Lakeland to energize in 2018

By Geoff Lee

December 13, 2017 1:58 PM

Ben Sey, dean of Lakeland’s School of Energy, is stoked about a new 2nd class evening power engineering course for industry workers starting Jan. 4 along with opportunities to promote energy programming in 2018 to meet industry demand for higher trained workers. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

The School of Energy at Lakeland College will ring in 2018 with an evening course for 2nd class power engineering in sync with the needs of industry and the community it serves.
The new year will also present the school with opportunities to promote its industry-based Petroleum Management Program, while looking for opportunities to expand programming.
“The whole idea is we work in sync with industry and the community,” said Ben Sey, dean of Lakeland’s School of Energy.
“We need the support of everyone in the community to achieve our goals.”
The Lloydminster campus will host the new 2nd class power engineer course in early January, targeting industry workers in the local and surrounding area.
“We are trying to reach out to industry, the workers that don’t have the time to attend our day program,” explained Sey.
“That’s why we’re scheduling it in the evening.”
The first two courses scheduled are the two most challenging papers of the six 2nd class exams administered by the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA).
Each course will be delivered over 16 weeks.
The 2A2 Metallurgy and Thermodynamics module will be held from Jan. 4 to April 26,  while the 2A1 Codes and Administration, and Applied Mechanics module will be offered from Aug. 21 to Dec. 11.
Students will complete 100 hours of training by attending Tuesday and Thursday evening classes at the Energy Centre from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
They will be taught by seasoned 1st class power engineers who are also experienced teachers.
Sey said Lakeland’s industry advisory committee has indicated to the college this is the upgrading direction of power engineering they want to go to.
“They need some support in terms of the industry workers who would like to upgrade to the 2nd class power engineering certificate from the 3rd class,” he explained.
Sey describes the need for the evening course is an indication of the shift in the demand for power engineers from 4th class and 3rd class to the higher standard 2nd class.
The demand is being driven regionally by the growing number of heavy oil thermal plants.
Husky Energy, for example, will bring six new thermal plants on line by mid 2021, which will increase oil production by a whopping 60,000 barrels.
“They are building new plants and they need a higher level of certification,” said Sey.
Sey is hoping a minimum of 10 students sign up for the evening 2nd class power engineering, but he said they will take as many as they can get.
Sey said the evening courses will be delivered in a flexible format with the objective to increase accessibility, as well as to support the local industry.
Lakeland also introduced a full-time 2nd class power engineering day program in the fall with 21 students enrolled, 11 more than expected.
It’s the only full-time day program of its type in Alberta, with students requiring nine months less steam time for ABSA certification.
“As part of our research, we found a high percentage of power engineers will be retiring in five years, so as a college, it’s on us with the support of industry to train power engineers to fill that attrition,” said Sey.
Power engineering students will also start six-week practicums in January thanks to industry sponsorship.
“Industry support has been tremendous considering the decline in the economy we have been experiencing the last few years,” said Sey.
“They have provided us the places for our students—it’s very crucial that we have industry support.”
The School of Energy is planning a campaign in June to promote its Petroleum Management Program, which trains front-line industry staff to bring them to a level of senior management.
“We believe this is crucial to the success of the industry, especially in these times,” said Sey.
Lakeland staff and students will also promote that program along with 2nd class power engineering during the 2018 Lloydminster Heavy Oil Show Sept. 12-13.

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