What to Expect
There are five certificate levels: 5th Class, 4th Class, 3rd Class, 2nd Class and 1st Class. Each level involves time requirements and a Provincial Examination administered by the (ABSA) Alberta Boilers Safety Association. The Power Engineering Certificate; 4th Class and 3rd Class, Part A prepares Power Engineers, through theoretical and practical training, for work at this level of certification. In addition to earning pass marks in all courses, students must attend a minimum of 80% of all theory classes and 100% of all labs to successfully complete the program. Attendance is an ABSA requirement.
Skills you will acquire
Graduates will have the following skills:
- boiler operation
- turbine operation
- control of refrigeration and air conditioning systems
- maintenance and repair of boilers and auxiliaries, pumps, compressors, turbines, generators
- equipment commissioning
Is This Program For You?
Students should have good manual dexterity, hand-eye co-ordination and mechanically inclined for the operation of switches and controls for monitoring instruments. As well, colour vision is mandatory and many employers require applicants to take vision exams to test for colour blindness.
Students in Mr. Colclough's classes study high-tech theoretical material related to thermodynamics and learn to apply that knowledge in the field. "The work is very challenging," says Colclough. "It has to be real, and even the strong students struggle at point. But I tell them - and I honestly believe it - that they all can do it. My job is to cultivate an environment where it's that much easier."
The NAIT Cenovus Centre for Power Engineering Technology provides a level of hands-on training not available anywhere else in Canada. The Centre houses such cutting-edge equipment as a digital simulator (a computer system that imitates an industrial boiler connected to a turbine generator), and a number of steam and gas turbines. Interacting with a wide range of industry-standard equipment gives students like Mehrdad Zarei, left, a head start. "We work on it, make mistakes and learn from it. That experience helped me a lot," says Mehrdad.