The Field of Stationary ( Operating, Power ) Engineering
Stationary (Operating, Power) Engineers
operate and maintain a variety of mechanical systems including all types of boiler systems. They frequently are the only persons at a facility who have the knowledge of how these systems work. They are vested with the responsibility of ensuring that the boiler and other facility systems work in a safe, effective and efficient manner.
Nature of Work
The work of Stationary (Operating, Power) Engineers is varied and complex. They are responsible for the operation, maintenance, renovation and repair of boiler systems and all other mechanical systems within a given facility. They are employed in schools, hospitals, hotels, apartment buildings, shopping malls, airports, power plants, industrial and manufacturing plants, breweries, co-generation plants, petro-chemical plants, office and commercial buildings, government facilities and other workplaces. In operating and repairing these facilities, stationary engineers perform work on boilers and steam systems; heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems; building automation systems; diesel engines, turbines, generators; pumps, piping and compressed gas systems; refrigeration and electrical systems and numerous other physical plant functions.
These workers are called Stationary Engineers because the equipment they operate is similar to equipment operated by locomotive or marine engineers except it is not in a vehicle that moves. In Canada they are also licenced as Operating or Power Engineers in some Provinces. In most provinces there are four classes of Stationary (Operating, Power) Engineers,they are 1st, 2nd , 3rd & 4th Class, while some of the provinces also have a 5th Class with the highest licence being the 1st Class Stationary (Operating, Power) Engineer.
Stationary (Operating, Power) Engineers start up, regulate, repair and shut down equipment. They ensure that equipment operates safely and economically and within established limits by monitoring attached meters, gauges, and other instruments, and increasingly, computerized controls. They manually control equipment and make the necessary adjustments. They use hand and power tools to perform repairs and maintenance ranging from a complete overhaul to replacing defective valves, gaskets, or bearings. They also record relevant events and facts concerning operation and maintenance in an equipment log. On steam boilers, for example, they observe, control, and record steam pressure, temperature, water level, power output, and fuel consumption. Stationary (Operating, Power) Engineers can often detect potential mechanical problems by observing and listening to the pitch of the machinery. They routinely check safety devices, identifying and correcting any trouble that develops.
Stationary (Operating, Power) Engineers also perform routine maintenance, such as repairing and replacing pumps, motors and other operating equipment, lubricating moving parts, replacing filters, and removing soot and corrosion that can reduce operating efficiency. They also test and chemically treat hydronic systems to prevent corrosion and harmful deposits. A Stationary ( Operating, Power ) Engineer may be in charge of operation, maintenance and repair of all mechanical systems in a building, industrial power plant or engine room. The Chief Engineer in the plant will direct the work of Stationary (Operating, Power) Engineers, turbine operators, boiler tenders, and air-conditioning and refrigeration operators and mechanics. In a small building or industrial plant, there may be only one Stationary ( Operating, Power ) Engineer at a time who will be responsible for the entire operation and maintenance of the building or facility.
Stationary engineers generally have steady year-round employment. They usually work a 5-day, 40-hour week. Many work one of three daily 8-hour shifts in 24 hour operations, and weekend and holiday work often is required. Some large plants also work a seven day week with the operator working 12 hour shifts with a variety of schedules which allows for more days off.
Engine rooms, power plants, and boiler rooms usually are clean and well lighted. Even under the most favorable conditions, however, some stationary engineers are exposed to high temperatures, dust, dirt, and high noise levels from the equipment. General maintenance duties may cause contact with oil and grease, as well as fumes or smoke. Workers spend much of their time on their feet; they also may have to crawl inside boilers and work in crouching or kneeling positions to inspect, clean, or repair equipment.
Because stationary engineers work around boilers as well as electrical and mechanical equipment, they must be alert to avoid burns, electric shock, and injury from moving parts.
WHAT IS NEEDED TO ATTAIN A LICENCE
� In general, a high school diploma is helpful but not necessary and specialized training.
� To be a Power, Operating, Stationary Engineer or Auxiliary Equipment Operator, you need an apprenticeship program in stationary or power engineering; or on-the-job training and correspondence/high school courses; or a college training program in stationary or power engineering. You also need certification in the province/territory where you'll work.
� To be a Power station operator, you must complete an apprenticeship in stationary or power engineering, or have several years' experience and some high school, correspondence or college courses in stationary or power engineering. You also need certification in the province/territory where you'll work.
� Monitoring Computerized equipment
� Communication skills
Useful High School Subjects
� Industrial Arts (Electricity)
� Mathematics, Physics
� Computer Basics & English
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