POWER-GEN 2018 – An Engineers Takeaway: Knowledge Transfer, The Key to Innovation
By Andy Rogers, PE, Electrical Engineer
Attending POWER-GEN reminds me why I’m so passionate about the energy industry: the buzz! The keynote presentations all shared a few common themes:
- Digitalization technology advancements will pave the way to the future
- Renewables will provide sustenance
- Knowledge transfer is key
The creation of the “digital twin” has been a leading topic in the power generation realm the past few years. Digitizing key assets supports higher efficiencies, allows for digital mistakes instead of real-life mistakes, and ultimately demonstrates scalable results. This is the new learning trend. Today we are building the base for this transformation through our efforts gathering data analytics, building models, keeping open communication with the users, and collaborating with the cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and block chain technologies.
Across the globe, we’re seeing a rise in renewables, along with supporting initiatives. Hawaii is leading the way with plans to be powered by 100% renewable energy within the next 20 years. Other states and utilities are watching closer with similar goals. Gregory Lee, Board President of OUC (Orlando Utility Council), noted in his presentation that Orlando has a 2050 initiative to be powered by 100% renewable energy, stating “Trash is treasure…”.
Along with all the talk of technology, there was a non-technical subject that captured my attention: knowledge transfer. The importance of educating today’s youth seems to resonate more and more each year, and it truly deserves every engineer’s attention. Planning for the future of the profession starts with teaching. Participation is STEM programs; visiting schools and presenting; and creating on the job workshops or internships are a few of the many ways that we can do to build the future.
POWER-GEN is a great place to see technology that was once unfathomable driving our world today. It also helps me as young professional to see current trends in the industry, understand the markets, and get a big helping of social engineering. Lastly, POWER-GEN helps me imagine where things will be in the future. It’s this imagination that creates the buzz that will keep future generations as excited about the industry as I am today.