Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Principal Mechanical Engineer (#20003754)

General Statement

Performs supervisory and professional mechanical engineering work of unusual difficulty, and supervises the making of detailed plans and specifications of mechanical equipment for pumping stations, and wastewater treatment plants. 

Essential Job Functions

Essential job functions are fundamental, core functions common to positions in a classification.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class.  Since class specifications are designed to be descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents may complete one or all of the job duties listed or tasks of similar kind not specifically listed here.

  • Assigns, directs and reviews work of subordinate mechanical engineers and others; takes necessary action or makes recommendations regarding work performance.
  • Supervises mechanical operations; reviews operating schedules and maintenance schedules; reviews operations for compliance with I.E.P.A. and N.P.D.E.S. permits.
  • Oversees the conduct of engineering studies, testing and evaluations; investigates and reports on new mechanical equipment and processes relative to District facilities; appraises comparative economies and advantages of alternate plans and presents recommendations.
  • Directs the preparation of designs and detailed plans and specifications of mechanical equipment for pumping stations, power plants, sewage treatment and sludge processing facilities.
  • Oversees and participates in contract preparation and administration and purchase order administration; prepares specifications and cost estimates for materials, equipment and services required for facility operations and for new construction and plant revisions.
  • Performs administrative duties in the supervision of service contracts for engineering services; reviews equipment information and data submitted by contractors for compliance with specifications.
  • Oversees implementation, operation and control of plant equipment and process modifications; supervises equipment installation.
  • Provides technical advice and innovative suggestions to other District personnel regarding proper methods, maintenance and operations; provides liaison between the District and regulatory agencies, labor organizations and contractors in accomplishing the operating and engineering contract objectives of the District.

Other Job Functions

  • Prepares and coordinates budget projections and reports; directs the implementation of computer based techniques.
  • Prepares correspondence and reports on maintenance, operations and repairs within area of responsibility.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Environmental Conditions

May involve exposure to a variety of operating mechanical equipment and loud noise and/or noxious odors.  May include working in all types of weather conditions throughout the plant facility and collection system. Typical office environment.  May use standard office equipment and computer terminals. May involve working in close proximity to or in conjunction with construction activities and heavy equipment, and may require exposure to a variety of weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Extensive knowledge of the principles, practices and techniques of mechanical engineering.
  • Extensive knowledge of the technical application of mechanics, thermodynamics and related engineering sciences to problems of heating, ventilating and plumbing.
  • Thorough knowledge of the supervisory principles involved in directing the work of professional and sub-professional engineers.
  • Thorough knowledge of recent developments, current literature and sources of information in mechanical engineering.
  • Considerable knowledge of the principles, practices and techniques of wastewater engineering. 
  • Considerable knowledge of regulations and procedures of federal and state grants, loans and permits. 
  • Ability to express oneself clearly and concisely, orally and in writing.
  • Ability to prepare and check plans and specifications for the installation of mechanical equipment and facilities.
  • Ability to use personal computers in applications including spreadsheets, databases and word processing.


Absolute Requirements

Registration as a Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

Graduation from a four-year accredited college or university majoring in mechanical engineering and six years of full-time, post-degree mechanical engineering experience.  Four years of this experience must be related to the District's activities and one year of experience must have been in the supervision of degreed engineers.


Full-time graduate study in mechanical engineering may be substituted for the required non-supervisory experience on a year-for-year basis to a maximum of two years. 

Promotional Requirement

  • One year of service with the District as a Senior Mechanical Engineer; or possession of a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and one year of service with the District as a Senior Engineer, Senior Civil Engineer, Senior Electrical Engineer, Senior Structural Engineer or Senior Process Control Engineer.   
  • Civil service status in one of the foregoing classifications.

CLASS: 20003754; EST: 1/1/1900; REV: 5/1/2023;