Powering industry with in-demand graduates
Calgary, AB — Power Engineering students at SAIT are beginning classes this year in brand-new, state-of-the-art training facilities in the Cenovus Energy Centre that simulate the various stages of a power generation system.
The labs in the 40,000-square-foot centre include new boilers, turbines and all of the auxiliary equipment required to effectively train power engineers.
Several pieces of equipment are also partially exposed to allow students to see the inner workings.
"With this leading facility, SAIT continues to set the standard in applied education, giving students the hands-on experience that employers value," says Dr. David Ross, President and CEO of SAIT. "This partnership with Cenovus demonstrates what SAIT does best: we work with industry to deliver the skilled workers Alberta needs."
Several pieces of equipment — including a reverse osmosis unit and a micro turbine — were donated from various industry partners. To provide a more realistic experience, much of the equipment and many of the systems are connected to better train students on the actual chain of events in a power facility.
SAIT's Power Engineering Technology program has a 97 per cent employment rate. Cenovus Energy has helped SAIT almost triple the number of seats since 2011 to help fill a demand in industry — the Cenovus Energy Centre was named in May 2012 after the oil company made a $3 million donation.
"Our industry's greatest assets are the people who responsibly develop our energy resources every day," says John Brannan, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and a member of SAIT's Board of Governors. "This extraordinary facility will play a major role in addressing the industry's long-term workforce requirements and contribute to growing our skilled and vibrant workforce."
With the last pieces of this complex training facility complete, the Cenovus Energy Centre now back-feeds the main power plant at SAIT — the only post-secondary in Canada to operate in this manner.
As part of SAIT's sustainable direction, the steam pumped back into SAIT's system is used to heat other buildings on campus, producing a potential cost savings of more than $35,000 a year.
Take a visual tour of the Cenovus Energy Centre
SAIT is one of Canada's most exciting destinations for post-secondary education, offering more than 100 career programs and over 1,000 part-time courses (including online and distance) that position people for success in technology, trades and business. A leader in innovation, SAIT also collaborates with industry on applied research and delivers corporate training worldwide. SAIT has been recognized as being one of Alberta's Top Employers, the Top Research College in Canada and the Best Alberta Workplace for Training and Development.