Director of Engineering

City of Newport News, VA | Full-time


The Position

The City of Newport News is seeking a leader who wants to make long-term, impactful changes in a community to ensure a strong future for generations to come. This is not your typical Director of Engineering position – Newport News is searching for a passionate leader who can lead a team to do amazing things for the community.

The planning and coordination of engineering design projects in Transportation, Wastewater, Stormwater, and the construction of bridges and roadways are overseen by the Director. The Director of Engineering also oversees the City’s architectural projects, site development plans, surveying needs, GIS systems, and environmental services.

The Director is responsible for the overall management of the Engineering Department, and as such, the development of the annual budget, procurement, and the supervision of all engineering personnel. This position is charged with the implementation of programs that promote engagement with the community at large and intergovernmental entities. The Director of Engineering provides guidance to City Management and City Council in planning related issues as well.

The Director of Engineering reports to one of the City’s two Assistant City Managers. The Director has three direct reports – Assistant Director, Financial Services Administrator, and Administrative Coordinator – and six divisions.

The Organization

The City of Newport News is administered by a council-manager form of government, wherein a City Manager is appointed by the Mayor and City Council to oversee the day-to-day administrative operations of city government. All seven members of Council are elected to serve four-year terms in nonpartisan elections. Two Council members are elected from each of the City’s three districts, and the Mayor is elected at large. The City Attorney and City Clerk are also appointed by Council, and all department heads are appointed by the City Manager.

The City’s FY 2021 Total Budget is approximately $930.5 million, including a General Fund Budget of $515 million. With the inclusion of 3,861 FTEs working for the Newport News Public Schools District, the City’s total workforce is 7,305.

Newport News is a full-service City and utilizes a Shared Leadership approach. Shared Leadership Networks were created to enhance this approach. The five networks are Quality of Life, Public Safety, Infrastructure, Community Development, and Quality Government, with City Management at the center of all networks. The Engineering Department falls under the Infrastructure Network, alongside Public Works, Information Technology, Waterworks, and Vehicle Services.

The Engineering Department

The Engineering Department provides professional engineering services to the City for all projects except those managed by the City’s Waterworks Department and Newport News Schools. There are currently over 100 personnel within the Engineering Department. The Department’s FY 2021 General Fund Budget is approximately $5.7 million in operating funds, and the Director of Engineering will have oversight of and responsibility for a significant amount of the City’s $378 million CIP. The department is the liaison to the City’s Transportation Safety Commission, and the Director represents the City with local, state, and regional organizations.

Work within the Engineering Department is divided across the following functions.

  • Architectural Services

This Division accomplishes in-house design, administration, inspection, and quality control services related to programmed and non-programmed architectural projects in the Public Buildings, Community Development and Parks and Recreation categories of the City’s Capital Improvements Plan.

  • Civil Design, Construction and Bridges

Employees in these groups manage projects funded through city, state and federal programs from concept through construction. Work includes providing a broad coverage of professional inspection, quality control, and materials testing and ensuring progression of City projects and private development projects.

  • Stormwater & Wastewater Design Management

As part of the Civil Design division these groups work in collaboration with the Public Works Department to develop programs and policies to protect against water pollution, erosion issues, and flooding caused by stormwater runoff and sewer overflow.  Work includes providing technical expertise in modeling and in the development, operation and maintenance of the City’s sanitary sewer and stormwater systems.

  • Technical Support

This Division consists of multiple groups within the Engineering Department that provide support to citizens and City staff. The Division is responsible for drafting, surveying, and document management.

  • Transportation Services and Traffic Operations

This Division provides for the safe and efficient movement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic on City streets in accordance with policy, the City’s Comprehensive Plan, and Regional Transportation Plans.  Work performed includes maintenance of the City’s traffic signal system, signs and pavement markings.

  • Environmental Management and Sustainability

This Division administers the Citywide Environmental Management System (EMS) program and the City’s MS4 program. The division also facilitates environmentally sustainable local government policies and practices to ensure fiscally, environmentally and socially responsible operations through permitting and inspection.

Experience and Education

Minimum requirements are any combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, or a related field and 10 years of progressively responsible engineering experience. Applicants must also be a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) and have a minimum of five years of supervisory experience.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree, experience communicating complex project information to elected officials and the public, oversight of complex design of capital projects, and the ability to listen and connect with internal staff and residents. Consulting engineering and project management in either a public or private sector environment are both highly valued.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal Director of Engineering is a change agent who can lead a talented team of staff to execute projects that will ensure a strong future for the residents and businesses of Newport News. This person is a collaborative, innovative leader with a wide breadth of real-world experience designing and building public infrastructure. The next Director of Engineering is even-keeled and deliberate, managing large concurrent projects with an eye for both stewardship of public funds and long-term safety and viability. This individual is a skilled communicator who can relay complex, technical information to City Council and community stakeholders. The ideal candidate is an outstanding ambassador of the City, representing the City in a variety of local and regional organizations and public meetings.

The successful candidate is personable and works well with others. This person seeks engagement at all levels and works collaboratively with intergovernmental entities, the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization, representatives from Newport News Shipbuilding, contracted personnel, and City Boards and Commissions. The new Director has experience in grant management and contract development, negotiation, and management. This individual is accustomed to working in a demanding, fast-paced environment.

The next Director of Engineering is equally skilled in managing both projects and people, fully understanding the importance of employee development and engagement. Clearly communicating expectations, the Director models high standards and holds staff accountable. The ideal candidate is committed to the continued success of the Engineering Department and of the Newport News community as a whole.

The Community

Located along the banks of the Hampton Roads harbor in southeastern Virginia, Newport News is a major East Coast port and one of the Commonwealth’s largest cities. With a rich heritage dating back to the founding of the United States, Newport News offers safe and family-friendly neighborhoods, high-quality public schools, and access to a plethora of outdoor recreation opportunities. Newport News is located near Hampton, minutes from Williamsburg, and a short drive away from Virginia Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

Newport News is home to nearly three dozen properties and districts in the National Register of Historic Places and a wide array of museums celebrating the region’s history. The City is conveniently located between historic Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, the Commonwealth’s largest city. Despite its enviable location between several popular tourist destinations, Newport News provides a small-town, suburban atmosphere.

Newport News boasts an award-winning public school system, which comprises over 40 schools. The City is home to Christopher Newport University, a public liberal arts university with an enrollment of approximately 5,000. Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University are located in neighboring Norfolk, and the College of William and Mary is situated just over 20 miles to the northeast in Williamsburg.

The City’s major industries are shipbuilding, defense, and aerospace. Huntington Ingalls Industries is the region’s largest employer, with a workforce of nearly 24,500 at its Newport News Shipbuilding division. The Hampton Roads region is serviced by three airports: Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, Norfolk International Airport, and Richmond International Airport. Greyhound Lines provides intercity bus service, and Hampton Roads Transit provides regional service. A new Amtrak station, to be completed in 2022 on the Northeast Regional line, will include a multimodal transportation hub to connect rail, airport, taxis, and shuttles.

Quick Facts

  • Population: 179,225
  • Median Household Income: $51,884
  • Median Home Value: $193,100
  • Median Age: 33.2

All demographic information was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.


The salary range is $150,000 - $175,000, depending on qualifications. Benefits offered include the following:

  • Health, dental, vision, life, and short- and long-term disability insurance
  • Retirement benefits through the Virginia Retirement System (VRS)
  • Deferred compensation
  • Paid leave
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Discounted fitness center memberships

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group, now a part of Raftelis. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Open until filled with the first review of applications on November 6, 2020.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or 513-221-0500.

Download Recruitment Brochure