University of Alberta

Associate Director, Trades Infrastructure Maintenance, and Operations

Trades Infrastructure and Maintenance

Competition No.  -    A103935776
Closing Date  -    Will remain open until filled.

Reporting to the Director, Trades Infrastructure, and Maintenance, the Associate Director Trades Infrastructure Maintenance, and Operation (AD) provides operational leadership and technical oversight for Infrastructure maintenance and operations. The AD oversees a team of manager/s and supervisors that lead highly technical and specialized trades units performing a diverse range of operational and maintenance related functions. In collaboration with the Director, the AD is accountable for O & M controlled facilities maintenance related to Trades i.e. Architectural, Mechanical, Life Safety and Electrical. The AD supports, directs and manages staff operations for all trades maintenance, troubleshooting, commissioning and management. The position directly or indirectly oversees a staff complement of 120 – 140 unionized trades positions as well as numerous contractors working for the University executing building maintenance and equipment repair related activities.

A major responsibility includes assisting in the development, planning, scheduling and implementation of the Preventive Maintenance Program. The AD also oversees Critical Reactive Maintenance plus work on an action plan for the Deferred Maintenance program. The AD needs to understand other models such as Predictive Maintenance that could be utilized by the University to get a good handle on the deferred maintenance program.  The position is responsible for the management of grant allocated for the Preventive Maintenance program for which the funding is provided by the government that falls within this positions accountability.

As a technical resource, the AD also provides advice and recommendations to the Director. The AD supports continuous improvement workplace efficiencies by implementing Lean methodologies to improve work process consequently reducing wastes and increasing the efficiencies.

The AD works with both internal and external stakeholders to ensure the effective implementation of the preventive maintenance services and ensures teams, groups, and individuals in this area are functioning on a collaborative basis across the portfolio. The position is responsible for supporting and taking a lead role in communicating and working with all University departments and faculties on matters related to buildings preventive maintenance and repair.

Working alongside the Director, the AD is responsible for the assistance of effective maintenance activities financial management of their area and ensures that resources are allocated in an effective and efficient manner including contract management. The University of Alberta building infrastructure is expansive and includes 1.7 million square meters of administrative, teaching, research, and technical laboratory space with multiple campuses and locations.


 Provide operational leadership for University O & M Trades Infrastructure Maintenance and Operations, Trades include; Architectural, Mechanical, Life Safety and Electrical

  • Assist the Director in developing strategies that will aid in tackling the deferred maintenance backlog that is amplified due to budget shortfalls consequently impacting University student experience and critical research efforts.
  • Oversee the development and management of the deferred maintenance plan and lead the process with support from the Director, as well as senior leadership from Facilities and Operations and O&M.
  • Assists with the direction and use of preventative maintenance funding while understanding the relationships between different maintenance activities described previously.
  • Assesses the funding needs for the deferred, reactive, preventive and predictive maintenance through collaborations with the Trades Supervisor’s i.e. Electrical, Mechanical, Architectural and Life Safety.
  • Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to gather information for the maintenance program.
  • Implement models in order to improve efficiencies to prevent lost time.
  • Provide input and advice to the Director about the maintenance project budgeting processes and scope development reviews to enable preventive maintenance funding allocations through prioritization.
  • Employ several trade work groups to project manage different maintenance plan. 
  • Oversee maintenance area reporting from each trades group and updates including monthly reports on work orders open, completed and in progress.
  • Collaborate with the staff reporting to the Associate Director Trades Infrastructure Projects and Operation whose group creates work orders and data entry in AIM for the trade’s supervisors for deferred maintenance projects.
  • Assume the Director role in their absence.

 Provide Engineering related technical advice for trades infrastructure maintenance and operations including identifying, planning and implementation

  • Identify current trades and infrastructure maintenance challenges, emerging issues, and opportunities in order to design and execute appropriate strategies to address them.
  • Implement and administer new and existing maintenance programs and services to internal and external customers and evaluate maintenance program effectiveness.
  • Participate and contribute to developing deferred maintenance strategies with the leadership team and implement plans to reduce the backlog on deferred maintenance
  • Participate in the development of strategies with the leadership team to overcome obstacles hindering efforts to increase preventive maintenance.
  • Participate in the development and interpretation of department policies to ensure compliance with the University’s policies and regulatory requirements are met.
  • Ensure customer satisfaction in the implementation of the maintenance program by analyzing trends in customer complaints, concerns, and suggestions.
  • Develop tactical and strategic maintenance renewal plan for the facilities in collaboration with other Associate Director and the trades’ supervisors. 
  • Develop key performance indicators (KPI's) for the business unit and mandates reporting methods (quarterly / annual). Examples of KPI’s developed include grant application to budget forecasts, building performance on FCI improvement, University FCI overall, unit production performance metrics to budget, staff performance for productive vs lost time, overtime reports by the shop, operating budget trends.

