11 December 2008

The first students to complete the Power Generation Skills Development program have graduated from UQ, providing the sector with much needed skills to underpin its operations.

Glenn Schumacher, Mark Parker and Russell Vorpagel accepted their degrees at The University of Queensland yesterday to become the first industry professionals to obtain a Master of Engineering (Power Generation).

The programs are a joint initiative of industry and three of Queensland’s leading universities to provide a postgraduate level of education for those currently working in the power sector.

The state’s three government-owned power generators – CS Energy, Stanwell Corporation and Tarong Energy – joined forces with The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and CQUniversity to develop and deliver the unique programs.

Stanwell Corporation Manager of Emerging Technologies Howard Morrison said the initiative was vital in accelerating the development of new generation of specialist power engineers.

“We are currently facing a shortage of skilled engineers in the generation sector and this is becoming more apparent as the sector faces the challenge of climate change and an aging fleet of generators,” Mr Morrison said.

“This unique program, designed by and for the energy sector in collaboration with the partner universities, equips engineering professionals with the necessary skills to take on leadership roles in the power generation industry.”

UQ Professor of Electrical Engineering Tapan Saha said the Power Generation Skills Development programs provided an opportunity for the universities to respond to industry need and develop a world-class postgraduate program for practicing engineers.

“It enables the universities to reinforce their commitment to the industries in which our graduates work and to continue to support the professional development needs of practicing engineers,” Professor Saha said.

CS Energy electrical engineer James Dash, who will graduate in 2009 from QUT said he was pleased with his experience of the new programs.

“I enjoyed the flexibility of the programs, the courses were taught on campus and had online resources and also included demonstration and simulator sessions at generation sites,” Mr Dash said.

“I have increased my knowledge of engineering principles and I regularly refer to course material and apply the skills I developed through the programs in my job.”

A further two students will graduate with a Master in Engineering (Power Generation) from CQUniversity in upcoming ceremonies, with more to graduate from all partner universities in 2009.

Demand for the programs is growing with increasing numbers of enquiries and enrolments coming from professionals working interstate.

For more information visit www.powergeneration.edu.au

Media: Kim Jensen at UQ Engineering (07 3365 1107 or k.jensen@uq.edu.au)