Power Engineering Technologist Spotlight

At 100°C, water boils, releasing steam. With steam, you can make power – power to run generators, engines… you name it! The oil and gas industry runs on power. And Power Engineering Technologists (also known as Stationary Engineers or Steam Engineers) know how to harness steam to create energy.

What a typical day looks like:

Power Engineering Technologists work with boilers, turbines, steam condensers and other technical machinery. Their time is often split between control rooms, meetings and working on-site to monitor and maintain systems. They have an office to complete technical calculations, review systems and complete mechanical drafts. They are also comfortable in coveralls and steel-toed boots. They operate high and low-pressure boilers and oversee areas of facilities that manage water treatment, pump operation, instrumentation, electricity, fuels and combustion, air compressors and refrigeration – all with safety in mind.

Since all this heat and power can be dangerous if not handled properly, Power Engineering Technologists keep a close eye on their equipment. They look for anything out of the ordinary and fix problems as they arise. They also identify and scope out opportunities to maximize production, minimize operating costs and eliminate downtime.

In Canada, there are five levels of Power Engineering Technologists and they can advance from one level to the next through a combination of work experience and training courses. They begin with monitoring and maintenance and may work their way up to Chief Engineer positions that supervise teams and oversee very large, powerful boilers.

The kinds of problems Power Engineering Technologists solve at work:

Safety is a top focus and Power Engineering Technologists understand the significance of the systems they control, operate and maintain. They monitor and inspect gauges, alarms, safety devices and meters to detect leaks or malfunctions and to ensure equipment is operating efficiently and safely. They also monitor the levels of boiler water, chemicals and fuel and make adjustments to maintain the required levels. They operate safely and keep everyone on-site safe as well.

Skills used most on the job:

Power Engineering Technologists understand mechanical drafting and know how to read blueprints. They also are mechanically savvy with a strong understanding of engineering, processing, production and decision making. They work well with others and take safety and process very seriously.

If an oil and gas facility uses a system that is powered by temperature or pressure, Power Engineering Technologists can be thanked for keeping the power running safely and consistently.

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