Provide guidance, mentoring, coaching, and lead by example to ensure staff is fully engaged.

  • Develop and maintain fair performance criteria and performance measures by utilizing the tools such as SWOT analysis and SMART methodologies
  • Recognize employee excellence.
  • Maintain effective staff relations that engage all departments within trades with the focus on respect, teamwork, collaboration, and effective communications.
  • Be proactive, set short, medium and long-term goals, objectives, and key performance indicators; complete performance evaluations of the leadership team.
  • Develop a leadership growth program by utilizing tools such as McKinsey 7S, ADAKAR and PROSCI for all direct reports and ensure that the team is motivated and have opportunities for training for continuous improvement.
  • Understand the workloads of all trades supervisors and allocate resources as necessary.
  • Anticipate issues, investigate, clarify, inform and solve the problem through teamwork, effective communication, and collaboration
  • Implement continuous improvements ongoing basis by applying Lean methodologies
  • Provide leadership and direction to the operation, maintenance, and project teams on a continuous basis.

Ensure the effective financial management of the area and ensure that resources are allocated in an effective and efficient manner, including contract management.

  • Manage departments maintenance budgets, estimates budgetary requirements for maintenance related projects and oversee purchases and inventory.
  • Provide feedback to appropriate individuals/supervisors to develop project reports, engage stakeholders to make necessary adjustments as may be required to complete the maintenance related activities on time and within the set budget.
  • Work with Supply Management Services (SMS) to evaluate and qualify the external contractors and consultants to ensure UA has access to the best possible resources.
  • Evaluate processes and allocate proper resources to improve completion of maintenance activities throughout the campus.

Foster collaborative partnerships with both internal and external stakeholders in support of facilities, buildings, and site projects.

  • Work with the safety department and ensure that the University’s Safety Program is effectively implemented, monitor and report as required.
  • Liaise with Business Support Services to express IT needs and to ensure IT services are creating the information that is needed by the trades unit
  • Liaise with Strategic Portfolio Services: Use shared services/ financial unit support to develop monthly project reporting and analytical data to make an informed decision.
  • Acts as a senior liaison and advisor to consultants, engineering firms, and contractors on maintenance related issues.


  • Minimum related post-secondary education in mechanical or electrical engineering with a professional designation.
  • The successful candidate must have a current membership in a related professional organization such as APEGA, ASET, ASHRAE, etc.
  • Experience in areas such as Architectural, combined with education and/or related experience in an area such as building maintenance.
  • Extensive knowledge and experience with operations management, financial, and leadership principles, practices and approaches, human relations skills, mediation and consultation skills, persuasion and influencing skills, networking and articulation skills, coordination and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work with a wide range of stakeholders and interest groups, with competing interests, and to quickly establish trust and collaborative working relationships.
  • Proven experience and ability to manage budgets, grants, and operational models.
  • Demonstrated background/understanding of performance management and organizational change within a unionized environment.
  • Requires full working knowledge of related codes: Building, Electrical, Mechanical, Fire, Architectural, The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
  • The AD requires an Engineering degree and 10 plus years of progressively more responsible operational management experience that includes experience in management of trades, maintenance, and project work.
  • Strong leadership skills for technical staff and ability for creating a positive and productive work culture within the organization.
  • Must be a good communicator and influencer who can work with a diversified group of staff to promote positive relationships and problem-solving skills.
  • Maintain a comprehensive understanding of all UA policies, guidelines procedures, and standards, as well as approval procedures, safety codes, and application of permit processes.
  • Inspirational Leadership qualities; helpful, understanding, nurturing, passionate and grateful to their team.
  • Extensive background in one or more related Engineering/technical areas such as Electrical, Mechanical, and Architectural.
  • A methodical approach to the problem-solving, paying attention to details and a commitment to excellence.
  • Commitment to teamwork and a collaborative leader.
  • Commitment to and understanding of safe work practices.
  • Open and positive approach to people, will to mentor, coach, teach and provide guidance to the team for success.

In accordance with the Handbook of Employment for Management and Professional Staff (Excluded), this full-time position has a term length of one year, offers a comprehensive benefits package found at  Faculty & Staff Benefits and annual salary range of $71,889 - $119,809.

Along with your resume, please submit a cover letter outlining your qualifications. 

How to Apply

Apply Online

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.