College and Oil & Gas Industry Educational Partnerships

As the baby boom generation continues to reach retirement age, the need for skilled professionals to replace them grows. This trend is true in our process industries, especially here in North America.

One of the ways automation suppliers such as Emerson is helping is in donations of equipment and technologies to universities and colleges. I’ll share a current example from the state of Wyoming, an important energy producer for the United States. In fact:

Wyoming ranked 7th in production of crude oil and 2nd in natural gas production during 2009. In 2009 Wyoming recorded its highest level of natural gas production…

The Emerson team has been partnering with Western Wyoming Community College (WWCC) to donate equipment and software for their Oil & Gas Technology and Electrical and Instrumentation Technology programs. These include Rosemount and Micro Motion measurement instrumentation as well as ROC remote operations controller products. WWCC has a great flash-based presentation, Oil and Gas Career Toolkit, which highlights their program.

The oil and gas producers in the surrounding area have numerous graduates from WWCC in their ranks working as skilled technicians and operators. Over time, many graduates grow and develop into supervisors and managers and work in the oil and gas industry throughout the world. Gaining experience with current automation technologies helps these students quickly ramp up the learning curve required to replace the experience being lost through retirement. Also, as the capabilities of products and technologies advance, so does the need to continue this partnership.

ROC827 Remote Operations Controllers at Western Wyoming Community College
Today, Craig Llewellyn, president of Emerson’s Remote Automation Solutions business will be on the WWCC campus with members from the oil & gas industry who are on the WWCC Oil and Gas Advisory board to present a donation with the latest remote automation controller technology. These ROC827 units and associated I/O are used to measure well gas flow.

In addition to the ROC units and associated ROCLink 800 configuration software, students will be able to learn about important industry standards such as IEC 61131-3 graphical programming languages on the DS800 Development Suite software.

Along with other automation technologies, these products are a big part of what’s required to efficiently operate oil and gas production fields in Wyoming and across the globe.

I wish I could be there for the presentation ceremony and see the labs and production facilities. I’m hoping we’ll have some people at this event sharing some of their observations in Twitter. Be on the lookout for tweets with the tag #WWyoCC. I’ll retweet anything I come across on my @JimCahill twitter account.

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