Please let me know about the Responsibilities of the Shutdown Electrical Maintenance Engineer

This senior shutdown role, which can be involved in both plant maintenance shutdowns and capital project shutdowns, has duties related to ensuring lifetime reliability and safe operation of an organization’s electrical assets and the electrical system



Dear Mike,

What are the responsibilities of the Shutdown Electrical Maintenance Engineer?

Regards, Ashok



Hello Ashok,

I presume the question is about your own job. If you are working for a company you must ask this question of your shutdown responsibilities to your manager(s) and the shutdown manager. Put the answers in writing back to them and ask for their written confirmation. Also show the role in the shutdown management chart. The duties can be very shutdown specific and they may change for the next shutdown. It may be a temporary role that only arises because of the requirements of a particular shutdown.

Since you asked me the question I will offer you my thoughts. A maintenance engineer addresses and improves the reliability of the plant and equipment they are given responsibility over. As the position title specifically states ‘electrical maintenance engineer’ it implies the responsibility covers the operating equipment and performance of some or all of the electrical system on a site or facility. The use of the word ‘shutdown’ implies the role focuses on the electrical assets impacted by the work done during a maintenance or capital project shutdown.

The concerns of the role would extend to the related maintenance work to be done prior and during the shutdown. This includes all onsite and off-site work and services, plus all associated parts procurement. The role is responsible to answer all operating, work quality, technical and engineering questions associated with the assets that are under the responsibility of the position. I would also expect this position to monitor and insure work quality done to electrical system assets during the shutdown. This does not mean that the role replaces the responsibility of the Shutdown Electrical Crew Supervisor to ensure top quality craft work during the shutdown, rather its purpose is to look at the maintenance work’s impact on the future reliability of the holistic electrical system.

Duties would include having open communication and giving/accepting feedback with all other shutdown participants and all stakeholders. The role would be involved in shutdown planning and scheduling related to the electrical system assets impacted by the shutdown, including those assets to be directly worked on during the outage and also all those electrical assets taken out of service because of the shutdown but not part of the shutdown scope of work. I would not be surprised if the person in the role had to plan and undertake safe electrical system/equipment decommission and recommission responsibilities.

Be sure you have the right attitude and personality traits when you undertake senior shutdown roles like the Shutdown Electrical Maintenance Engineer. If a shutdown turns bad you need senior people who will act humanly and keep their decorum under intense pressure and stress. To prevent trouble during a shutdown it is necessary to do a great deal of detailed planning, investigation and analysis so all aspects of the electrical equipment design and system operating performance are fully known and understood. Doing that degree of maintenance engineering preparation when planning the shutdown of electrical assets is also the responsibility of the Shutdown Electrical Maintenance Engineer.

I hope these thoughts prove helpful.


The very best to you,

Mike Sondalini
Managing Director
Lifetime Reliability Solutions HQ


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