This week (Feb. 17–23) is National Engineers Week. “EWeek” as the National Society of Professional Engineers calls it, is a formal coalition of more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations, and government agencies. Its key goal: raising public awareness of engineers’ positive contributions to quality of life.
Over the 14 decades it has been in print, POWER’s pages have captured countless engineering achievements that have advanced the world of power generation. In honor of EWeek, here some recent important stories that shed light on engineering topics and illustrate how important engineering is to our sector. Find many more in our archives at powermag.com.
Who Needs an Owner’s Engineer?
In the past, members of a utility’s engineering staff spent their career designing and building new power plants. Today, many utility engineers find that opportunity comes around only once in a career. To fill the experience gap, an “owner’s engineer” company can add to a utility’s team a cadre of highly qualified power engineers who focus on avoiding design errors and keeping the project on schedule.
All power generating companies and plant operators value reliability, but they may be paying too little attention to a critical variable: people.
Building power plants is only the first step to generating success. Running plants efficiently, and consistently improving efficiency as they run, is the path to putting profits on the bottom line.
Baby boomers are retiring, unemployment is low, skilled craft workers are in short supply, and human resources in the workforce are a growing issue for power industry management.
As the electric power industry moves forward with new technology, the workforce that is needed to design, build, and manage the next generation of systems will undergo an equal if not greater transformation. It is no small task to ensure education and training systems are attuned to the real needs of the system and produce the right kind of graduates.
With many challenges facing both fossil fuel and nuclear power generation facilities, training and workforce development has never been more important. Establishing a culture of continuous improvement is important for the future of the industry.
GE has operated its monitoring and diagnostics center for nearly two decades, examining the performance and health of customers’ power plants and other generating assets around the world. Understanding some of its lessons learned over the years could help others develop a strategy and path forward for capturing value from digital projects.
Power plants are challenged to generate value from their data, but this can be a tedious and slow process, with uncertain outcomes. Now, as shown in these use cases, data analytic solutions can put innovation in the hands of process engineers and experts for rapid and useful insights.
Industrial control system cybersecurity is today largely focused on securing networks, and efforts largely ignore process control equipment that is crucial for plant safety and reliability, leaving it woefully vulnerable, an expert warns.
Marmaduke Surfaceblow was a crusty character, providing POWER magazine readers with imaginative tales of engineering feats, and lending his name to one or our most-coveted awards.