New Major Offered in Electric Power Generation Technology

Published 02.16.2001


With "rolling blackouts," "brownouts" and similar terms finding their way into news reports more often these days, the field of standby electric power generation has become one of the fastest-growing career areas, and Pennsylvania College of Technology is responding with a program to produce the skilled technicians the industry seeks.

Beginning this fall, Penn College's School of Natural Resources Management will offer an associate-degree major in Electric Power Generation Technology. Graduates of the program can expect to find jobs as power generation technicians, technical sales consultants, industrial maintenance workers, field service technicians, sales representatives and service managers.

The curriculum, which includes courses from the Electrical Technology department in the School of Construction and Design Technologies as well as the Diesel Technology department in the School of Natural Resources Management, will provide students with the knowledge and skills to install and service diesel and natural-gas-powered generator sets.

The major was developed at the behest of industry representatives, who worked with Penn College faculty in developing the unique curriculum.

"It appears this is the only degree program designed to address the special needs of the standby electric power generation career field," said Wayne R. Longbrake, dean of the School of Natural Resources Management. "This is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the United States."

The power problems occurring in California and elsewhere have heightened the need for technicians in standby electric power generation, Longbrake said.

"These conditions are of grave concern to defense, medical and manufacturing facilities," he said. "Many are turning to standby power generation units to maintain operation during times of electrical shortages. The ability to keep operating saves lives, maintains our national security and saves manufacturers millions of dollars."

Instruction will be provided in the areas of electronically controlled diesel engines, gaseous-fueled engines, troubleshooting and repair of electric power generators, engine governors and the electronic-switching components necessary in the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power.

For more information about the new Electric Power Generation Technology major, call the Office of Admissions at 1-800-367-9222 or (570) 327-4761, or the School of Natural Resources Management at (570) 320-8038.