Course Descriptions

Students choosing to complete all courses within the Process Plant Technology program can follow the recommended sequence below or create a customized schedule based on their needs. The NECE recommends that students consult with their academic advisor prior to registration for academic advice based on individual educational goals.

Please review the descriptions below for information on each course.

Recommended Sequence - 1st Semester
ENRT 101 Introduction to Energy Technology
ENRT 105 Safety, Health & Environment
ENRT 107 Mechanical Fundamentals
ENRT 110 Plant Equipment & Systems

Recommended Sequence - 2nd Semester
ENRT 112 Print Reading
ENRT 103 Applied Math
ENRT 104 Electrical Fundamentals
ENRT 116 Instrumentation & Control

Recommended Sequence - 3rd Semester
ENRT 118 Heat Transfer, Fluid Flow & Thermodynamics
ENRT 120 Water Purification & Treatment
ENRT 205 Steam Generation
ENRT 215 Operations, Troubleshooting & Communication

Recommended Sequence - 4th Semester
PROP 235 Hydrocarbon Chemistry
PROP 237 Distillation & Refinery Operations
PROP 239 Gas Processing
PROP 244 Ethanol & Biofuel Production
ENRT 220 Practical Applications

In addition to the courses listed above, 15 general education credits are required.

Please visit the Education Plan link for additional information.

ENRT 101 - Introduction to Energy Technology - 4 credits
An introduction to the expanding energy industry. Students will learn about a variety of energy facilities from traditional to renewable, including but not limited to fossil fuel power plants, petroleum refineries, ethanol and biodiesel facilities, gasification plants, wind farms, geothermal and hydro power production facilities, natural gas processing facilities, petroleum production, water and wastewater treatment and others. The role of the technician in these facilities will be a focus, as will be the expectations and culture of the industry.

ENRT 105 - Safety, Health & Environment - 3 credits
This course covers the personal protective equipment and proper safe work practices and procedures commonly used in the energy industry. Students will also gain a working knowledge of standard safety, health and environmental practices and regulations set by various government entities.

ENRT 107 - Mechanical Fundamentals - 2 credits
This course provides an introduction to mechanical concepts commonly found in a plant setting. Topics covered include hand tools, piping, valves, steam traps and strainers. In addition, pumps, compressors, drivers, fans and rotating equipment are covered. Bearings, seals and lubrication are a focus in this course, as well as heat exchanger designs. Plant terminology and operator expectations are covered also.

ENRT 110 - Plant Equipment & Systems - 4 credits
This course provides an introduction to equipment used in the power, process and renewable industries. Valves, piping, pumps, compressors, generators, turbines, motors, lubrication systems, heat exchangers, furnaces, boilers, cooling towers, separators, reactors, and distillation columns are covered. The utilization of this equipment within systems will be covered.

2nd Semester Courses

ENRT 112 - Print Reading - 3 credits
This course covers schematics, prints, and piping and instrument diagrams used in the energy industry. Students will learn how to read and interpret block and single-line diagrams, which will prepare them for the logic and electrical schematics included in this course.

ENRT 103 - Applied Math - 3 credits
This course will teach basic math skills and apply them to energy industry situations. Students will learn the metric system, basic volume and area calculations as well as algebra and trigonometry and how they apply to industry specific situations.

ENRT 104 - Electrical Fundamentals - 3 credits
This course covers basic direct current theories and applies those to the electrical system and related equipment. Students will also study basic DC circuit calculations. This course will also cover basic alternating current theories and apply those theories to electrical systems and related equipment. Students will study various methods of producing a voltage. Students will also study essential generator and motor design, construction and operating principles.   

ENRT 116 - Instrumentation & Control - 4 credits
This course provides a comprehensive study of instrumentation components, control theory, control systems and typical controllers associated with the operation of energy facilities.

3rd Semester Courses

ENRT 118 - Heat Transfer, Fluid Flow & Thermodynamics - 3 credits
Students enrolled in this course will study heat transfer, fluid flow and the conservation of energy. Specific equipment design considerations based on thermodynamic principles will be covered.  

ENRT 120 - Water Purification & Treatment - 3 credits
This course covers industrial water treatment processes. Students will study boiler water treatment, raw water treatment and the design and operation of ion exchangers. The course also covers cooling water treatment equipment and waste water treatment equipment and systems.

ENRT 205 - Steam Generation - 3 credits
In this course the various types of boilers, systems, components and auxiliary systems associated with steam generators are covered. Different designs of boilers will be covered including low/high pressure, fire tube/water tube, negative/positive draft, drum type and others. Boiler operation, combustion, safety and emission control equipment will be covered along with efficiency measures.

ENRT 215 - Operations, Troubleshooting & Communication - 3 credits
Students will gain the knowledge necessary to comprehend overall plant operations and respond to abnormal operating conditions. Students also will participate in root cause analysis exercises while troubleshooting different operating scenarios. This course provides instruction in the different types of troubleshooting techniques, procedures, and methods used to solve process problems. Students will use existing knowledge of equipment, systems and instrumentation to understand the operation of an entire unit in a facility. Students study concepts related to commissioning, normal startup, normal operations, normal shutdown, turnarounds, and abnormal situations, as well as the process technicians individual and team role in performing tasks associated with these concepts within an operating unit.

4th Semester Courses

PROP 235 - Hydrocarbon Chemistry - 3 credits
This course provides a fundamental study of the organic chemistry of hydrocarbons associated with crude oil. This course will also focus on process chemistry, chemistry fundamentals, typical process reactions and process solubility theory.

PROP 237 - Distillation & Refinery Operations - 4 credits
This course provides a comprehensive study of processes associated with refining, and petrochemical distillation. This course will also focus on equipment designs, operation requirements and technician responsibilities associated with the operation of typical distillation facilities.

PROP 244 - Ethanol & Biofuels Production - 3 credits
Students study the design, operation, equipment and process flows of ethanol plants and biofuels facilities including biodiesel plants. The student will gain the ability to interpret basic flow diagrams and understand related terminology. Focus will be on equipment design and operation used in these facilities as well as safety considerations, typical maintenance, and startup/shutdown procedures.

PROP 239 - Gas Processing - 3 credits
This course provides a comprehensive study of the processing technologies associated with the production of natural gas and other gases and liquids found within natural gas fields. Students study gas laws, molecular structure, process theory, terminology, equipment and the auxiliary systems that support the production and processing of natural gas. The production of synthetic natural gas by means of coal gasification will be covered.

ENRT 220 - Practical Applications - 2 credits
*Online students are required to contact their advisor prior to registering
Students will participate in hands-on lab activities, internships or industry job shadowing to gain entry-level job competencies. Students may not complete this course before their final semester at BSC.