Industry Partners Assist Advanced Learning

The Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) Natural Gas Compression Program has received a donation of equipment and software worth US$137,000. Targa Midstream Services and Spartan Controls donated two programmable logic controller panels (PLCs) and the software to operate them.

One of the PLCs will be used as a monitoring station that will simulate how to remotely control a station, and the other will be hooked up to an older model natural gas compressor and engine. “The new equipment gives students another element to be trained on before they go out into the field,” said Matt Salas, an instructor in the Natural Gas Compression Program. “We can’t go out and buy the newest technology every year. Without industry partners and these kind of donations, we’d be left behind.”

“Our industry partners understand how important it is to train on the same equipment they will use in the field. That is one reason Targa Midstream Services and Spartan Controls are so important to the programs at OSUIT,” said Mike Pierce, assistant dean of the School of Engineering Technologies at OSUIT. “Without industry support of time, expertise, money, and equipment, it would be very difficult to provide this level of education. The more equipment that a student is able to practice on, especially the latest equipment being used in the field, the greater the opportunity to advance and be better prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. This gives students the skills and knowledge to meet these challenges before having to face them in the field.”

Located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, USA, the Natural Gas Compression Program at OSUIT offers a curriculum focused around hands-on instruction. The program is supported by natural gas compression producers, suppliers, and trade associations. Natural gas compression training has been a part of OSUIT’s curriculum since 1979, but in 2000 it became an independent program. In 2013 the college christened the Chesapeake Energy Natural Gas Compression Training Center – a 23,920-sq.ft. facility allowing students to learn to diagnose, service, and maintain gas compression equipment.