Posted on March 4th, 2015
John McLay, President of JMC Consulting Ltd, attended the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) POWER ENGINEERING (PE) advisory committee meeting, held February 27, 2015 in the NAIT HP Centre.
John’s contribution to the meeting was to encourage NAIT Power Engineering program to maintain and grow the student simulator training exposure. There is an ongoing discussion between the NAIT PE department and the Alberta Boiler Safety Association (ABSA) as to the student curriculum value and the educational time weight that should be allocated and accepted.
John’s focus of argument is from the Shutdown, Turnaround and Outage (STO) perspective: most industrial plant operators (utility or process) are able to shut down and startup a piece of equipment but most are not capable of shutting down or starting up a complete plant or a major plant segment. These major startups can be several years apart as is determined by the STO turnaround optimization frequency. Neither are industrial companies willing to have their plants shutdown and started up for additional hands on training practice, therefore many have installed simulator training. This leads to the students needing to be exposed to this training format before being launched into industry as professionals.
As the criticality of the Operations Team(s) involvement in STO comes higher profile, through better understanding, their association will become more engrained in Asset Integrity Management. With the advancement of remote technologies capability, there is an opportunity for industrial companies to use Educational Training Centres as the host and maintainers of Simulator technology. This is a similar process to a student sitting in a control room, working on Power Engineering training module, using Computer Managed Learning (CML) instructional access.
With the advancement of Asset Integrity Management, which is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of recent knowledge, and the onsite silo integration of Operations, Maintenance, Reliability Engineering, Turnaround Management and Integrity (Inspection), industries around the world will come to rely on Simulator development companies and host Educational Centres to assist them being competitive in the global market place with constant economical education of their employees.
Mr. McLay, as a representative of the Alberta IPE also encouraged the students to participate in the local Institute of Power Engineering (IPE) – Edmonton Chapter as it provides industrial plant tour and professional networking opportunities.
The NAIT Power Engineering staff are an exciting and pleasant group who provided an awesome lunch, created and served by the NAIT culinary student team. NAIT was also very pleased by the turnout of industry and the general cross sectional face of this yearly NAIT Power Engineering Advisor Committee Meeting. Following the meeting, guests were invited to tour the power lab as a way to end an enjoyable and informative day. My understanding is the after lunch Power Lab tour was a great way to end an enjoyable day.