Northeastern’s Wind Technology program is the only program of its kind in Colorado. The college has been educating wind power technicians since 2008, and has a solid reputation for graduating the best wind technicians in the country. Graduates of the program have skills to move into industrial automation and instrumentation careers. They also have the opportunity to move into manufacturing and other automated industries with the programming and technical skills they acquire in the program. Today the wind and power generation as a whole competes with these other industries for these skilled technicians. The ATC expansion will allow NJC to increase the number of wind students and while providing additional training options for industrial students. The new 4,342 square foot shop will allow these programs to continue to grow.
Today’s ever-evolving technologies mean graduates and certificate earners must learn and troubleshoot increasingly complex machines and systems. Northeastern’s Wind and Industrial Technology program prepares students with that in mind. This program emphasizes critical-thinking and troubleshooting skills that allow graduates to not only meet immediate needs of employers from the day they are hired, but make them able grow with the pace of industry. Students at Northeastern learn in a workplace culture that emphasizes real-world safety rules, emulates real-world business practices, and prepares them to apply themselves professionally from day one. Wind program students gain comprehensive knowledge and understanding of turbine component functionality, such as hydraulics, pneumatics, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and electrical systems. This approach allows them to maintain the systems, but just as critical, be able to accurately diagnose problems.
A new learning wind laboratory will include automation studio workstations, 3-D printing stations, live data feeds from operational turbines and rooftop solar arrays, and an indoor turbine nacelle that articulates in real-time response to input from sensors on the laboratory’s roof. This technology-rich environment will maximize opportunities for students to perform hands-on work couple with simulated environments to enable mastery of needed skills.
The vision for Northeastern’s Applied Technology Campus is to break down current “siloed” barriers between its career and technical education (CTE) programs to enable organic synthesis of learned applied technologies across program disciplines. Just as PLCs control the operations of wind turbines, they also now guide self-driving diesel trucks and autonomous precision agriculture tractors. The ability to combine or mix-and-match core elements of programs will make our graduates and certificate earners more competitive and valuable to future employers than those from any other competing school in our region.
Ideas for wind and industrial maintenance lab
- Install nacelle in the wind lab and wind sensors on the roof so that the nacelle orients itself in the lab with the prevailing wind.
- Install the climbing trainer as the rooftop access.
Your ideas will be sent to the design team for consideration. If we like it, it will show up here!