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Powertech Labs, Inc.

Team Lead – Applied Chemistry, Substations Technology and Testing Sector

Canada-British Columbia-Surrey

Posted Jan 101555466

Company Information

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.   

Powertech has an exciting and challenging opportunity for a Team Lead – Applied Chemistry to join a team of professionals based at Powertech Labs in Surrey, B.C.

Job Description

Business Overview

The Substations Technology and Testing Sector provides laboratory and field-testing of substations equipment and infrastructure, including short-circuit testing, and environmental, transformer oil, SF6 and lubricant testing.  It also offers consulting and investigation services, including asset management studies, failure investigations, expert witness testimony, and development of testing programs. The R&D work in the area of transformer life extension and transformer life estimation is world-renowned. This sector has a number of premier laboratories including High Power/Short-Circuit and Applied Chemistry (transformer insulating oil, SF6 and mixed gas (CF4/SF6), PCBs, fuel and lubrication products).  The Applied Chemistry lab has a very prestigious and long standing research and testing reputation in North America and around the world.

Specifically, this team is considered world-class in the areas of power transformers, and oil and gas insulation. It continues to initiate and lead global research into the lifecycle management of oils, SF6, and transformers. Besides a considerable portfolio of routine laboratory testing services, it is continually advancing a number of innovative technologies in various stages of incubation and development, from concept through to commercialization.

In addition, this team provides a large and rapidly growing number of consulting and testing services to utilities, including arc-flash, grounding, and, testing of instrument transformers and other substation equipment. This sector also manages the only grid-connected, high power (1500 MVA) lab in North America. The team and laboratory provide testing services for the global power industry, including switchgear, transformers, and other substation and distribution equipment. Beyond these laboratory services, the team also plays a significant role in shaping the future of the industry by leading and participating in standards forums.   


Position Overview

As one of the three Team Leaders under the Director of Substations, the selected candidate will be expected to lead every aspect of this world class laboratory and its team.  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, growth and day-to-day operational excellence. This leadership role requires teamwork with corporate support functions and the other Team Leads across Powertech Labs. Further, the incumbent is expected to be a technical expert in his/her own right and to provide technical leadership and day-to-day management to the team. The selected candidate will be expected to engage both OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) 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 quality, the incumbent is expected to pursue policies and activities that constantly raise the quality accreditation and performance of the laboratory.  The selected candidate must have 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.

Accreditation to both ISO9001, ISO14001 and ISO/IEC17025 are core to this team. The Team Lead will be expected to either maintain or support existing accreditations and expand over time.


Key Responsibilities

  • Leading every aspect of the Applied Chemistry laboratory’s day-to-day operations and playing a key role in:

    • Innovation and market trending,

    • Maintaining existing high quality services to meet our client’s needs and expectations

    • Growing our knowledge, capabilities and service base, and

    • Managing, mentoring and coaching a team of 20 staff members.

  • Helping to shape and execute the strategic direction for the Substation Sector and ensuring alignment with all stakeholders including the Powertech leadership team.  

  • Assessing future market needs and developing strategies and plans for continued growth; this includes development and marketing of new services, development of new laboratories and hiring and developing staff to execute the plans.

  • Developing and driving implementation of the Sector’s strategic plans.

  • Supporting other Team Leads in achieving their objectives. 

  • Reviewing and aligning with the broader corporate objectives such as safety, quality and environment management

  • Actively growing the sector’s ISO/IEC17025 accreditation and aligning with the company wide ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accreditation.

  • Playing an industry-level expert role in developing substation standards, practices and procedures 

  • Working 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.   

  • Actively engaging customers when soliciting and providing services and requesting feedback on services provided.

  • Representing the Substations Sector around the globe; this position requires both local and international travel.

  • Providing input and recommendations in the budget, work planning and resource allocation processes for the sector.  

  • Support the Substations Sector Director in managing the financial performance of the Sector.   

  • Providing strategic planning around capital investments, staffing needs, recruitment, day-to-day management of staff, performance review, mentorship and goal setting.

  • Exercising 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



  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry recognized in Canada is required; post graduate qualifications in Chemistry and/or business is preferred

  • Accredited as a Professional Chemist

  • Demonstrated background in analytical chemistry with experience and working knowledge of chemical instrumentation (chromatography, mass spectrometry, FTIR, ICP, thermal analysis etc.)

  • Minimum of eight years of experience as a Subject Matter Expert in a related field; specific experience with substation equipment insulating oil (for transformers) and SF6 gas (for switchgear) and an understanding of the operations and maintenance practices for such equipment is preferred

  • Knowledge of environmental regulations and analyses is also preferred

  • Experience working in a complex unionized environment is preferred

  • Demonstrated leadership of a team of world-class professional technical experts


Performance Competencies

  • Demonstrated rigor in modeling awareness and behaviors for working safely in laboratories and the field.

  • Broad technical knowledge of the global power utility industry

  • First-hand knowledge of the global substation OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) market participants

  • 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, team building 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

  • Demonstrated strong interpersonal skills


Location:  Surrey B.C.

Job ID: TLAC2018.2

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: January 31, 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 obtain more information on Powertech Labs Inc. visit us at


Contact Information

Powertech Labs, Inc.