About John McLay


John McLay, a Canadian born Professional Engineer, with 40 years of experience in heavy industry, including refinery, heavy oil extraction and upgrading, pulp and paper and food processing. He has chaired 6 international conferences on shutdown management and is a frequent speaker on the subject with both national and international experience. John is also the author of the internationally renowned technical manual, “Practical Management for Plant Turnarounds,” and PMTP-TASC, a Turnaround Management System Checklist mobile application.


I started in construction 40 years ago as a Boilermaker apprentice welder having a wonderful career until in 1979 when the Canadian construction industry went through a serious downturn. Being inquisitive of the plants and equipment that I had constructed, I went into process and utility operations as a power engineer, attaining a First Class Power Engineering Certificate from the Alberta Boilers Branch. In 1989 I registered at the Universityof Alberta and received my Mechanical Engineering Degree in 1992.

With 20 years of experience and my degree I was fortunate in being able to work in every facet of turnaround management and the supporting positions. Therefore, the technical manual “Practical Management for Plant Turnarounds” and PMTP – TASC are written from a combination of theory and experience. Previous senior management positions include working as a Western Canada Manager for an international construction company, site engineering manager, technical coordinator (assistant project manager), construction project manager, owner representative for turnaround coordination and as a quality assurance manager covering over 2 billion dollars of new construction and maintenance projects.

Significant Achievements of John McLay

  • Canadian author of “Practical Management for Plant Turnarounds”
  • Canadian author of “PMTP – TASC” a Turnaround Management System Checklist mobile application
  • Senior Professional Mechanical Engineer –Alberta, Canada
  • Chairman of 6 international conferences for Shutdown Management
  • Keynote speaker on shutdown management: largest 36 countries/860 delegates
  • Maintenance and Shutdown Management training inCanada, Malaysia, Cubaand Pakistan, Europe and the Middle East
  • 40 years of work experience – involved in excess of 100 shutdowns: heavy oil extraction, processing and upgrading, petroleum liquid and gas facilities, pulp and paper, high pressure steam generation, food processing, steel manufacturing, etc.
  • Developer and presenter of a 3 day course in shutdown management for the Shutdown and Turnaround Team
  • Developer and presenter of a 2 day course in shutdown management for the contractor
  • Hold a First Class Power Engineering Certification
  • Construction: Red Seal Boilermaker Journeyman and Welder (Canadian national)
  • Holds International Qualifications in Quality Assurance – API 510, PESL