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LBWCC receives NSF grant

LBW Community College staff involved in a successful competitive grant proposal for National Science Foundation funds include, from left, Eddie Spann, diesel mechanics faculty; Dr. Shannon Levitzke, director of institutional effectiveness and quality; Tammye Merida, associate dean for applied technologies; and Allen Teel, industrial electronics faculty. (Submitted photo)

LBW Community College staff involved in a successful competitive grant proposal for National Science Foundation funds include, from left, Eddie Spann, diesel mechanics faculty; Dr. Shannon Levitzke, director of institutional effectiveness and quality; Tammye Merida, associate dean for applied technologies; and Allen Teel, industrial electronics faculty. (Submitted photo)

The National Science Foundation recently notified LBW Community College of an “Educating Technicians in Energy Efficiency” grant of $199,899 to better prepare future technicians.

The primary goal of the project is to meet emerging needs for increased energy efficiency by improving the quality of technician education in industrial electronics and diesel and heavy equipment mechanics, said Allen Teel, project director and LBWCC industrial electronics faculty.

“This three-year grant will have a widespread impact by meeting the needs of students, educators and regional employers,” said Teel.

The grant will fund additional training of faculty, purchase training equipment, and provide for curriculum revisions that will ensure graduates are more fully prepared for the workforce.

“The program will allow Industrial Electronics program students to train on Siemens Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), which are widely used in industry for their efficiency and scalability, adding to the students’ knowledge base and marketability and meeting the skilled workforce needs of the industry,” he said.

Students in the diesel mechanics program will gain knowledge and experience on natural gas engines, which will serve employers not only on offshore rigs, but also in the transportation industry with fleet vehicles and local and regional carriers.

“Diesel technicians who have experience with these engines are integral to the continued growth and evolution of the natural gas industry,” he said.

During the professional development phase of the project, faculty will participate in rigorous industry training and gain the knowledge and expertise needed to master emerging trends.

“Technicians with this additional knowledge will be more flexible and better able to respond to the developments in their field,” Teel said.

The grant begins July 1 and runs through June 30, 2019.