This last year has seen a dramatic downturn in shipping, especially on the Great Lakes, silencing the many “calls to action” regarding the elephant in the room, a looming shortage of trained and capable seafarers. This shortage has not gone away, although the temporary – critical shortage has.
Perhaps shipping will not rebound to levels that they were last year, anytime in the near future, but one can be sure that it will rebound, to a large extent, and that the need for new blood has certainly not gone away. From my perspective, I don’t see any Canadian companies taking advantage of this “breather” in the economy, to get ahead on their looming problems, quite the contrary.
So it was with pleasure that I read a recent email regarding the Great Lakes International Marine Training Centre’s new engine platform, that was loaned to them by Seaway Marine Transport (Algoma & Upper Lakes) and Toromont Caterpillar. The new MaK 6M25C medium speed, four stroke engine, will be available for students to get a grasp of a major engine room piece of equipment. This is sure to provide a deeper level of understanding by the engineering cadets attending the facility. Kudos to Cat/MaK and SMT for having the presence of mind and willingness to invest in infrastructure facilitating a more thorough knowledge building exercise by Owen Sounds’ Georgian College.
The MaK 6M25C is a 21 ton engine used in propulsion and generators applications, delivering around 1900kW of power. MaK engines are common sight in numerous large ships operating throughout Canada, in particular, they have been making inroads in re powering of “Lakers”, large bulk carriers operating on the Great lakes.
The campus in Owen Sound has been gathering allot of media attention due to its expansion of its maritime training facilities, including a major new simulation training facility. You can read more about their new engine below from a press release by the college. As well, Great Lakes International Marine Training Centre has recently upgraded its full mission simulator for engine room and bridge operations, a reportedly 7.6 million dollars investment. They offers various courses and programs for new and seasoned seafarers.
Seaway Marine Transport loans state-of-the-art MAK engine to Georgian College
Seaway Marine Transport (SMT) and its parent companies, Algoma Central Corporation and Upper Lakes Shipping, are working closely with Georgian College’s Great Lakes International Marine Training Centre to address the impending shortage of qualified marine engineers in Ontario and the Great Lakes marine industry.
SMT has loaned a MaK 6M25C diesel marine engine to the College, making Georgian the only school in North America to have this equipment located on site. Having the engine available for training purposes positions the College as a highly-capable MaK training centre. Mariners previously had to travel to Germany for this quality of training.
The partnership between Georgian, SMT and Toromont/Caterpillar (the makers of the MaK engine) creates a “win-win-win” situation for all involved, says Capt. John Greenway, Vice President – Operations for SMT. Toromont and Caterpillar reinforced the partnership by donating four $1,000 scholarships to Georgian for students studying in marine programs. These include: MaK Award for Advance Skills Training, Toromont Cat Entrance Award, Toromont Cat Leadership Award and Toromont Cat Award of Merit.
“This partnership will help us to develop an interactive, state-of-the-art engine familiarization, maintenance and plant management course to address the needs of marine companies in North America,” he says. “Offering this type of hands-on education locally with Toromont instructors will allow us to provide a cost-efficient MaK training course with significant value to the end user.”
Georgian and Toromont/Caterpillar are working closely with input and involvement from the marine industry to develop an engine training course on new MaK diesel main engines and generators.
Course development is currently underway to address both junior and senior engineering officer levels, utilization of simulation models and scenarios, and plant efficiency and environmental management related to the MaK engine. The multi-million-dollar investment will propel post-secondary students enrolled in marine programs at Georgian to the front of the class in terms of access to technological innovations in marine engines, says Capt. Peter Buell, Director, Great Lakes International Marine Training Centre.
Having the MaK engine on campus will allow both post-secondary marine cadets and professional mariners to train on the most up-to-date relevant equipment available in the marine industry today,” he says. “The addition of the MaK engine to our marine simulation and training centre will put us on the forefront of marine training in North America and beyond.”
For more information on professional development opportunities and marine cadet programs at Georgian College, please visit www.marinetraining.ca.