods and services to Powertech’s portfolio.
  • Play an industry-level expert role in developing substation standards, practices and procedures.
  • Actively grow the sector’s ISO 17025 accreditation and align with the company wide ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accreditation.
  • Represent the Substation Technology and Testing Sector around the globe during trade shows, standards committee meetings and conferences; this position may require both local and international travel.
  • Act as a subject matter expert for high power and current testing.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and execute a portfolio of projects covering all technical, resource and financial aspects.


  • Foster relationships across Powertech to utilize all of the company’s resources for our clients.
  • Review and align with the broader corporate objectives such as safety, quality and environment management.
  • Work closely with BC Hydro as a key customer; further and more broadly, having a demonstrated ability to work with both utilities and OEM in identifying and providing R&D, consulting and testing services.
  • Support the Substations Technology and Testing Director in managing the financial performance of the sector.


  • Provide direct leadership to the High Power and Current Technologies team of engineers and technologists.
  • Shape the strategic direction of the High Power and Current Technologies department and ensure alignment with all stakeholders including all Powertech sectors and the Powertech leadership team.
  • Support and mentor other team members in achieving their objectives.
  • Provide input and recommendations in the budget, work planning and resource allocation processes for the sector.
  • Exercise a high degree of independent judgment to solve highly complex problems that have an impact across sectors and include customers, technology, financial planning, and staffing.


  • An engineering degree or degrees recognized in Canada is required; post graduate degree(s) in engineering is highly desirable.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience as a Subject Matter Expert in one or more of the following broad fields: high-power and high-current laboratory testing (above 7.2 kV), high voltage equipment failure analysis, high-voltage field testing and commissioning, substations operations and maintenance practices.
  • Equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.
  • Registration as a professional engineer with Engineers and Geoscientists BC or equivalent required (i.e., non-British Columbia registrations are acceptable as long as there is an ability to transfer the accreditation).
  • Demonstrated leadership of a team of world-class professional technical experts.

Performance Competencies

  • Demonstrated rigor in modeling awareness and behaviours for working safely in laboratories and the field.
  • Broad technical knowledge of the power utility industry.
  • Knowledge and demonstrated ability to collaborate, conceive, lead, and execute R&D projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage the successful implementation and delivery of services and products to clients.
  • Demonstrated commitment to quality including experience with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO/IEC 17025.
  • Entrepreneurial and a proven track record in matching market information with an evolving service offering.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and execute a portfolio of projects covering all technical, resource and financial aspects.
  • Excellent track-record of leadership and mentoring to staff.
  • 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 and problem solving capabilities. The position requires prudent technical and business risk-taking.
  • Ability to work in a dynamic and collaborative leadership team environment.

Location: Surrey, BC
Job ID: TLHPL2019.15
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: March 27, 2019

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 obtain more information on Powertech Labs Inc., visit us online at