By KARA GAE NEAL
NEW TECHNOLOGY: Tulsa Tech is reaching out to students interested in alternative fuels by offering a variety of courses.
Courtesy Tulsa Tech
Our nation’s transportation needs depend on fuel. Until now the fuel of choice has been gasoline, but research in the area of alternative fuels and rapid developing technologies will mean that future transportation energy needs will be based on multiple fuel sources.
Ten percent of current vehicle production already utilizes alternative fuels, including flex-fuel, compressed natural gas (), hybrid electric and electric. Future transportation energy needs will be based on alternative fuel sources such as these.
Tulsa Tech has created the only course in Oklahoma that will teach students the technology and concepts associated with these alternative fuels. A new facility located at the Broken Arrow campus will soon be the home of this one-of-a-kind program.
Leo Van Delft, the transportation program coordinator at Tulsa Tech, says the biggest user of alternative fuels is the trucking industry, and that trucking fleets across the country are converting to these newer fuels.
“A lot of it is emission related, in terms of the trucks do a lot of idling, reduced emissions out the tail pipe, reduced operating expenses, and in some areas where you have a lot of trucks that are idling together the amount of pollution that’s being created is pretty substantial,” Van Delft says.
One local example of this movement toward alternative fuels would include the recent decision by Tulsa Public Schools to switch more than 140 of its buses to compressed natural gas ().
Van Delft says these types of changes demonstrate that the technology is here to stay and the importance for future technicians to have a complete understanding of alternative fuels.
“The industry recognizes that this is a movement that is not going to stop, it’s not a flash in the pan, it’s actually a movement that will continue to grow,” Van Delft says.
Tulsa Tech is now taking applications for its alternative fuels program, which will offer students NATEF Certification in , Electrical, and Engine Performance Training.
Employment opportunities will include Service Technician, Retrofitter Specialist, Service Management, Marketing, Engineering and Sales related to these new types of vehicles. The program will be taught with specialized multi-fuel trainers, equipment, vehicles and an on-site fueling station.
If you’re currently looking for industry training, additional career skills, or a high school student seeking a challenge, Tulsa Tech invites you to visit today. For more information, please call 918-828-5200 or visit www.tulsatech.edu.