$5K donation to BCIT to commemorate “dieselduck”!

In late December 2019, I was excited to send a CAD$5000 financial gift to the British Columbia Institute of Technology Foundation (BCIT)  to commemorate Martin’s Marine Engineering Page – www.dieselduck.net – 20 years of being online.

Martin Leduc sending the $5000 donation to BCIT’s High Voltage Training program, Dec 2019

Earlier in the year, I received the financial gift from a long time user of the website, a marine engineering professional working in Canada, who felt the website had inspired and guided his career. The generous and unsolicited gift was conceived by the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, as a way to “pay it forward” for the next generation of Marine Engineers in Canada.

“Dieselduck”, as many Marine Engineers know the website as, officially came online November 20th, 1999, as a project to facilitate the sharing of knowledge among peers. The project is an entirely non-commercial endeavor, and is created as time and resources allow. The overarching principle has always been “a rising tide lifts all boats”, and the sharing of professional information and technical resources increases the quality and delivery of our professional services as individuals, across all levels of the marine industry, and around the world. With this gift to BCIT, the intent continues, in a very real and tangible way.

After some careful deliberation, it was felt that the best affect to match the intentions of the donation, would be to support BCIT in the delivery of their new High Voltage course; one of the few such courses approved to be delivered in Canada. With the dramatic changes in ship power sources and propulsion on the horizon; electricity, its production, transmission and control, will play a key role in the future of our craft. Proper training with relevant and modern equipment will assure that seasoned, and new Marine Engineering professionals, from across Canada, will be confident and ready as cutting edge technologies and techniques come online.

High Voltage Training – Management Level (HVS-M) is the new course from BCIT, and it was granted provisional approval by Transport Canada in late December 2019. The course meets the IMO’s STCW 2010 requirement under the Manilla Amendments – Tables A-111/2 and A-111/6  “…for electrical, electronic, and control engineering education and training at the Management Level”.

The first class, primarily made up of Marine Engineers from BC Ferries, successfully completed the 30 hour course in the middle of January 2020. BC Ferries plays an important role as BCIT industry partner, as it welcomes the new Island Class hybrid vessels to its fleet. Chief Engineer Officers, Second Engineer Officers, ETOs, and marine electricians who will be supervising, operating, and implementing high voltage (HV) systems on vessels with electrical equipment of 1000 V or higher, are the intended audiences for this course.

BCIT’s main campus has a fully-equipped, high voltage electrical lab that will be used during practical exercises and assessments. A 6.6 kV Diesel Electric simulator at the marine campus will be used for HV operational training. The financial gift to BCIT will enhance the course experience, specifically by facilitating the purchase of additional tools that will allow more trainees to get “hands on training” to industry standards.

I extend my sincerest gratitude to our generous donor; the vision and personal commitment is without match in my experience, and is inspiring to our professional community. I also extend my appreciation to Mr. Eamon Hayden, long time instructor at the BCIT Marine Campus, who is delaying his imminent retirement, to successfully produce a much needed course that will serve many Marine Engineering peers, well into the future. I thank you Eamon, for your commitment, and wish you well on a much deserved retirement. 

BC Ferries’ hybrid Island Class vessels, coming into service early 2020. Image courtesy of BC Ferries

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