Engineering grads lack knowledge of gas turbines

02/22/2007


Do today’s engineering school graduates possess the necessary technical and managerial skills to meet the job requirements of gas turbine manufacturers? The answer is generally no, according to Sheenu Srinivasan, chairperson of the Education Committee of the ASME International Gas Turbine Institute in Atlanta.

“Engine manufacturers have been saying that young engineers out of college, while bright in a broad range of engineering, in many cases lack the knowledge and aptitude specific to gas turbine technology and the gas turbine business,” said Srinivasan.

Srinivasan has organized, “Training Gas Turbine Engineers for Optimum Productivity,” one of several panel sessions in the Technical Congress at ASME Turbo Expo 2007 , May 14-17 at the Palais des Congres in Montreal. Rolls-Royce , GE , Pratt & Whitney , and Alstom , will describe their experiences and challenges in bringing early-career engineers up to speed on gas turbine technology.

The problem, Srinivasan commented, has nothing to do with the overall quality of engineering education in the United States, but with emerging industry needs demanding a newer skills set for young engineers entering the gas turbine field.nd training.

Although educators may not be able to incorporate all of industry’s recommendations and ideas into general engineering curricula, Srinivasan believes a happy medium can be achieved through ongoing information exchange.

“Ideally, education in the disciplines relating to gas turbine technology should focus on achieving a balance between the theoretical and the needs and expectations of the engine manufacturers,” he says.