Clean Energy Engineering 2019 Field Trip
The annual summer field trip for the Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Clean Energy Engineering provided an incredible opportunity to learn from, and engage with, industry professionals, educational leaders, and energy expertise from various energy sectors. Led by the Program Director, Dr. Vladan Prodanovic, students were able to make connections between instruction inside the classroom and industry practice — reinforcing the relevant and applied nature of a MEL degree. The trip served as an invaluable experience for the students that provided a unique learning opportunity to see the application of their educational outcome.
Over the course of four days, students visited a range of facilities that impact clean energy production. The first location was Teck’s Trail operations, located in Trail, British Columbia. This smelter includes one of the world’s largest fully integrated zinc and lead smelting refining complexes. Students visited the Teck Information Centre and attended an interactive info session. The information session consisted of a number of presentations, videos and students were given a guided tour of the Teck Centre. Students then visited the Mercer Celgar Mill. Located in Castlegar, the mill is “one of the largest and most modern single line kraft pulp mills in North America”. The mill focuses on processing woodchips into pulp with a major focus on energy efficiency – maximizing production while minimizing waste. Students were given a tour of the facilities and were able to connect with employees of the mill.
The next day, students attended the first day of the Clean Energy BC Spring Conference in Trail, BC. The conference showcased the clean energy ‘engineering excellence’ of the Kootenay region, provided students with an opportunity to connect with industry professionals and leaders in the clean energy engineering sector. Students were able to attend sessions discussing funding and job opportunitiesand keynote talks from industry leaders. The evening concluded at the Josie Hotel for the Gala Dinner for all attendees of the conference.
Day 2 of the conference focused on site visits to a number of facilities including the Columbia Power Brilliant Dam, Nelson Community Solar Garden, the Nelson Hydro Power Plant and the Waneta Dam. The site tours gave students an incredible opportunity to see the inner workings of industry-leading facilities and provided an up-close experience within the industry of clean energy engineering. On the final day of the trip, students visited SunMine in Kimberley, BC. SunMine, developed on a reclaimed mine, is British Columbia’s largest solar project and Canada’s largest solar tracking facility. The tour gave students a chance to tour the area and get an up-close look at solar panel technology.
The trip was an overwhelming success, and points to the impact of an MEL core value: connection — connection between what is taught in the classroom and the real-world and connections between each other. If you are ready to take the next step in your career, learn more about the MEL in Clean Energy Engineering.