Penn College Students, Instructor Attend Power-Generation School
Students and a faculty member from Pennsylvania College of Technology recently attended the Electrical Generating Systems Association On-Site Power School in New Orleans, participating in training sessions and meeting potential employers among the key industry representatives that attended.
The group five students in the electric power generation technology major and Jon W. Hart, instructor of electrical technology received four days of training and attended a convention/trade show at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Students who participated are Joseph W. Caplinger, Williamsport; Matthew B. Forbes, Mifflinburg; Adam R. Petak, Mineral Point; Patrick J. Rodack, Butler; and Steven A. Sample, Lewisburg.
"As a (power generation) student, I felt it was a very important and helpful trip. While attending the classes, I learned a lot of valuable information on various topics from transfer switches to alternators including what is involved for them to work and how they work," Forbes said. "The school helped contribute to my understanding of why things are done the way they are done because I was able to talk with professionals from each of the individual fields in industry."
Forbes also was able to meet with George W. Rowley, the director of education for EGSA, and thank him for the two merit-based scholarships he received from the association. Forbes twice was awarded a David I. Coren Memorial Scholarship, named for the president of Zenith Controls who died in 2000.
"Our students were exposed to all kinds of power generation: nuclear, coal and a major portion of diesel, which is what we teach," Hart said. "In addition, students who are graduating in May took their résumés with them and found a lot of good opportunities with the employers on hand."
Among the key players in attendance were Cummins, Caterpillar Inc. and Siemens, all of which are familiar names among Penn College's industry partners. Expenses for the trip partially were met by Caterpillar, whose longtime support of the School of Natural Resources Management was expanded in 2005 to include power generation.
The associate-degree major is offered through that school's Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood in cooperation with the The contingent also met with Matt Wilson, a low-voltage-project coordinator for International Technical Electric and Construction, a Montoursville-based ministry that installs generators in areas of the world where electrical power is unavailable or where backup energy sources are needed. I-TEC has opened its facilities to Penn College students, offering an invaluable hands-on opportunity to troubleshoot and repair a variety of older-model generator sets.
The EGSA is the world's largest organization exclusively dedicated to on-site power generation. The association comprises more than 500 companies around the world that make, sell, distribute and use power-generation technology and equipment, including generators, engines, switchgears, controls, voltage regulators and governors.
For more information about the electric power generation technology major at Penn College, visit the School of Natural Resources Management Web site or call (570) 320-8038.