Technical Program Specialist - Traction Power

Location: Washington, DC
Date Posted: 06-27-2018

Technical Program Specialist - Traction Power

 MSC Background
The Metrorail Safety Commission (MSC) is the designated State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA) responsible for overseeing the safety of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail system, which operates rail transit in the State of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The MSC is responsible for implementing an effective oversight program in compliance with the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 674, and other applicable regulations. MSC duties span a wide range of daily, periodic, annual, and triennial oversight activities. The MSC is responsible for conducting a robust complement of observations, event investigations, inspections, special studies, and audits at WMATA, all with a focus on maintaining and enhancing the safety of customers, employees, infrastructure, and assets. The MSC will promulgate safety standards and requirements for the Metrorail System, and has the authority to take swift and decisive action to address non-compliance or any hazardous conditions.
 
The MSC Technical Program Specialist - Traction Power will serve as a subject matter expert for inspecting, auditing, and investigating the traction power system and assets of the WMATA Metrorail System. This recruitment is open to anyone who meets the required qualifications listed below. The MSC Technical Program Specialist - Traction Power will serve under the leadership of the MSC CEO.
 
The MSC Technical Program Specialist - Traction Power will ensure a commitment to effective safety oversight program administration through direct leadership, role modeling, establishing working relationships with WMATA personnel, coordinating with a team of skilled and qualified auditors, and applying technical expertise to promote rail transit safety. Further, the individuals in these positions must have sufficient knowledge of industry best practices and benchmarks to effectively and collaboratively monitor and evaluate the changes recommended or underway at the WMATA Metrorail System, and to develop recommendations for continued safety improvement 
 

Position Overview

The MSC is recruiting for a Traction Power Specialist to conduct inspections, audits, and investigations of the traction power system and assets of the WMATA Metrorail System. This recruitment is open to anyone who meets the required qualifications listed below.
The selected candidate will serve under the leadership of the MSC CEO. 
The selected candidate will ensure a commitment to effective safety oversight program administration through direct leadership, role modeling, establishing working relationships with WMATA personnel, coordinating with a team of skilled and qualified auditors, and applying technical expertise to promote rail transit safety. Furthermore, the incumbent must have sufficient knowledge of industry best practices and benchmarks to effectively and collaborative monitor and evaluate the changes recommended or underway at the WMATA Metrorail system, and to develop recommendations for continued safety improvement.
Responsibilities and Duties
The Technical Program Specialist - Traction Power is responsible for:
  • Planning and carrying out an itinerary of periodic field reviews and inspections of Metrorail System traction power systems to ensure that they are properly installed, operated, tested, and maintained.
  • Conducting independent audits of WMATA third rail infrastructure and traction power substations.
  • Collecting evidence, taking photographs, reporting-out on work completed both orally and in writing, preparing field notes and other written reports.
  • Verifying and ensuring WMATA’s compliance with its own traction power maintenance and inspection policies and procedures, MSC requirements, and industry best practices.
  • Investigating allegations of hazardous conditions or non-compliance from WMATA employees, government officials, and the general public regarding unsafe traction power system conditions (e.g. arcing insulators, smoke and fire events, power surges or failures).
  • Participating in investigations of Metrorail events and development of independent MSC investigation reports.
  • Developing audit and inspection reports that communicate technical information to a wide audience.
  • Reviewing WMATA Metrorail event (accidents, incidents, and occurrences as defined by 49 CFR 674) investigation reports from a technical standpoint.
  • Reviewing, interpreting, and conducting trend analysis of Metrorail traction power system maintenance-related information.
  • Coordinating with multiple WMATA departments to schedule routine activities and special audits.
  • Advising the MSC Board and CEO on technical matters pursuant to traction power.
 

Qualifications

Experience
 
A minimum of 10 - 15 years of experience in a supervisory role over rail traction power system maintenance and inspection activities, preferably in a third-rail environment, and progressively increasing responsibility in management with reporting to executive management, is required.
 
Knowledge and familiarity of applicable Federal, State, and Local laws and regulations is required, including industry best practices and standards such as those coordinated by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA).
 
Prior experience with a transit system, SSOA, or with Safety Management Systems (SMS) is strongly preferred.
 
Education
A Bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related technical specialization is required.
 
Physical Requirements
MSC inspection, audit, and investigation work requires the ability to walk for long periods on potentially rocky and uneven surfaces along railroad right-of-way, rail yards, and maintenance facilities. The work requires the ability to: stoop/bend/kneel/crouch/crawl to take measurements; climb ladders or narrow staircases; and mount/dismount rail and maintenance vehicles. Successful applicants must be able to demonstrate auditory and visual acuity sufficient to perform core inspection functions of the discipline and remain safe along the Metrorail System.
 
Work may take place at any time of day as warranted by emergency conditions or scheduled inspections (e.g. responding to a Metrorail event or conducting observations of overnight maintenance work). Work may take place on or about WMATA property where MSC personnel must be alert at all times for: the approach of trains or rolling equipment; slips/trips/fall hazards; and hazardous materials. While on-site, MSC personnel must also take precautions with electrical hazards associated with revenue and non-revenue vehicles and equipment, the third rail, and other traction power equipment throughout the Metrorail System. The inspector may be exposed to unfavorable weather conditions, including temperature extremes and precipitation, and other environmental discomforts such as insects and vegetation on or about rail property.
 
Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be required for specific job functions. All MSC personnel will comply with WMATA requirements for PPE as applicable to the circumstances, as well as with applicable industry standards.
 
Certifications
All MSC staff positions require possession of a valid driver’s license to travel to meetings, inspection locations, or event scenes as necessitated.
 
The Technical Program Specialist - Traction Power is required to obtain and maintain the Transit Safety and Security Program (TSSP) Certificate and complete the Safety Management System Training component required by the FTA’s Safety Certification Training Program final interim provisions. Other industry-recognized transportation safety certifications are desirable.
 
Additional certifications from AREMA, American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), World Safety Organization (WSO), or National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are strongly preferred.
 
Special consideration will be given to applicants with a Master Electrician, Journeyman, Apprentice, or Electrical Contractor license that is recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia, District of Columbia, or State of Maryland.
 
Skills
The Technical Program Specialist - Traction Power will possess the abilities and skills to:
  • Communicate and interpret a comprehensive knowledge of construction, testing, inspection, and repair of traction power systems including third rail, substations, distribution, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.
  • Understand and detect deviations from:
    • Traction power systems inspection and maintenance standards accepted in the industry;
    • WMATA Metrorail traction power standards.
  • Convey safety significance and technical knowledge to a wide audience of internal and external policymakers and senior managers.
  • Convey specialized knowledge of proper remedial action to be taken to bring defective traction power systems into compliance with applicable WMATA, MSC, or other standards.
  • Conduct hazard assessments, root cause and fault tree analyses.

Location
The MSC is located at 777 North Capitol St., NE, Suite 402, Washington, DC 20002 and is responsible for conducting SSOA activities for the WMATA Metrorail System across the D.C. metro region. 
 

Salary
Salary is regionally competitive and will be commensurate with skills and experience. 
 
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