With the nuclear disaster in Japan, the attention on nuclear energy plants and the systems used to manage them has never been greater.  A partnership between The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and TVA has led to a gift of software and the creation of a new lab at UTC to enhance the education of our region’s energy technology workforce.

“We’re excited,” Dr. Phil Oldham, Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, said. “Partnerships are a part of who we are at UTC. They create value for all of us, particularly for our students. It gives them the opportunity to test their skills and improve their capabilities to compete in a very competitive world.”

Operation Technology, Inc. (OTI), developer of ETAP enterprise solution for electrical power systems, has gifted the UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science with ETAP software to be used in the new ETAP-TVA Power Simulation Lab.

“This is a tool that lets our students train for the future,” Dr. Will Sutton, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, said.

ETAP, an electrical power systems analysis simulation software, is being used in more than 90% of the nuclear market.  Located in the UTC Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science Building, the new ETAP-TVA Lab will provide a hands-on training site for UTC students, TVA employees and regional utility employees.

Zack Harris, a UTC student from Spring City, Tennessee junior, has been using the software for almost a year at his internship at TVA. “It’s very powerful software,” he said. “It does everything right at your fingertips.”

According to Sutton, the engineering program at UTC is focused on workforce development to meet the needs of area employers. “As a partner of industry, we develop curriculum to help train our students and also supply and training and retraining of adult workers in the workforce.”

“The program better prepares students for the workforce,” Harris agreed. “UTC brings in experts from certain fields to teach courses or labs. We get to learn from people with experience.”

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